China débuts J-31 fighter at Zhuhai Air Show

China débuts J-31 fighter at Zhuhai Air Show

China opened its biggest airshow on November 11, 2014 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. The PLA unveiled its latest fighter jet, showcasing its rising aerospace and military clout.

This year's show, the 10th, coincides with a meeting in Beijing of leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations.

Kept largely secret until yesterday, China’s J-31 fighter jet is made by a Shenyang-based unit of Aviation Industry Corp.of China. It tests the nation's ability to deliver advanced defence technology for its air and sea expansion in the region and its push-back against US economic and military dominance.

The jet is a fifth-generation fighter, a classification that began with the service entry of the US’s F-22 Raptor in 2005, according to IHS Jane’s. Such jets have reduced visibility to infrared sensors and can cruise at supersonic speeds, although little is known about the J-31 beyond reports suggesting it has Russian engines, said Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow at the S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.