For the first time, China’s Navy has appointed a female officer as the commanding officer of one of its surface combatants.
Radio Free Asia said Wei Hui Xiao became China’s first female captain after 10 years. While it makes netizens question her qualifications, some intellectuals evaluate her as a model for propaganda.
According to China’s Baidu encyclopedia, Wei Hui Xiao obtained a Ph.D. from the Department of Earth Science at Sun Yat-sen University. She joined the Navy with a 200-page self-recommendation letter and passed the examination three days later.
In 2012, she joined the army, was assigned to the aircraft carrier force to participate in the work of the Liaoning ship, and attended the Dalian Naval Academy.
In 2016, Wei Hui Xiao became the first female deputy captain of the People’s Liberation Army.
In 2017, she was transferred to the 052 large destroyers Zhengzhou as the deputy captain. In the same year, Wei Hui Xiao was appointed as the trainee captain of the Zhengzhou ship and was elected to the 19th National Congress.
From April 2022, she serves as the captain of the 052 large guided-missile destroyers Shaoxing.
Radio Free Asia had an interview with Su Ziyun, Director of Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense think tank. He stated that Wei Hui Xiao’s ten-year career path was very unusual.
Su Ziyun took U.S. regulations as an example, where women’s roles in the armed forces are just as important as men’s. He added that a frigate captain usually has more than 20 years of experience.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the captain-selectee typically needs 21 to 23 years of experience to become a captain.
Su Ziyun said that although public information shows that Wei Xiaohui passed the examination for the deputy captain, some netizens have a question about whether there were any irregularities in the so-called examination.
According to netizens on Weibo, the speed of promotion is enviable. The inclusion of a woman is not celebrated but distrusted. Some of them were even asking to see Wei Hui Xiao’s assessment of the result.
However, according to Su Ziyun, the problem lies in the serious lack of qualifications of the female captains. He thinks that the appointment of the PLA Navy was purely an internal propaganda effect.
In addition, according to Su Ziyun, the Chinese government may want to appoint a female captain as a model as the Chinese Navy has quite a few ships .
He said that this move by the Chinese government revealed their practices and what they socially promote.