Global Times duped by artistic photo of futuristic armed Japanese helicopter
Newspaper claimed helicopter was Japanese military's new project
The Global Times, one of China's most influential newspapers, has yet to retract an embarrassing photo gallery on its website of what it says is a futuristic Japanese military helicopter.
The nationalist paper claims the armed helicopter was "designed by Japanese experts and bears the insignia of the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Forces", the country's land forces.
"Judging from the current level of technology, this armed helicopter seems a bit like science-fiction," it cautions.
Indeed, it is. The "AT-C97-08 Fuujin Attack Helicopter" is a photoshopped rendition by a Lucas Film digital artist in Singapore, according to computer games website Kotaku.
Indonesian Ridwan Chandra first posted the pictures on the online artists platform deviantART. His graphics have been inspired by the Japanese manga series Ghost in the Shell, he writes commenting on an earlier drawing.
The Global Times has a history of stoking Chinese nationalism and hostility towards Japan. "Japan is like a marijuana smoker, who enjoys the excitement of the moment but is ultimately damaging itself at the same time," an editorial said in April.
"A military clash is more likely," another editorial stated in January. "We shouldn't have the illusion that Japan will be deterred by our firm stance. We need to prepare for the worst."
But Global Times is not alone. The state-run news agency Xinhua also carried the photo gallery. On Friday, the People's Daily called unspecified Japanese politicians "contemptible scoundrels".
Ridwan Chandra could not be reached for immediate comment.