The powerful weapons were unveiled for the first time as two Chinese air force advanced J-20 stealth fighters took part in a dramatic flypast during Airshow China 2018 near Shanghai. The warplanes opened their missile bay doors to reveal they were armed with four missiles in their fuselages plus one on either side of each aircraft.
Aviation experts said the demonstration, which came on the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Air Force, was designed to show the J-20’s air superiority over the US Air Force’s F-22 and F-35 jets and also highlight its growing confidence.
Chinese military expert Song Zhongping said the four missiles in the J-20’s fuselage were long-range air-to-air missiles, while the two on the sides were short-range combat missiles meant for aerial combat.
The show of strength came after senior officials from both sides came face-to-face for high-level talks in Washington.
The meeting paired US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis with Chinese Politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe.