China flags ambitions at arms fair
As a new leadership was anointed in Beijing and the world looked on to see what direction it might take over the next decade, military officials from Africa to Southeast Asia were shopping for Chinese weapons in the country's south.
Change has come fast in China, now the world's second-largest economy, and with its rise has come a new sense of military assertiveness with a growing budget to develop modern warfare equipment including aircraft carriers and drones.
All the signs point to newly named Communist Party chief Xi Jinping, who is slated to become president next March, continuing China's aggressive military modernisation.
Now the world's fourth-largest arms exporter, China laid out its wares this week at an air show in Zhuhai, a palm-lined port between Macau and Hong Kong that becomes a heavily armed industry showcase every other November.
In the 10 years to 2011, China's foreign military sales have increased 95 percent, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Among dozens of items shown publicly for the first time this week were Chinese attack helicopters, missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and air defences. As usual, the exhibit halls contained everything from shoulder-fired weapons to cruise missiles.
China is getting more aggressive in the export market as its own industrial base develops,
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