Zhang Zhaozhong

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Zhang Zhaozhong
Zhang Zhaozhong in BIT.jpg
Zhang Zhaozhong doing a speech at Beijing Institute of Technology in 2008
Native name 张召忠
Born 1952 (age 65–66)
Yanshan County, Hebei, China
Allegiance  China
Service/branch  PLA Navy
Years of service 1970 - 2015
Rank Rear admiral
Commands held military theorist at the PLA National Defense University

Zhang Zhaozhong (Chinese: 张召忠; born 1952) is a Chinese military theorist at the PLA National Defense University.[1] He holds the rank of rear admiral in the People's Liberation Army Navy.


A frequent commentator on state-run television outlets, Zhang is known of his successful predictions about the Gulf War and wrong predictions during the CCTV live broadcast of the Iraq War. He is also known for some of his belligerent comments to hide the real military strength of China. The best-known instance was his dramatical denial of the existence of the Chinese stealth fighter J-20 by exaggerating the American technological advantages.

In contrast, he also sometimes expresses a low opinion of U.S. military capabilities, with his 2012 assertion that the U.S. would "run like a rabbit" if China went to war with Japan over the Diaoyu Islands being an example.[2] He also suggested that the PLAN might equip civilian fishing boats for suicide attacks against the United States Navy.[3]

Zhaozhong is known for his CCTV commentaries where he has, among other things, said that smog is a good thing for China because it would obscure US laser weapon systems in the event of an attack [4] Zhang also publicly predicted at various points "...the U.S. military could not take Baghdad in 2003, hours before U.S. troops marched into Saddam Hussein’s palace; that Libyan rebels could not find Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 as the dictator was being dragged out of his hideout; that Chinese seaweed farmers’ nets in the Yellow Sea could deter U.S. nuclear submarines from approaching; that Chinese fishing vessels could destroy the U.S. Navy’s 10,000-ton Zumwalt-class destroyer."[5]


With those misguided statements from Zhang Zhaozhong spread across the Internet in China, he quickly becomes part of a online Internet meme. The situation have led Chinese Internet users to mockingly refer to Zhang as “chief of the Strategic Fool-You Agency.”[6]


  1. ^ Chief Military Commentator of China (in Chinese)
  2. ^ David Lague (17 January 2013), Special Report: China's military hawks take the offensive Reuters
  3. ^ Bodeen, Christopher. "Stealth destroyer, at over $3 billion apiece, is US Navy’s latest answer to rising China." AP, 3 June 2012.
  4. ^ "China: General says smog 'best defence' against US lasers". BBC News. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  5. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Inside China: Military officer lashes out at 'traitor' netizens who mock gaffes". Retrieved 2016-09-17.
  6. ^ The sixth tone. "Rear Admiral's Rally Cry to Youth Gets Lost in Laughter".