Asymmetric Dialogue

China a top player in military aviation


The CM-401 anti-ship ballistic missile system at the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province on November 6. Photo: Liu Xuanzun/GT
With companies from 43 countries and regions participating, more than 200 aircraft traded at Airshow China 2018 last week, leading Chinese experts believe that China is playing a bigger role in the global aviation industry.
The air show, which ended on Sunday in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, saw 239 aircraft sold with deals worth more than $21.2 billion signed, the show's organizer said in a statement released on Sunday on its WeChat account.
Some 770 companies from 43 countries and regions participated in the show, a 10 percent increase from the 2016 show, setting a new record in scale, the statement said.
Of all companies participating, 350 came from overseas. In 2016 there were only 320 foreign exhibitors, the statement said.
Wang Ya'nan, chief editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told the Global Times on Monday that "these statistics show that China's aviation industry quickly integrating into the international aviation industry, and that China is moving to even higher positions."
Wang said that there is no denying that China has become one of the world leaders in military aviation after the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force displayed its most advanced J-20 fighter jet and the J-10B, now equipped with a thrust vectoring control system.
China is also enjoying success in the export of drones, Chinese manufacturers said.
Wang said that China's expertise in making drones is world-class, and that the country is now designing the CH-7 and CH-10.
However, China's aviation development is unbalanced, as it heavily favors the military, which means China has a long way to go in terms of civil and utility aviation, Wang noted.
The Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) exhibited its CR929 wide-body passenger aircraft for the first time at the air show, while agreements for the ARJ21 regional jetliner were also signed there.
China knows it still faces a gap with the world standard and is pushing forward its civil aviation development, Wang said, noting that "with the number of participating civil aircraft and companies, civil aviation was more of a focus at this year's air show compared to the past."
The statement said about 450,000 people visited the six-day show.
The next Airshow China will be held from November 10-15, 2020, also in Zhuhai, the statement announced.