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Airshow China displays nation's confidence, openness


Updated: 2021-10-08

China is further displaying its unremitting pursuit of aerospace dream and commitment to wider opening up at the Airshow China 2021, attracting the world's attention with moves far beyond inspiring acrobatic flights.

China unveiled an array of new military and civilian aircraft, its latest space exploration achievements, and a series of cutting-edge electronic technologies and products at this year's Airshow China, or the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong Province.

About 700 companies from around 40 countries and regions brought thousands of exhibits to participate in the airshow both online and offline.


Rounds of cheers broke out among the audience for the amazing flight shows, including flights of the J-20 stealth fighter jets powered by domestically developed engines, the water-dropping performance of the AG600 large amphibious aircraft, and an independent flight of the Wing Loong-2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

All these aircraft highlighted China's independently developed core and key technologies.

The J-20 was among the array of new aircraft brought by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force to the airshow. Others included a new high-altitude reconnaissance drone, WZ-7. The Y-20 heavy transport aircraft and other major battle equipment were also displayed at the show.

The PLA Air Force is working in line with the strategic requirements of integrating air and space capabilities as well as coordinating offensive and defensive operations. Its goal is to advance toward building itself into a world-class strategic air force, said Commander of the PLA Air Force Chang Dingqiu at the airshow.

China has been working hard to master independent key and core technologies in its aerospace sector, to safeguard the national security, economic development, and people's livelihood.

"Wing Loong performed the large UAV's first airshow flight. The great progress comes from the development of the country's complete aviation industry, and also from the advancement of key technologies," said Li Yidong, chief designer of the Wing Loong series UAV and deputy general manager of AVIC (Chengdu) Unmanned Aircraft System Co., Ltd.

"Wing Loong has started to serve the people in emergency rescue support, meteorological monitoring and artificial precipitation missions," Li said.


The aerospace industry not only reflects a country's sci-tech and manufacturing strength, but also connects a long industrial chain with many industrial players globally.

The Airshow China is a platform for global companies to cooperate with China, an open aerospace power and the world's second-largest civil aviation market with strong post-pandemic prospects.

"China is a big market, and is continuously opening up. Boeing is very bullish on the Chinese market," said Sherry Carbary, Boeing China president.

"We continue to look for opportunities to invest in China in support of our customers," she said.

At the airshow, Boeing and local partners announced plans to create two new production lines for converted freighters in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou. The plan will add capacity for the 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to help meet strong market demand.

Airbus Helicopters signed a strategic cooperation agreement and a contract with State Grid General Aviation Company to enhance its support and service capability with more localized solutions in China.

"I really love the energy and excitement about the airshow. We have brought here some really new and interesting things, such as connected aircraft solutions and green aviation technologies. We're signing many new cooperation agreements with customers and partners," said Steven Lien, president of Honeywell China and Aerospace Asia Pacific.

China is the U.S. aerospace giant's second-biggest market. "The wider opening up of China and its economic vitality will enable us to do even more of what we've been doing for the past decades here, and we are sure to continue to accelerate," Lien added.


Exploring the sky and universe has been a never-ending dream of the nation.

Thanks to the unremitting efforts in the space exploration and aviation sector, the dream has gradually come true.

At the airshow, a long queue lined up at the booth of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Lunar soil, together with the Chang'e-5 re-entry capsule and the sealed container that brought the lunar soil back to Earth, attracted thousands of visitors every day.

"The booth has been a super popular spot since the opening of the airshow as countless introductions were given every day. Kids and teenagers are so excited to see what's on the moon," said a guide.

The Mars exploration mission is also a carrier of this Chinese dream. On May 22, China's first Mars rover Zhurong drove down a ladder and landed on the surface of Mars, making China the second country after the United States to operate a rover on the red planet. Zhurong's small steps on the red planet marked a huge leap for China's deep space exploration.

According to Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the CNSA, China has operated 152 launch missions, sending 341 spacecraft into orbit, and signed 44 space cooperation documents with 14 countries and two international organizations over the past five years.

China has carried out various cooperations with countries including Russia, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Pakistan in missions exploring the moon, Mars and outer space, Wu said.

"It is our dream to explore the universe and make better utilization of the universe for the benefit of mankind, which cannot be realized without persistent efforts and cooperation with countries all over the world," Wu said.

More Chinese youths are taking up the missions of their predecessors. David Hong, a Hong Kong student at Shenzhen University, said he was considering a career in the aerospace industry after watching the airshow.

"I am so proud of my country. It is an honor to have the opportunity to witness the cutting-edge technologies and talk with the engineers and developers. I would be excited to be part of the aerospace industry and contribute to my country and my people," said Hong.

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