China’s Huawei is now the world’s largest smartphone maker


China’s Huawei is now the world’s largest smartphone maker

That’s according to a new report by Canalys which showed that the majority of sales came from China while its international business suffers as a result of US sanctions.

The Chinese vendor shipped 55.8 million devices, down five percent year on year. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Samsung (which is second in China sales) shipped 53.7 million smartphones, a 30 percent plunge versus the same period last year.

Overall, smartphone shipments in international markets plunged 27 percent year-on-year in the April to June quarter.

Statistics showed that Huawei sold over 70 percent of its smartphones in mainland China in the second quarter. In Europe (a key region for Huawei) the company’s smartphone market share dropped sharply to 16 percent in the second quarter versus 22 percent in the same period in 2019. According to Counterpoint Research, Huawei is the third-largest smartphone maker in Europe behind Samsung and Apple.

Analysts say that given the massive population of China, success there often spurs companies to a large “global” market share.

The analyst added that “Strength in China alone will not be enough to sustain Huawei at the top once the global economy starts to recover.” “It will be hard for Huawei to maintain its lead in the long term,” said analyst at Canalys Mo Jia. “Its major channel partners in key regions, such as Europe, are increasingly wary of ranging Huawei devices, taking on fewer models, and bringing in new brands to reduce risk.”

The growth in shipments comes as Huawei struggles to do international business amid pressure from the United States. In 2019, the Chinese tech company was placed on the US Entity List, which restricted its access to American technology.

Thus, Huawei could not use licensed Google Android on its latest flagship devices. The company was forced to release its own operating system called HarmonyOS last year.

Source: rt.com “China’s Huawei is now the world’s largest smartphone maker”

Note: This is rt.com’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s President Xi Jinping reiterates his support for multilateral cooperation


  • “Let us stay open and inclusive and make the AIIB a new paradigm of multilateral cooperation,” said China’s President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s fifth annual meeting.
  • The AIIB has provided nearly $20 billion in infrastructure investment to its members since its launch in 2016, said Xi.
  • Seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank and Japan-led Asian Development Bank, the AIIB currently has 102 members from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the opening ceremony of the fifth annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank via video link, in Beijing, capital of China, July 28, 2020.
Chinese President Xi Jinping addresses the opening ceremony of the fifth annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank via video link, in Beijing, capital of China, July 28, 2020.
Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday affirmed his country’s commitment to working with others, as he pushed for the cementing of the role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in the global economic governance system.

“Let us stay open and inclusive and make the AIIB a new paradigm of multilateral cooperation,” Xi said Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the the Chinese development bank’s annual meeting, which was held virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Xi called on the bank to “grow into a new platform that promotes development for all its members and facilitates the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.”

The AIIB has provided nearly $20 billion in infrastructure investment to its members since its launch in 2016, said Xi. Seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank and Japan-led Asian Development Bank, the AIIB currently has 102 members from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas.

“Under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the AIIB needs to respond to adjustments and changes in the global economic landscape and engage more development partners in cooperation,” Xi said in Beijing at the start of the two-day event.

“It needs to provide public goods for our region and beyond, push for regional economic integration, and help make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all,” Xi said, according to an official translation from the bank.

VIDEO03:44
The AIIB has set up a Covid-19 crisis recovery facility to help its members deal with the fallout from the global pandemic. The loan facility provides between $5 billion to $10 billion in financing.
The Chinese leader’s words came as the U.S. continues to retreat from its globalization efforts under the administration of President Donald Trump. It also comes as the world’s two largest economies spar on a myriad of issues from trade to technology, amid tensions over the origins of the coronavirus, as well as rivalry in the South China Sea.

AIIB President Jin Liqun said on Wednesday that “because of some of the problems which occurred to globalization, there is some backlash.”

However, he added: “What is important is not to throw out globalization or multilateralism. What is important is to fix problems created in the course of multilateral development of globalized economy.”

“We need to fix the problems but we should not go against globalized economy or global integration,” Jin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Source: CNBC “China’s President Xi Jinping reiterates his support for multilateral cooperation

Note: This is CNBC’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views


America’s F-22 stealth fighter may be limited in Asia-Pacific conditions, China’s J-20 designer says


  • Aircraft has been sent to the region but was designed for combat in Europe, which could affect its capabilities, according to Yang Wei
  • China’s answer to the Raptor has yet to be put to the test in a real combat situation, military expert notes
F-22 Raptors fly above Syria in 2018. A top Chinese aircraft designer says the US stealth fighters were designed for combat in Europe and could face challenges in the Asia-Pacific. Photo: EPA-EFE / US Air Force

America’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighter was designed for combat in Europe but is now being used in the Asia-Pacific, according to a top Chinese aircraft designer, who says the different conditions will limit its capabilities there.

Yang Wei, general designer of China’s first stealth fighter the J-20, said the twin-engine F-22s could face the same challenges in the region as the F-4 fighter-bombers the Pentagon sent to the Vietnam war between 1965 and 1973.

“The complex environment and political constraints in Vietnam caused the F-4 to almost fail to show its high-speed performance and over-the-horizon combat capabilities,” Yang wrote in a paper published in Chinese aeronautics journal Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica last month.

He said the F-22, a tactical fighter inspired by the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union, was designed for battle in Europe and could face similar problems now that it had been deployed in the Asia-Pacific.

The J-20, China’s first stealth fighter, went into service in 2017. Photo: Xinhua
The J-20, China’s first stealth fighter, went into service in 2017. Photo: Xinhua
Yang did not draw any

comparisons between America’s F-22 and China’s J-20

– both fifth-generation, twin-engine heavy fighter jets and of a similar size.

But military experts said his remarks indicated that the J-20 Weilong, or Powerful Dragon, was clearly seen as China’s answer to the F-22.
“The F-22 was originally designed for combat with the former Soviet Union, or today’s Russia, in Europe, but now the Raptor’s main opponent is the [People’s Liberation Army] in the Asia-Pacific,” Song said.
Powerful Dragon v Raptor: how China’s J-20 stealth fighters compare with America’s F-22sPowerful Dragon v Raptor: how China’s J-20 stealth fighters compare with America’s F-22s

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Powerful Dragon v Raptor: how China’s J-20 stealth fighters compare with America’s F-22s

The F-22 has a comparatively shorter range – with a combat radius of 800km (497 miles), while the J-20’s large internal fuel tank can sustain a longer combat radius of 1,100km (684 miles).

But Beijing-based military expert Zhou Chenming noted that the J-20, which entered service in 2017, had yet to be put to the test in a real combat situation.

Andrei Chang, founder of influential military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence, said that in contrast, the F-22’s combat capabilities had been seen, most recently last year when the stealth fighters were sent to Qatar as tensions rose with Iran.
Washington’s hardened position on Beijing’s claims in South China Sea heightens US-China tensionsWashington’s hardened position on Beijing’s claims in South China Sea heightens US-China tensions

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Washington’s hardened position on Beijing’s claims in South China Sea heightens US-China tensions

“At the moment China has about 60 J-20s – just one-third of the total number of F-22s,” said the source, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“Now the US has deployed hundreds of F-35s to the region, so it’s an even bigger threat to China,” he added.

With F-22s being deployed to the Asia-Pacific region – and as relations worsen with Washington, including over the

disputed South China Sea

– Beijing has stepped up development of its new stealth fighter. Mass production of the J-20B

began earlier this month

.

Source: SCMP “America’s F-22 stealth fighter may be limited in Asia-Pacific conditions, China’s J-20 designer says”

Note: This is SCMP’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views


The World’s Largest Seaplane Pulls Off Its First Waterborne Flight


The AG600 Kunlong will undoubtedly have military applications.

BY KYLE MIZOKAMI

JUL 27, 2020

eyesonscichina shandong ag600 maiden flight from the seacn
XINHUA NEWS AGENCYGETTY IMAGES

  • The AG600 seaplane successfully took off from the water for the first time.

  • The AG600 is the world’s largest and newest seaplane, capable of taking off and landing from the sea.

  • Also known as Kunlong, the AG600 is described as a firefighting and search-and- rescue plane but will almost certainly have military applications.

China’s first seaplane, the AG600 “Kunlong,” took off from water for the first time this weekend, validating the craft’s water takeoff capability. Kunlong is the world’s largest seaplane, and though Chinese state media doesn’t mention, it will undoubtedly have military applications. The seaplane will be essential, flying from the mainland to Beijing’s island bases in the South China Sea. The aircraft will also be useful locating and rescuing downed pilots in wartime.

The AG600, according to Bejing’s Xinhua state news agency, took off from water for the first time on July 26th. The aircraft took off from the Yellow Sea, near the city of Qingdao in Shandong province. The flight took approximately 31 minutes.

The seaplane is China’s first, part of the country’s relentless expansion in the world of aviation, from jet fighters to commercial aircraft. First introduced in 2017 the AG600 is also the world’s largest seaplane, about the size of a Boeing 737. The plane is 121 feet long with a wingspan of 128 feet. The plane stands 39 feet tall. Kunlong can carry up to 50 passengers a distance of up to 2,700 miles.

2016 airshow china, zhuhai
AG600 at the 2016 Zhuhai air show.

MARINA LYSTSEVAGETTY IMAGES

China’s state media is taking pains to describe the aircraft in strictly civilian terms, describing it as suitable for “forest firefighting, marine rescue and other critical emergency rescue missions.” In the firefighting role, Kunlong can collect 12 tons of water in 20 seconds.

A VERY BIG PLANE

The Largest Seaplane in the World Is Chinese

Here’s a video from CGTN, a Chinese state media source, showing the at-sea takeoff and landing:

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Despite these assertions, the AG600 will almost certainly end up in the hands of the People’s Liberation Army. The PLA is quickly transitioning from a strictly continental force to one capable of projecting power in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans, and a seaplane will enable China to maintain lines of communication to its remote island bases in the Paracel and Spratly island chains in the South China Sea.

The AG600, with a maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, can transport personnel and equipment to places like Mischief Reef in the South China Sea. The ability to take off and land from water will allow the PLA to keep Mischief Reef supplied even if the islet’s airfield is shut down by military action. Other military missions for the AG600 would include rescuing downed pilots at sea, convoy escort, reconnaissance, and anti-submarine warfare.

During World War II the Consolidated Catalina seaplane flew convoy escort, search and rescue, and even attack missions.
KEYSTONEGETTY IMAGES

The AG600 is unarmed but in a military role could carry a limited number of sensors and weapons. In the anti-submarine warfare role, the aircraft could be modified to drop sonobuoys meant to detect enemy submarines. Once an enemy submarine is located, the seaplane could drop anti-submarine depth charges and homing torpedoes to destroy the target. Another likely mission for the AG600 is dropping sea mines to close a body of water to enemy ships.

Military seaplanes were used by all of the major powers during World War II, but gradually went away during the Cold War. The role of seaplanes in the U.S. military was eventually taken over by a combination of land-based patrol aircraft and helicopters, though some argue seaplane still has a place in the Pentagon’s arsenal.

Today only three countries build new seaplanes: Canada builds the Viking seaplane, Japan the US-2, and Russia the Beriev Be-200.

Source: Popular Mechanics “The World’s Largest Seaplane Pulls Off Its First Waterborne Flight”

Note: This is Popular Mechanics’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s First Type-075 Assault Carrier Is Starting Sea Trials


Chinese Navy Type-075 LHD Assault Carrier
Open source intelligence (OSINT) shows the lead Type-075 being prepared for sea trials. Note the smoke stains near the stern. Photo via @Rupprecht_A (via by78/SDF)

The Chinese Navy’s newest amphibious warfare asset, the Type-075 LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) is setting sail for the first time.

The vessel, which was built in Shanghai, has been fitting out since it was floated on September 26 2019. Candid photos surfacing on the Chinese internet show it being fueled, and tugs readied.

The Type-075 represents a step-change in Chinese Navy (PLAN) amphibious warfare capabilities. It will enable better over-the-horizon landing capabilities and improve air cover. And there are already rumors of the follow-on Type-076 LHD which is expected to include EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) for UCAVs or crewed aircraft. At this stage these rumors should be treated with caution. But they do give an indication of the direction PLAN amphibious capabilities are going.

In addition to the well-deck for Type 726 hovercraft (generally equivalent to the US Navy’s LCAC – Landing Craft Air Cushion), the LHD will have a large rotor-wing component. This will include the ubiquitous Z-8 transport helicopter which is based on the French SA 321 Super Frelon. More modern types seen aboard, in mock-up form, include the naval variant of the Harbin Z-20. This is, in our opinion, a copy of the Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk / Sea Hawk family.

There are also small rotor-wing UAVs and even a Ka-27/28 HELIX anti-submarine warfare helicopter model aboard for deck tests:

The carrier suffered a fire incident on April 11 2020. Although the fire was quickly put out and damage appeared minimal, smoke stains are still visible in the aft port-side near to the ramp.

The Hudong-Zhonghua yard in Shanghai where the lead Type-075 has been built has already launched a second ship. And analysis of commercial satellite imagery suggests that module for a third may be on its way. At the moment the yard is building the Type-054A frigate for the Pakistan Navy and, it appears, a Type-071 LPD for Thailand.

Soruce: Naval News “China’s First Type-075 Assault Carrier Is Starting Sea Trials”

Note: This is Naval News’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Be more like Pakistan, China tells Afghanistan and Nepal at four-country meet


Beijing’s call for four-party cooperation with Islamabad, Kathmandu and Kabul would be closely watched by New Delhi even if it is in the backdrop of tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

WORLD Updated: Jul 28, 2020 01:44 IST

Sutirtho Patranobis

Hindustan Times, Beijing

Presiding over a virtual meeting with ministers from the three countries, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said the four should work together to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan.

Presiding over a virtual meeting with ministers from the three countries, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said the four should work together to extend the CPEC to Afghanistan.(REUTERS)

China on Monday urged Afghanistan, Nepal and Pakistan to forge “four-party cooperation” to overcome the Covid-19 crisis and continue work on projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Presiding over a virtual meeting with his counterparts from the three countries, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi said the four states should work together to extend CPEC to Afghanistan.

The video conference, organised by Beijing ostensibly to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, was held against the backdrop of the months-long India-China border standoff. Given India’s currently strained ties with Nepal, the meeting is unlikely to go down well with the foreign policy establishment in New Delhi.

Wang, one of China’s senior-most diplomats with the rank of state councillor, said the four states should give “full play to geographic advantages, strengthen exchanges and connections between the four countries and Central Asian countries, and maintain regional peace and stability”, according to a statement in Mandarin issued on Monday night.

The four countries should also “actively promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the trans-Himalayan three-dimensional interconnectivity network, support the extension of [CPEC] to Afghanistan, and further release the regional interconnection dividend”, he said.

Even for China, it is rare to call for four-party cooperation in South Asia without involving India. But the move fits Beijing’s current narrative.

The statement from China’s foreign ministry indicated Beijing is looking at a more permanent cooperation mechanism with the three South Asian countries than just working together to counter the pandemic.

The meeting added to Beijing’s own narrative that it is ready to play a bigger role in war-torn Afghanistan’s peace process. For Nepal, it was an opportunity to send out a message about its increasingly snug ties with China amid the strained relations with India.

As for Pakistan, Wang himself cited the example of “iron brother” ties between Islamabad and Beijing. Emphasising that having good neighbours is “good fortune”, Wang called on Nepal and Afghanistan to follow the example of Sino-Pakistan cooperation to fight the pandemic.

Wang said learning from the Sino-Pakistan cooperation, Afghanistan and Nepal should expand four-nation joint prevention and control of Covid-19 and make arrangements for epidemic prevention, resumption of economic activity and personnel exchanges.

He said under the principle of anti-epidemic cooperation, the four countries should open up “fast channels” and “green channels” for personnel and logistics as soon as possible.

They should also strengthen joint prevention and control in border areas, and frame jointly recognised standard operating procedures for epidemic notification, prevention, management and control, he said.

As part of post-pandemic recovery and economic development, Wang said, the other countries should firmly promote the joint construction of BRI, promote the resumption of key cooperation projects, maintain the stability of industrial and supply chains, and create new economic growth points in the digital field.

The online meeting was joined by Pakistan’s foreign and economic ministers, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Khushro Bakhtiar, Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali and Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister Hanif Atmar.

Source: Hindustan Times “Be more like Pakistan, China tells Afghanistan and Nepal at four-country meet”

Note: This is Hindustan Times’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Chinese shipbuilder planning advanced amphibious assault ship


  • Plan to use advanced launch system on new landing helicopter deck – known as the Type 076 – would expand marines’ ability to strike targets on land and at sea
  • ‘Mini aircraft carrier’ will be fitted with electromagnetic catapult launcher for helicopters and drones
The new ships would be a more advanced version of the Type 075 vessels that have yet to enter service. Photo: Weibo

A Chinese shipbuilder is planning to build a more powerful amphibious assault ship that would be able to carry more helicopters and drones and help the country’s marine corps to fight more effectively on the high seas.

The ship would have a similar design to the Type 075 landing helicopter deck, but it would be equipped with an electromagnetic catapult launch system of the type that is currently only found on the most advanced aircraft carriers.

News about the proposal of the new design, which shipbuilders and military enthusiasts have called the Type 076, has been circulating on military websites since the start of the month.

Military observers said the plans, from the China Shipbuilding Group, the main government contractor, have not yet been approved by the leadership and work on the new ships will take at least five years.

The design has been circulating on military websites. Photo: Handout
The design has been circulating on military websites. Photo: Handout

China is involved in a series of territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas and the US has stepped up its presence in the area in recent years.

South China Sea: Chinese air force ‘sends warning’ to US Navy with live-fire drills
21 Jul 2020

A report in the Chinese military magazine Ordnance Industry Science Technology last Thursday said this will allow the marine corps to expand its combat range and air defences over a wider area.

The warship would have an estimated displacement of about 40,000 tonnes and will be China’s largest – and the world’s third largest – amphibious assault ship, behind the US Wasp-class and America class.

PLA ‘sends warning’ to US Navy with live-fire drills in South China Sea

It will be able to carry up to 30 helicopters, as well as a number of amphibious tanks, armoured vehicles, boats, and hundreds of marine troops for land attacks and follow-up ground operations.
First made-in-China aircraft carrier, the Shandong, enters serviceFirst made-in-China aircraft carrier, the Shandong, enters service

video

First made-in-China aircraft carrier, the Shandong, enters service

The development of its marine force comes amid China’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its military, which has also seen it launch five amphibious assault ships using an older design, the Type 071, since 2016.

Li said the plan to integrate the electromagnetic catapult technology with the design of the Type 075 faced a number of technological challenges, including modifications to the hull and flight deck.

“Only when the new Type 002 aircraft carrier finishes testing the three electromagnetic catapult can we make sure it’s a mature technology that could be applied on the flight deck of the Type 075,” Li continued.

“Indeed, the full development of the Type 076 will only be finalised when China successfully develops the first stealth carrier-based fighter jet, as well as other variants of stealth drones,” Li added.

video

Washington’s hardened position on Beijing’s claims in South China Sea heightens US-China tensions

Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming described the design of the Type 076 as innovative because it would be the first time and electromagnetic catapult was used on an amphibious assault vehicle.

“Unlike aircraft carriers that can focus on sea and air defence and combats, the amphibious ships also need to take care of battles on land,” Zhou said.

“How to operate the electromagnetic catapult technology, as well as the need for combat on sea, air and land, makes this a complicated and challenging job.”

Source: SCMP “Chinese shipbuilder planning advanced amphibious assault ship”

Note: This is SCMP’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Next gen fighter jet forthcoming in great power competition: J-20 chief designer


By Liu Xuanzun Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/27 19:33:07

A J-20 fighter performs at the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (Airshow China) in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province, Nov. 11, 2018. The air show closed on Sunday. (Xinhua)

A revolutionary, cognition-subverting next generation fighter jet, characterized by long-range, high capabilities in penetration, awareness, firepower and fast decision-making, is about to come into being amid great power competition, according to a recent paper by the chief designer of China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet.

Artificial intelligence is a key field to help pilots process vast information and make decisions in complicated battlefield environments, it said.

Amid great power competition and the commissioning of more and more fourth generation fighter jets (or fifth generation under US classification, which includes China’s J-20, US’ F-22 and F-35), there have been extensive discussions on the changes in types of warfare, and the development of post-fourth generation fighter jets, said Yang Wei of Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), in a paper published in Acta Aeronautica et Astronautica Sinica, a Chinese monthly journal on aeronautics, last month.

Yang is the chief designer of China’s first fourth generation fighter jet, the J-20.

In the paper, Yang said that in older generations of fighter jets, maneuverability used to be the deciding factor, but this concept is becoming outdated with the development of advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles with their beyond-visual-range attack capabilities.

Information has now become the deciding factor, as modern fighter jets focus on gaining more information with the help of AESA radars and data chains, while also reducing opponents’ ability to gain information, including using stealth technology and electronic countermeasures.

When aircraft can get more information with these advanced devices, pilots must have extensive knowledge, sharp analysis and sound decision-making to put them to use.

Yang said artificial intelligence will help pilots process the information, and help them become mission objective-oriented.

Each step in the original observe-orient-decide-act (OODA) loop in the air combat decision-making process will feature artificial intelligence’s assistance, the paper said. “Intelligence becoming the deciding factor” will be the essence of what Yang calls an OODA 3.0.

Citing foreign projects, Yang said that a future fighter jet will generally require a longer combat range, longer endurance, stronger stealth capability, a larger load of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons, and the functionality to provide its pilot with easy-to-understand battlefield situation images and predictions. In an integrated system, the aircraft should be able to form a network, draw real-time integrated situational images, create multiple attack routes, and transmit target information across mission areas in real time.

Yang’s vision could indicate what China’s future fighter jet might be like, a Chinese military expert told the Global Times on Monday under the condition of anonymity.

Usually the Chinese military simultaneously equips a current generation of weapons, develops a next generation, and conducts pre-study on a further generation at the same time. So as J-20s are being commissioned into the Chinese Air Force, the next generation fighter jet must have already started development, the expert said.

China is eyeing to develop a next generation fighter jet by 2035 or earlier, which could feature laser, adaptive engines and the ability to command drones, reports in early 2019 quoted Wang Haifeng, another senior designer at AVIC who participated in the development of the J-20 and J-10 fighter jets, as saying.

Source: Global Times “Next gen fighter jet forthcoming in great power competition: J-20 chief designer”

Note: This is Global Times’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


Bangladesh signals shift towards China, Pakistan: report


The comments about the state of bilateral ties are timely as Ms Hasina received a phone call from Prime Minister Khan on Wednesday.
Photo courtesy Reuters/file

The Newspaper’s Correspondent Updated 26 Jul 2020

NEW DELHI: A prominent newspaper of Bangladesh has said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not meet India’s high commissioner despite repeated requests for a meeting in the last four months, one of several signs of strained relations with New Delhi and a shift for closer ties with Pakistan and China.

The Hindu on Saturday quoted Bhorer Kagoj, a prominent daily, as reporting that all Indian projects have slowed down since the re-election of Prime Minister Hasina in 2019 with Chinese infrastructure projects receiving more support from Dhaka.

Despite India’s concern, Bangla­desh has given the contract of building an airport terminal in Sylhet to a Chi­nese company. Indian High Commi­ssioner Riva Ganguly Das tried for four months to get an appointment with the prime minister of Bangladesh but did not get it. Bangladesh has not even sent a note of appreciation to India in response to Indian assistance for the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the newspaper’s editor Shyamal Dutta in an article.

The Hindu said it showed a recent tilt of Dhaka towards Pakistan and China. A similar move was recorded in Iran recently, which has decided to go ahead without India in a Chabahar Port railway project that the two countries had agreed to undertake together.

The Bhorer Kagoj report also follows a widely noted unusual call by Prime Minister Imran Khan to his Bangla­deshi counterpart on Wednesday.

The Bangla paper said the Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) has received the contract for building a new terminal in MAG Osmania Airport of Sylhet that borders India’s northeastern region and is, therefore, considered a sensitive area for New Delhi.

A diplomatic source from the Bangladesh High Commission here confirmed to The Hindu that the Indian envoy had sought an appointment with Ms Hasina but it did not materialise. However, neither India’s High Commission in Dhaka nor the Ministry of External Affairs responded to questions from the paper.

A diplomat from the Indian mission said Ms Ganguly Das has gone out of Dhaka on a tour.

The comments about the state of bilateral ties are timely as Ms Hasina received a phone call from Prime Minister Khan on Wednesday.

Though Dhaka refused to give details of the conversation between the two leaders, Pakistan’s official news agency reported that Mr Khan informed Ms Hasina about the situation in occupied Kashmir and sought “resolution” of the dispute.

India, in response on Thursday, appreciated Bangladesh saying that Dhaka considers Kashmir an internal matter of India, The Hindu said.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2020

Source: Dawn “Bangladesh signals shift towards China, Pakistan: report”

Note: This is DAWN’s report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Stealth UAVs Could Give China’s Type-076 Assault Carrier More Firepower


H I SuttonContributor Jul 23, 2020,07:50am EDT

China’s next-generation Type-076 Assault Carrier may be equipped with an EMALS aircraft catapult. … [+] H I SUTTON

The Chinese Navy is building assault carriers to support amphibious operations, like a possible invasion of Taiwan or landings on disputed islands in the South China Sea. The first two ships, called LHDs (landing helicopter docks) in naval terminology, are still being outfitted. But information is already emerging suggesting that the follow-on design, the Type-076, will have much more firepower.

The Chinese Navy, officially known as the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), is still new to the assault carrier game. Their current LHDs, which have yet to enter service, are the Type-075. These feature a spacious flight deck and are generally equivalent to the U.S. Navy’s America Class assault carrier. They can carry helicopters, including rotor-wing drones, and hovercraft. But it seems unlikely that they will host jet aircraft or UAVs (uncrewed air vehicles). Not so the Type-076.

A document circulating on the Chinese internet appears to be a request for proposals for the next generation of assault carrier. While it cannot be verified, it does appear to reflect the direction of PLAN thinking. It indirectly lays out the specification for the ship in the form of a list of systems and features. If it is broadly correct, then the Type-076 will carry jet aircraft of some sort.

We can infer this because a key new system will be an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, or EMALS, the 21st century equivalent to the steam catapult used for launching planes from aircraft carriers. A similar system is fitted to the U.S. Navy’s Ford Class aircraft carriers. China’s own next generation aircraft carrier is also reported to have EMALS, so China has a working knowledge of the technology. The U.S,. Navy has reportedly suffered teething problems, however. We should not assume that China will face the same issues, but it is a brand new technology so there are development risks involved.

Having EMALs on an assault carrier could be a significant game changer for China. It would allow it to carry jet aircraft, such as fighters or large UAVs. UAVs with an offensive weapons load are term UCAVs (uncrewed combat air vehicles). These could greatly increase air support for landing operations.

I asked B.A. Friedman, a military analyst focused on amphibious warfare and author of On Tactics: A Theory of Victory in Battle, what he thinks the implications of the EMALs would be. “There are no disadvantages to having jets on an LHD. But there trade-offs to the type of jets you can put on it. They need a lot of runway or they need to be VTOL [vertical take-off and landing], which itself has advantages and disadvantages. And jets tear up the deck plating faster than propeller aircraft.”

The EMALs approach suggests that the aircraft would not be VTOL. But what the aircraft would be is open to speculation. China may be developing a fighter aircraft suitable for relatively small flight decks of the LHD. For context, many Western LHDs are slated to carry the F-35 Lighting-II strike fighter. The current J-11 version of the famous Flanker, used aboard Chinese aircraft carriers, is likely too large.

But it may relate to a UCAV. These could benefit from being smaller than the equivalent crewed aircraft. The GJ-11 Sharp Sword is one design for a stealthy UCAV that China has been developing. Its payload is estimated to be around 4,400 lbs, which is at the lower end for warplanes. Another, the Flying Dragon-2, is expected to fly in 2021. This promises to still be light enough to operate from the Type-076’s 30-plus ton capacity aircraft lifts, but lift some 13,227 lbs of weapons. Something like these would require a catapult to operate for an assault carrier.

Friedman is cautious about how quickly these new capabilities can be developed. Learning how to use regular assault carriers, let alone ones with UCAVs, could take years. Friedman says that it is not like they can ask, ” ‘How do you guys normally do this?’ They have never done it. It could be years.”

All the same the PLAN is building its capabilities as an astonishing rate. No sooner have we become used to seeing the Type-075 LHD, which was seen as a massive step forward less than a year ago, and already we are on to the next generation. The possible RFP documents give us an inkling about what the Type-076 may be like, but until we see one we will still be guessing.

Source: Forbes “Stealth UAVs Could Give China’s Type-076 Assault Carrier More Firepower”

Note: This is Forbes’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.