A renowned PLA navy expert has defended his theory that "smog helps to fend off enemy weapons," insisting that internet users had only taken part of his argument.
Zhang Zhaozhong.[File photo]
Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong, a renowned Chinese military theorist said in a TV interview that smog could be an excellent defense for laser weapons, because the metal particles in smog can effectively block lasers.
"Smog with PM2.5 readings of 500-600 is virtually impenetrable to lasers. In clear weather, laser weapons have a range of 10 kilometers, but smog can reduce this to less than 1 kilometer," he said.
His opinion was instantly attacked by internet users, who accused him of "preaching the advantages of smog in war," and proposing a "naive and reckless defense theory."
Zhang told the Beijing Youth Daily that his remark "contained no factual errors" but was purposefully taken out of context. He defended his position by saying he used the simplest explanation – "smog reduces visibility" – to illustrate his point. He advised readers to watch the entire interview before jumping to a conclusion.
According to the rear admiral, the interview was prerecorded and it was "merely by chance that it was broadcast on an extremely smoggy day." He said he felt no intrusion seeing his theories being targeted, and is open to other interpretations.
Zhang declined to comment on the lingering smog that has shrouded North China for several days.