China Eyes U.S. Defense Contracts

Hoping to Compete on Cost, Stealth-Jet Maker AVIC Teams With Tiny U.S. Firm; Any Bid Likely to Draw Fierce Resistance

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal

BEIJING—The maker of China’s new stealth fighter jet has teamed up with a tiny, unprofitable California company to try to launch bids for U.S. defense contracts, possibly including one to supply Chinese helicopters to replace the aging Marine One fleet used by the president, according to people involved in the partnership.

Any Chinese bids for this or another contract under discussion would be certain to meet intense political resistance and would appear to have very little chance of success given mounting U.S. concern about China’s military power and long-term strategic goals, and the often-prohibitive opposition in the past to Chinese attempts to enter other strategic U.S. sectors, such as energy and telecommunications.

However, the fact that state-run China Aviation Industry Corp., known as AVIC, is even considering bids for these contracts, which industry insiders expect to be awarded in the next two to three years, reflects the rapid development and lofty ambitions of China’s aerospace industry.

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