n November, China displayed its latest jet fighter and military hardware as well as commercial planes at the 11th China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, in Zhuhai, Guangdong. Thousands of on‑site spectators and millions of interested foreign investors and governments followed the television‑broadcasted event. The airshow, which opened on 1st of November and closed on 6th of November 2016, was hosted at Zhuhai’s civilian airport. Attendance during the first three days was restricted to those in the aviation trade, totaling 135,000 people; the second half of the show was open to the public, attracting a crowd of 230,000. Featuring crowd‑pleasing entertainment, dazzling aerial acrobatics displays were put on by the Red Arrows of Britain, the People Liberation
Y‑20 HEAVY TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT
Army (PLA) display team, the Russia Knights and a group from the Pakistani Air Force. This year, China’s only international aerospace exhibition had its largest ever display of military and civilian hardware and aircraft, filling 11 exhibition halls and covering 430,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor viewing space. More than 700 exhibitors from 42 countries and regions – 45 per cent of them from outside the mainland – showed 151 aircraft. Collectively, 402 business deals totaling more than US$40 billion were signed for 187 aircraft. Press coverage was also high with 2,780 journalists from 419 media organisations attending. The airshow, held every other year, started modestly in 1996 but has grown in importance with the dramatic growth of China’s civil aviation industry and the country’s emergence as a major exporter of arms. From 2011–2015, China was the third‑largest arms exporter in the world, after the U.S. and Russia, accounting for 5.9 per cent of global sales. The need to secure export order bids has persuaded the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the country’s arms manufacturers to be increasingly open in publicly showing their
Published on Nov 27, 2016
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