Pride brought by Airshow China a natural reaction against hegemony: Global Times editorial
Published: Nov 11, 2022 12:12 AM
China's Hongying (or Red Eagle) Aerobatic Team of the PLA Air Force Aviation University performed at the 14th Airshow China in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, on November 9, 2022. The 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as Airshow China, kicked off on Tuesday. Photos: Cui Meng/GT

China's Hongying (or Red Eagle) Aerobatic Team of the PLA Air Force Aviation University performed at Airshow China in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, on November 9, 2022. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Since the launch of the 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) on November 8, new content and images have been hitting social media every day. The super high attention and continuous buzz in Chinese society has made the Airshow China more than just a China-sponsored international aerospace expo, but also a window to observe China. 

At this airshow, which Reuters called "historic," a series of previously mysterious advanced products made their "global debut" or "China debut." The world can see China's strength and Chinese people's pride through the airshow. From the outside to the inside, the world can see that the background of this strength and pride is pacifism.

Many people who went to the Airshow China used "shock" to describe their feelings at the scene. People can see all kinds of legendary weapons of great powers, such as the J-20, Z-20, Y-20 series, as well as various unmanned aerial vehicles, and so on. These images spread rapidly through the internet, presenting the great progress of China's aerospace technology and high-end weaponry to hundreds of millions of Chinese people. Some netizens compared this year's Airshow China with the first one in 1996, which made people feel like a lifetime ago. The 14th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition is a vivid journey of how China's technology and manufacturing are moving toward self-reliance. This achievement is undoubtedly exciting. Seeing that the motherland has quickly caught up and become stronger from its backward foundation, every patriot will feel joy in their heart. Let us release this cheerful and simple emotion to the fullest, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. 

The national pride and patriotic sentiments that the Chinese burst out of the Airshow China have also attracted the attention of the world. It needs to be emphasized that the main body of this sentiment is constructive and defensive, with no destructive and offensive elements. Some experts at the airshow said that what was seen in people's attention and interest in the advanced weapons and equipment is their desire to safeguard peace. China has been bullied by foreign powers in modern history, and it is still the target of hegemonic powers today. Therefore, the Chinese are more eager to make their country strong, so that to better defend their national interests, not to bully others. This is something the Chinese have always been conscious of. The pride brought by the Airshow China has helped Chinese people to get out of the frustration and anxiety of being inferior to others, to walk out of the historic sorrows, and become one of the stations to cultivate the mentality of a great power.

Of course, Chinese people won't get "dizzy" for any progress or achievement. Remarks on the internet sometimes show that confidence is through the roof, while other times improperly belittle themselves, but the mainstream view has been largely sober. The gap between China's aerospace industry, national defense buildup and the world's first-class level is obviously narrowing. In some specific sectors, China has surpassed the world-class level. But in general, the gap still exists. To reach breakthrough in each sector and then expand the advantages requires continuous endeavors by all. More and more people in China are having more professional discussions, taking a comprehensive view of the country's progress and deficiencies, in order to achieve a higher level through exchanges and mutual learning.

The cutting-edge weapon technologies and armament manufacturing capabilities displayed at the Airshow China are enough to give the Chinese people confidence in their national defense. It is unimaginable who would dare to conduct a full-scale aggression against China today. But China has not yet completed its reunification. There are separatists at home and anti-China forces abroad. The two forces are colluding with each other. China needs stronger national defense strength to safeguard its national interests and world peace. No one has the right or the way to stop it. "To be mindful of possible danger in time of peace" and "the essence of using force is to stop violence" are important elements of traditional Chinese strategic culture. 

We are well aware that peace needs to be fought for and it needs to be maintained. Some countries allow themselves to jeopardize the soil for peace through various means, but never allow others to create conditions for peace with their own efforts. Such hegemonic logic cannot stop China from progressing. 

It is worth mentioning that the show marks the first time Boeing of the US, Airbus of Europe and China's COMAC displayed their respective single-aisle jets on the same stage. During the show, the Chinese Air Force also expressed its willingness to further expand exchanges, strengthen cooperation and promoting friendship with air forces of other countries and make greater contributions to promoting the building of a mutually beneficial, win-win, safe and harmonious aerospace environment. From this perspective, Airshow China is not only a platform for displaying advanced technologies, but also a window for China to open up to the world at a high level, and a stage for gathering peace-loving forces.