Ian Patrick, FISM News
The ever-growing threat of a dominant Chinese military became more of a reality as the nation recently unveiled new technology – specifically dealing with aircraft.
Last week, the Communist nation unveiled new military technology in an air show in Zhuhai which they had been keeping under wraps until now. The show was also a display of China’s aspirations for self-sufficient commercial flights and the expansion of their space exploration capabilities.
The show was hard to attend for anyone not in the mainland, as China’s travel restrictions remain tight. The air show, usually held every other year, was also pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the new hardware at the showcase was the WZ-7 Xianglong and the CH-6, both reconnaissance drones; China’s J16-D fighter jet which an altered version of the already existing J-16 featuring electronic disrupting equipment; and the Y20-A transport aircraft. China also flew its J-20 fighter jets above the spectators, boasting homemade engines which replaced the Russian manufactured ones previously used.
All-in-all, the show was a metaphorical flexing of their muscles to the nation’s adversaries, particularly the West. China has been making recent claims to territories and lands that the West says it does not own, most notably the South China Sea and Taiwan.
China has recently flown military planes near Taiwan, worrying the democratic nation and incurring action from the West in the form of military exercises in the region.
Bradley Perrett, a specialist on Asian aerospace and defense, says the J-16D especially is a “threat to Taiwan since it can attack anti-aircraft defenses that Taiwan must rely on heavily in any Chinese attempt to forcibly take control of the island.”
People’s Liberation Army Air Force Commander Wang Wei also seemingly responded to a statement from U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall who said the U.S. would make weapons to “scare China.” Although Wei did not address that comment directly, he did say, “I can only say, if they are not scared, let us meet in the sky.”