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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Global Times

President Xi calls to break new ground in weaponry, equipment development, assigns relevant missions in 14th Five-Year Plan

Global Times

By Yang Sheng and Leng Shumei Published: Oct 26, 2021 11:18 PM

Chinese President Xi Jinping has urged efforts to break new ground in the development of the country's military weaponry and equipment, and contribute to the realization of the goals set for the centennial of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), the Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), made the remarks at a military conference on weaponry and equipment-related work, which was held in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday.

Xi extended sincere greetings to the participants of the conference and those working on the relevant front. Hailing the historic achievements in weaponry and equipment development over the past five years, Xi said the progress has served as the material and technological underpinning for the country's strategic capabilities, military strength in particular.

He called for efforts to accelerate the implementation of tasks for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25) and advance the building of a modernized management system for weaponry and equipment.

CMC Vice Chairman Zhang Youxia also attended the conference. Speaking at the event, Zhang stressed efforts to create strong synergy in weaponry and equipment development, focus on the needs of national security, pay close attention to practical military preparedness, boost sci-tech self-reliance and self-improvement, aim for the world's top class, and speed up the modernization of weaponry and equipment.

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the core of Xi's speech coincides with China's targets to realize informization, mechanization and intelligentization ahead of the 100th anniversary in 2027 of the PLA's founding and basically complete the modernization of China's national defense and armed forces by 2035.

"To improve the combat capacity of the PLA, the key is to realize technical independence and strength. As we are facing a tough security environment, we should grasp in our hands as many core technologies as possible," Song explained.

Facing the current intense security situation, China has to build a strong military to get well prepared for possible future wars, Song noted. "So the PLA needs to aim for becoming a world-class military force, the weaponry that China develops should at least empower its military with strength to defeat the world's most powerful and most advanced military force in the region."

The next?

At Airshow China 2021, which was held from late September to early October in Zhuhai, South China's Guangdong Province, top designers and engineers of multiple Chinese advanced weapons, aircraft and other equipment announced or unveiled some new plans for the country's weaponry and equipment development.

Yang Wei, chief designer of China's J-20 stealth fighter jet, said at a press conference at the airshow that the use of domestically built engines is just the beginning for the J-20 upgrades, and the aircraft will continue to be improved in the fields of mechanization and informatization.

"Assuming we do have a twin-seat version of the J-20, it would not be a trainer aircraft, because it would be developed for the enhancement of the aircraft," Yang noted.

When answering a media question related to the next member of the "20-family" aircraft, which is widely believed to be the H-20, a highly expected next-generation strategic bomber, Yang said, "Chinese military enthusiasts' dreams will come true."

China will also reveal new progress on its next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet this year, the maker of the aircraft said at a press conference at Airshow China.

"When the aircraft is ready, people will get to see it," said Sun Cong, chief designer of the J-15, China's first-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet.

"This year, people should be able to see good news on the next-generation aircraft carrier-based fighter jet," Sun said, who is also the chief designer of the FC-31, China's second stealth fighter jet.

For maritime weapons and equipment development, China Central Television predicted in January that China's third aircraft carrier could be launched soon.

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