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Beijing to unveil new aircraft at international aviation exhibition in Zhuhai

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Beijing to unveil new aircraft at international aviation exhibition in Zhuhai

China
Photo: Reuters/Stringer

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force will unveil several new aircraft today at the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China 2021.

One anticipated reveal is the J-16D, an electronic fighter jet allegedly designed to compete with the US-made Boeing EA-18G Growler. Also on display will be the new WZ-7, a high-altitude long endurance drone.

The unveiling of increasingly advanced aircraft signals China’s continued development of a homegrown weapons industry. Although China still purchases large quantities of arms, notably from Russia, Beijing continues to develop its own military capabilities and defense sector.

Expect the aircraft unveiled today at Airshow China 2021 to increase tensions regionally The WZ-7 is likely intended for maritime surveillance, and its unveiling comes on the heals of a US-Australia submarine deal interpreted by regional players as an effort to curb China’s growing presence in the South China sea. The J-16D demonstrates China’s intention to start competing with American producers like Boeing, and likely will ring alarm bells internationally. A China capable of producing its own advanced technology, and less dependent on Russia, likely will prove more difficult for Western powers to contain by the end of the decade.

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