China’s achievement at Airshow indicates pursuing path of independent innovation necessary

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/6 22:18:41

China's most advanced stealth fighter jet, the J-20, made a surprise appearance on Tuesday at the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province. The air show, which is held every two years, gives observers a chance to anticipate the future of global competition in military and civil aviation technology.

At the ongoing event, Chinese military and aeronautic devices and equipment that feature advanced technology has increasingly attracted attention from international buyers. Although a latecomer in the aviation market, China is getting increasingly close to major powers like the US and European countries in the use of certain technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Chinese commercial drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co was formerly blacklisted by the US Army due to security concerns, but the company is still dominating the market for UAVs and has achieved 18 billion yuan ($2.6 billion) in sales, most of which derive from overseas markets.

Although trade conflicts have arisen between China and the US, economic cooperation is indispensable for bilateral ties. China and the US are growing highly interdependent in economic terms, but China is no longer always a recipient of advanced technologies from bilateral trade and investment. Military and aeronautic devices from China are increasingly appealing to international buyers, and growing sales will challenge the longstanding monopoly of Western countries in the arms market. Although China's overall strength in aviation technology still lags behind the US, the country has become an important exporter of sophisticated aviation technology.

China's achievement is the result of its efforts to pursue a path of independent innovation, and the country has to continue on this route.

Amid the intensifying trade conflict, China must be more self-sufficient in technology to promote innovation. The US government has massive concerns about Chinese companies taking over leading US technology companies and has tightened controls over technology exchanges with China.

Chinese policymakers should have a clear understanding of the increasingly challenging situation and encourage local companies to invest more in innovation.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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