China Seeks to Carve out Greater Share of the Global Arms Market


From 8-13 November, China held its premier aerospace and defense show at Zhuhai International Airport in this southern port city. Foreigners were not invited, and there was a palpable air of tension due to the possibility of a snap lockdown as China attempts to eliminate COVID-19.
Nonetheless, as with previous editions of the biennial show, there were a great number of new platforms and important revelations emanating from Airshow China 2022. Of course, there was a typically bewildering array of weapons, vehicles, helicopters and aircraft as Chinese industry seeks to meet the needs of the rapidly modernizing People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and to capture lucrative export markets. Indeed, just about all of the weapons and platforms currently used by the PLA are available for export now. China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), for example, was promoting its export-version Type 052DE destroyer. This is the first time this advanced warship has been marketed in the international arena.
A Type 052DE brochure listed a length of approximately 159m and displacement of 6,800t for the destroyer. It has a cruising speed of 16 knots over a range of 4,000 nautical miles, or a maximum speed of 28 knots.
CSSC listed typical sensors and weapon systems, though “the main subsystems or equipment could be selected according to the user›s demands”.
Such statements, highlighting China’s accommodation of diverse customer requirements, are very important. Indeed, it was a recurrent theme at Airshow China 2022, as Beijing seeks to corner more and more of the global arms trade.
Remember too that Russia is embroiled in a bitter war with Ukraine, with vast amounts of vehicles, aircraft, helicopters, small arms and munitions expended or lost. Given the seriousness of its losses, and the impact of Western-led sanctions, Moscow›s supply chain has been severely disrupted. latestly