After watching the US struggle with its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jet program, the Chinese Government has been working on their own answer to the F-35 and become a further driving force in the South China Sea and Pacific. The J-31 stealth fighter is produced in mainland China and represents the second state-manufactured fighter jet. The new aircraft is equipped with two engines and was recently unveiled at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibitions in Zhuhai. The unveiling comes as US President Barack Obama is visiting the region to attend the Asia-Pacific summit.
China to capitalize on J-31 aircraft’s exports
Aside from keeping up with US military innovations, China hopes to capitalize on the J-31 aircraft as an export to countries that are unable to receive US arm shipments. This certainly presents a future problem, as countries deemed not safe for arms exports by US will have access to a next generation fighter jet potentially. “Experts predict that the J-31 will make rapid inroads in the international market in the future, and will undoubtedly steal the limelight from the F-35” says the Communist Party’s People’s Daily.
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China has seen military strengthening and innovation under President Xi Jinping. Tensions in the region with Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and US, have expedited a few weapons programs in China, as they look to once again gain an upper edge on territorial rivals nearby.
China’s moves in to stealth tech
Besides the J-31, China has been interested in creating a drone fleet similar to that of the US. Last year, China successfully tested a stealth drone and looks to continue building upon attack drones. However, the Chinese Government has also created a laser weapon to take down drones, not many months after the US Navy unveiled a laser cannon to take out aircraft. The new laser weapon is able to take down drone and other small aircraft up to 1.2 miles away and with the aircraft going 112 miles per hour and flying around an altitude of 1,600 feet.
It has been no secret that China has been wanting to upgrade and modernize the Chinese military to counter US strength and other Asian countries that China has disputes with. However, as the old argument goes, a US-China war would have disastrous outcome on both our economies and the world economy. Being that the US and China have the first and second largest economies in the world, a war would greatly disrupt trade and business operations in both our countries. It would have to be a very significant event to trigger something like a war, and ultimately, Russia remains a much bigger threat to the US than China. That being said, it is never too late to start working on increasing trade and economic ties with China to further intertwine our economic outlooks.