China displayed for the first time its first unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV), the Pterodactyl UAV, at the Paris Air Show last week. Defense analyst Wendell Minnick explains in Defense News how China’s new toys can change the power balance by circumventing current embargoes and other regulations.
The model, also known as the Wing Loong, could be the first step by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to break the West’s grip on the UAV market by providing affordable and reliable alternatives that also bypass US embargoes, sanctions and regulations. This is particularly the case for African and Middle Eastern countries to which the US is legally constrained from selling arms, or in the case of Israel, refuses to do so.
A report issued by Kimberly Hsu, policy analyst for military and security affairs at the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, “China’s Military Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Industry,” warns China’s inexpensive and multifunctional unmanned aerial systems are poised to steal the international UAV market away from the US and Israel.
Hsu’s report said that the US and Israel are “the top two UAV exporters worldwide and the only two countries confirmed to have exported strategic-level UAVs, are members of the two principal multilateral regimes that address UAV exports — the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Wassenaar Arrangement.” China is not a member of either and “in the absence of competition from more sophisticated US or Israeli alternatives, China could become a key proliferator to non-members of the MTCR or Wassenaar.”
The upcoming cyber war is the subject of the +China Weekly Hangout on Thursday 27 June. The revelations by Edward Snowden showed that the US is preparing a military shake-out, as both China, Russia and other countries are building up their cyber war capacities too. Joining us are former security consultant +Mathew Hoover and media en communication lecturer +Paul Fox of the Hong Kong University. Moderation by +Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.
In many ways, the power balance is shifting in favor or China, although we do not always realize that. The China Weekly Hangout discussed on March 7 the advances different Chinese media groups make in Africa with veteran journalists Eric Olander of the China Africa Project, and Lara Farrar, previously working for both the China Daily and CNN. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra, president of the China Speakers Bureau.