US joint ventures in China might be helping China’s military in improving its aerospace capabilities, according to an early draft of a report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, seen by Defense News China expert Wendell Minnick. The official report is due in November.
The report noted last January’s announcement by General Electric and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) that they would launch a joint venture for integrated avionics. It also noted several Boeing-AVIC moves, including April’s announcement that the two would double the capacity of the Boeing Tianjin joint venture, which produces composite materials.
“One of the joint venture’s customers is Xi’an Aviation Industry Corporation, which manufactures components for civil aircraft and produces aircraft, such as the JH-7A fighter-bomber and the H-6 bomber, for the Chinese military,” the report said.
The report said China, which is looking at ways to prevent the U.S. military from using satellites, has a robust, largely military space program of its own: roughly about 70 satellites in orbit, all but 13 controlled by the military. By 2020, China will have its own 35-satellite global positioning system.
Four times in 2007 and 2008, unidentified hackers, possibly Chinese, gained control of two U.S. government earth observation satellites through a Norwegian ground station.
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