Chinese military to conduct ‘dazzling display of advanced weaponry’ in upcoming airshow

China’s military will be displaying some of its most advanced weaponry and equipment when the country’s largest airshow gets underway this week, Al Jazeera reported.

The Global Times reported that there would be dazzling flight performances involving the J-20, the air force’s most advanced fighter jet.

Other advanced aircraft including the J-16D electronic warfare aircraft, WZ-7 high-altitude drone and WZ-8 high-altitude, high-speed drone, would also be on static display at the outdoor exhibition area for the first time, The Global Times, reported.

The show will be highlighting the country’s efforts to improve homegrown aerospace technology, which comes amid growing strategic rivalry in the Pacific.

The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia have recently announced a trilateral security pact for the region, including the provision of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia, while the Quad State leaders met in person for the first time at the White House on Friday.

The Quad includes the US, Australia, Japan and India and is seen as an effort to counter the rise of China, which has become increasingly assertive in the region, partly in disputed South China and over Taiwan.

More than 100 aircraft have registered for display in the air or on the ground as China shows off its military might and its space ambitions, including a next-generation crewed rocket and heavy-lift launch vehicle.

The flying displays will feature some products China wants to export, including the AG600, the world’s largest amphibious aircraft, designed for fire-fighting and sea-rescue roles.

The Wing Loong II, an armed drone similar to the American MQ-9 Reaper, has already been sold to customers including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan as China competes against Western rivals to increase military exports, Al Jazeera reported.

A new series of drone products named Feihong, including an unmanned helicopter, loitering missiles and a new generation of stealth drones, will make their debut at the show.

“Beijing is intent on not just pushing locally made military aircraft and aerospace technologies, but also its ability to address almost any military requirement out there,” said Kelvin Wong, a Singapore-based defence technology analyst at Janes.

Taiwan has complained repeatedly of incursions by China’s air force. Beijing claims the democratically-governed island as its own.

China has also built artificial islets and established military outposts far into the South China Sea, which is also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

It claims to almost the entire sea, based on its controversial nine-dash line, was dismissed by a court in The Hague in 2016 after the Philippines took legal action.

However, Beijing has ignored the ruling.


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