Wary of US Threats, China Increases Defense Budget And Mass Production of J-20 Aircraft

Wary of US Threats, China Increases Defense Budget And Mass Production of J-20 Aircraft
China Increases Defense Budget And Mass Production of J-20 Aircraft

International Military - China is working to increase its defense budget in 2022. As quoted by the Eurasian Times, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on March 5 presented a proposal for a 1.45 trillion yuan ($230 billion) defense budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The budget up 7.1% from $209 billion last year.

Governments at all levels should give strong support to the development of the country's defense and armed forces, so that the unity between the military and the government and between the military and the people will remain strong, Li said in a speech at the National People's Congress.

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According to official data, this budget increase is the fastest since 2019 when China's defense spending rose 7.5%. The next two years saw an increase of 6.6% (in 2020) and 6.8% (in 2021).

It said the budget increase was based on the challenges China was facing. Challenges facing China include US naval and air missions in the South China Sea.

Beijing claims the US conducted intensive military exercises near China in 2021. The US carrier strike group and amphibious ready group entered the South China Sea 13 times. More than double the number of activities in 2020.

At least 11 US nuclear-powered attack submarines were spotted in or near the South China Sea last year, according to the South China Sea Strategic Situation Investigation Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank.

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It is rumored that a large part of the proposed defense spending will be dedicated to modernizing the PLA Navy, which may unveil its third aircraft carrier this year. Funds will also be allocated for increased production of the J-20 stealth fighter jet and the modernization of China's nuclear force.

The J-20 Mighty Dragon was built by Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group Co Ltd under the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

The J-20 is one of the Chinese-made aircraft that previously used a Russian-made engine called the AL-31F. But now China has locally produced its own machine called the WS-10C.

With these local engines, China intends to increase production of the fifth-generation J-20 aircraft. It could also free China's defense industry from their dependence on Russian-made jet engines in the future.

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By equipping the aircraft with local engines, it is believed that the J-20 is now able to improve the already unsatisfactory thrust-to-weight ratio. With the machine made, China claims the machine is equivalent to the one used by the Rator.

As quoted from Defense Security Asia, military observers in China proudly claim that the WS-10C engine called "Taihang" has the same capabilities as those used by the US stealth aircraft, the F-22 Raptor. Russia has commented about selling more "AL-31F" engines developed by the country's engine maker United Engine Corporation (UEC) as it wants China to buy more Sukhoi Su-35 aircraft equipped with the same engine.

Selling more AL-31F engines means Russia can't sell more Sukhoi Su-35s and that's why Moscow is slowing down engine sales to China, which uses them to equip the J-20 "Mighty Dragon".

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Inevitably, Beijing must develop local jet engines to meet the needs of its own air force. Military aviation expert Fu Qianshao is projecting the future of the program.

"In a short time, we will be able to see the J-20 operated by all eastern, southern, western, northern and central theater commands, and become a major force to safeguard China's sovereignty and airspace security," he said.

It was only after China had successfully completed the development of its local engine "WS-10C", that the Chinese stealth aircraft entered the "mass production" phase to meet its air needs in the country's southern, northern, western and eastern governments.

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