Russian defense promotional film shows warplanes blowing up Chinese warships

news analysis

Russia once dominated China’s biennial air show. But at the recent 14th China International Aerospace Exhibition, Russia didn’t stand out, with two of her air show teams absent this year. In addition, a Russian defense company showed a propaganda video showing Russian warplanes blowing up Chinese warships.

The six-day exhibition, which kicked off on November 8 in Zhuhai, Guangdong, grabbed the public’s attention amid the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

State media Global Times reported on November 10 that Rosoboronexport’s booth is Russia’s only state-owned organization that exports all military and dual-use products, services and technologies. A video exhibit introducing Russian-developed Su-57E stealth fighter, Su-35 super-maneuverable fighter, Su-34E fighter-bomber, etc.

The Russian Air Force’s Russian Knights and Swift Aerobatic Demonstration Team, once the center of attention at the Zhuhai Air Show, did not participate this year. China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force was the only flight demonstration performer at the show.

At the 11th Zhuhai Airshow in 2016, Russia made a big presence. Even before the air show began on November 1 of that year, Chinese state media created great fanfare.

According to China’s Xinhua News Agency, 49 Russian defense industry and dual-use companies participated in the show, with more than 220 pieces of military equipment on display.

russian fighter
Russian Su-27 and MiG-29 jet fighters fly over Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9, 2016. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)

Formed in April 1991, the Russian Knights Aerobatic Demonstration Team first visited China at the 2nd China Air Show in 1998, and has since participated in 2000, 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2016. I’m here. Participated in Knights in China air show since 2004, May 1991.

The two teams performed a mixed formation show at the 2016 Zhuhai Airshow.

Analyst: Russian Air Force Damaged in Ukraine War

Chen Baocong, a US-based Chinese current affairs commentator, analyzed the reasons for Russia’s modest participation in his YouTube program on Nov. 13.

He said the international community mocked the poor capabilities of Russia’s fighters and air force in the war in Ukraine. I didn’t have it.

“Russia feels humiliated as Russian fighter jets have been destroyed in large numbers by Ukrainian forces,” Chen said. Moreover, the Russian Air Force is struggling on the Ukrainian battlefield. I certainly do not have the ability to attend the Zhuhai Air Show. In other words, the real reason for Russia’s low profile participation in the air show was that it was hit hard by the Russo-Ukrainian War. ”

China’s Air Force showcased the J-16 and J-20 stealth fighters. Some analysts have commented that this shows that China has surpassed Russia in military power.

However, Chen pointed out that in the past the Chinese government has been reluctant to show off its military aircraft because China’s J-16 fighter is a copycat of Russia’s Su-30 fighter. China feared getting involved in an intellectual property dispute with Russian engineers, he said.

Video: Russian planes bomb Chinese warships

In a video shown by a Russian exhibitor at the Zhuhai Air Show, a Russian-made MiG-29 fighter launched an anti-ship missile attack on a Chinese warship, which instantly burst into flames.

China’s online military media commented on the video, saying, “At first glance, it’s just a normal computer-generated propaganda video, but if you look closely at the bombed ‘enemy ship’, why does it look so familiar? The warship turned out to be a Chinese 052D destroyer.”

“This scene is really awkward. [are] We are strategic partners,” the article said.

The author claimed that India was involved in the film. It intentionally replaced the target ship with a Chinese-made warship.”

However, Indian newspaper The Eurasia Times denied the allegations in a report on November 11, saying the scenes in the video were a mistake made by a Russian exhibitor and had nothing to do with India.

In this regard, Chen commented that it is impossible that the Russian company had not reviewed the promotional video before the exhibition.

“But this is what Russia means,” he said. “Russia has revealed in the film that the real enemy Russia wants to destroy is the CCP. Implying that it is not comparable to the war effort.”

According to Chen, Russia intentionally played a video at the air show to send a message to the Chinese government. Second, Russia is letting the international community know that the real enemy is not the United States or Ukraine, but the Chinese Communist Party.

Jessica Mao


Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times, covering China-related topics. She started writing her Chinese version in 2009.

Olivia Lee