China has cancelled its biggest air show for this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Airshow China – held every two years in the southern city of Zhuhai – is a chance for some of the world’s largest arms manufacturers to showcase their top military hardware, but has been called off because the “global situation of the Covid-19 pandemic is still developing rapidly”, organisers said on Tuesday.
The six-day air show, formally known as the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition, was expected to start on November 10 but was postponed until further notice after “careful consideration regarding the health of our guests and exhibitors”.
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The show has traditionally featured Chinese and Russian military technology but also attracts participants from other parts of the world. American aerospace giant Boeing confirmed its participation in July.
It was last held in November 2018, attracting 770 exhibitors from 48 countries, according to the organisers. Among the hardware on display were China’s J-20 and J-10C fighters and its CH-5 combat drone. Russia and China also presented a model of a CR929 passenger aircraft, a jointly developed alternative to the Boeing 787.
When the project was unveiled in 2015, the first CR929s were expected to be delivered in 2025 but that date has been pushed back to 2029 amid disagreements between China and Russia on suppliers, according to Russian media reports.
The air show is organised by Chinese government, military and aerospace industry, including the People’s Liberation Army’s ground forces, navy and rocket forces.
China is the world’s second-biggest producer of arms, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Three of the sponsors of the air show – Norinco, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (Avic) – are by some estimates believed to be among the top 10 global arms producers in the world by international sales.
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This article Coronavirus: China calls off top international air show first appeared on South China Morning Post