Home USA News Aviashov aims to position China as a global competitor

Aviashov aims to position China as a global competitor

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BEIJING (AP) — China is showing off its latest generation fighter jets and civilian planes this week as it seeks to carve out a bigger role in the global arms trade and compete with Boeing and Airbus.

China is now the world’s fourth-largest arms exporter, and its expanding domestic industry has allowed itself to shed its former dependence on Russia. With strong state backing, it now competes for the sale of drones, fighter jets and missile defense systems, as well as major Cold War-era ground weapons and munitions.

Military aircraft on display since Tuesday include a low-profile J-20 fighter jet and a YU-20 refueler.

The air show in the southern city of Zhuhai comes as Russia’s war against Ukraine has depleted supplies to the point where the United States has accused North Korea of ​​supplying Soviet-era munitions, such as artillery shells, to replenish Russian stockpiles.

Between 2017 and 2021, China accounted for 4.6% of total global arms exports, ranking fourth behind the US, Russia and France, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The bulk of its exports went to Pakistan, a longtime ally that shares a mutual rival in another regional giant, India.

On the civilian side, state-owned aircraft maker The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China is planning 15-minute demonstration flights of its C919 jet, which it hopes will compete with the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320. The project is long overdue and reportedly over budget, while a sharp reduction in air travel due to China’s strict COVID-19 policy has delayed plans by domestic carriers to add planes to their fleets.

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