China’s new generation strategic bomber is likely to be ready for delivery this year, but Beijing is said to be weighing the impact of its unveiling at a complex time in regional relations due to the coronavirus pandemic
Military sources said the Xian H-20 supersonic stealth bomber – expected to double the country’s strike range – could make its first public appearance at this year’s Zhuhai Airshow in November, if the pandemic was sufficiently under control.
“The Zhuhai Airshow is expected to become a platform to promote China’s image and its success in pandemic control – telling the outside world that the contagion did not have any big impacts on Chinese defence industry enterprises,” a source said.
But the appearance of the bomber at this year’s air show could heighten tensions by directly threatening countries within its strike range, especially Australia, Japan and the Korean peninsula.
“The Beijing leadership is still carefully considering whether its commission will affect regional balance, especially as regional tensions have been escalating over the Covid-19 pandemic,” another source said. (end of excerpt)
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