China played "America the Beautiful" to accompany first launch of space station

Tiangong is the first module of a Chinese space station that could be completed by 2020.

Maybe some Chinese folks didn't know what they we listening too and maybe it was just a mistake, but a number of news outlets reported that China's state TV  (CCTV) this week played "America the Beautiful" as it broadcast the country's first space station launch.

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From the BBC: The song is regarded by many as an unofficial national anthem for the US, and features the line: 'America! America! God shed his grace on thee.'   Viewers of CCTV were treated to a minute-long animation set to the American song. The video features only the music from the song and not the lyrics. Millions watched the take-off of Tiangong-1 on Thursday."

From the Guardian: "The choice of soundtrack for the Tiangong launch raised several questions. Is this the work of an idealist seeking to usher in a new era of trans-Pacific co-operation, a nationalist who wants to colonize American culture as well as outer space, or simply a propaganda gaffe? When asked why an American hymn was chosen, the state channel appeared to be stumped. "I don't know how to answer your question," Chen Zhansheng of the CCTV propaganda department said. "I cannot help you.'"

The Guardian went on to say China had made such use American before: In January CCTV aired a bulletin about air force training that included a clip lifted from the Tom Cruise film Top Gun.

Tiangong, or "heavenly palace" is the first module of a Chinese space station that could be completed by 2020.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  

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