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People's Daily Online

Defense ministry disavows rumors that aircraft carrier will be named after mantis shrimp

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 17:07, April 28, 2017

China's Ministry of National Defense denounced on April 27 the rumor that the country's newly launched aircraft carrier will be named after the mantis shrimp, an animal widely ridiculed by Chinese internet users for its bizarre appearance. The ministry clarified that no name has been chosen yet.

"The online vote for the name of China's new aircraft carrier will be determined by netizens themselves ... According to the Chinese military's rules, the name of a new ship is only bestowed when the ship is delivered and commissioned," Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, spokesperson for the ministry, told media during a briefing.

Yang's remarks came after Iqiyi.com, a well-known video-streaming site, held an online poll about the name of China's new carrier. The results of the poll were dominated by suggestions like "mantis shrimp" and "Taiwan." As of press time, "mantis shrimp" had garnered over 890,000 votes, while Taiwan took second place with more than 830,000 votes.

"Mantis shrimp, lets' go!" has become a new internet meme and catchphrase in 2017, originating from online gaming. The term is generally understood to signify a carefree and capricious attitude, since the real animal is known as a strong creature that is capable of smashing aquariums with its strong claws.

Many netizens ridiculed the ministry's response, saying that the name is funny and entirely appropriate.

"Mantis shrimps are creepy yet fearless animals, and they have hammer-like claws that can dig into your muscles. I think our new aircraft carrier should also possess such qualities, so that it can protect the country's honor. Maybe the ministry can consider mantis shrimp as the ship's nickname" one netizen wrote.

Others worried that the name was"too vulgar" to truly showcase China's power.

"In case you guys haven't noticed, mantis shrimp in Cantonese is 'pissing shrimp,' and that is not a good name for our first homegrown aircraft carrier," another netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

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