BEIJING — The action-packed, prime-time segment on Chinese state-run television featured an elite police force storming a gated desert compound and sprinting toward a white, three-story house.

To some viewers, that house looked familiar.

The structure bore an uncanny resemblance to the compound in Pakistan where United States Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden in 2011. Like that house, this one had a wide, flat roof and small windows; the verandas and the outhouses were similar, and even the triangular yard was of the same proportions.

The news item, broadcast Friday on a China Central Television channel devoted to military affairs, did not mention bin Laden or point out the similarities to the compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad where he spent his last years in hiding. But an eagle-eyed fan of the People’s Liberation Army noticed, posting a screen shot of the replica on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, along with several photos of the bin Laden compound for comparison.

“Imitating and then innovating is better than working on your own behind closed doors,” one Weibo user said in a comment on the post.

Read the whole story from The New York Times.

Featured image courtesy of Reuters.