China, subject to the indisputable dictates of its ambitious leader, is simultaneously trying to dominate a world of increasing hostility. A combination of factors to determine the context of his recent show of strength, in this weather case. The Asian giant has moved the most powerful ships in its very complete arsenal, with the 14th edition of the China Air Show starting in Zhuhai, a city in Guangdong Province across the border from Macau, as an excuse.
Four J-20s, the jewel of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, crossed the skyline, tracking watermarks in the air and releasing multi-colored smoke before making their first public landing. A stealth fighter, in service since 2018, up to the challenge in its genesis: its first flight tests in 2011 coincided with the then-US Secretary of Defense’s trip to China, Robert Gates. The head of the regime, today an elder or an outlaw, questioned Hu Jintao, who denied any connection between these events.
The AG600M amphibious seaplane was one of the stars of the show. The tanker demonstrated its ability to put out fires by releasing a large load of water that can absorb up to thirteen tons in just twenty seconds. The official press noted that the troop flaunting contained a “deterrent” message directed at “Taiwan separatists and foreign interference.”
China has also introduced new models of drones with its own defense systems. These UAVs played a prominent role during incursions into areas near Taiwan this summer, and are part of the military exercises in which the Chinese military responded to the historic presence on the island of Nancy Pelosi, the US House of Representatives, and as such. The third power in the country. “Anyone who plays with fire will end up getting burned,” Xi Jinping threatened during a phone conversation with Joe Biden.
The president reiterated his combat readiness during a visit to the Central Military Commission Operations Center. “The world is witnessing unprecedented changes in a century, accelerating its development and increasing instability and uncertainty about the security of our country,” he said. Proceeding from this premise, he ordered the army “to devote all its energies to remain ready to fight, and to enhance its ability to fight and win.”
This is the first body scan after Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party, a date during which Xi continued to be in power, and began a third extraordinary period that asserts that he is the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. During his inaugural address from the Great Hall of the People, he insisted that China reserves the right to use force to subjugate Taiwan, which it considers a rebellious province. He also stressed the importance of “winning regional wars.”
Despite all the technological advancements, nothing matters to an aircraft more than the person at the controls. In recent weeks, cases of former British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers have been revealed who, through South Africa’s Test Flying Academy (TFASA) in South Africa, were to begin training Chinese pilots for a generous reward. Australia has already announced an investigation, and the UK is preparing a legal reform banning these practices. Air Force sources told ABC that they had no evidence that any Spanish military had contact with the organization in question.
But not all news in Zhuhai is military. After more than a decade of preparations, the Asian giant has introduced its first self-produced civilian aircraft, the C919, developed by Comac to rival Airbus and Boeing. The state company will deliver the first model to China Eastern Airlines before the end of the year, and has announced that it has received more than 300 orders. A milestone that opens up a new competition, purely commercial, in a world where hostility and ambition, not by chance, advance in parallel.