A Chinese military delegation arrived in Britain on Sunday (1 July) to look at the Harrier Jump-jet aircraft, which China wants to buy for deployment along its borders.
A Chinese military delegation arrived in Britain on Sunday (1 July) to look at the Harrier Jump-jet aircraft, which China wants to buy for deployment along its borders. China's Vice Chief of General Staff, Yang Yong, is heading the twelve-member delegation in London at the invitation of Air Marshall Sir Neil Cameron. Officials say the delegates will look at an arms and trade deal between the two countries.
SYNOPSIS: Yang Yong is the most senior Chinese soldier to visit Britain since the communists came to power in 1949...a veteran of battles with the japanese, with Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist Forces and with the Americans in Korea. His host, Chief of the British Defence Staff, Air Marshal Sir Neil Cameron, invited him on arrival at the Ministry of Defence to inspect the Coldstream Guard of Honour -- just returned from Ulster.
The Chinese are now intent on modernising their army, and the British Harrier Jump-Jet is at the top of their shopping list. The Chinese are also interested in anti-tank guns and missiles, communications equipment and perhaps a new turret for their ageing Russian tanks. With a recently-announced defence budget of about 14 million dollars, the Chinese want to improve defence along the border with the Soviet Union and mongolia. The Soviet Union has warned Britain of serious consequences if it supplies China with the revolutionary jet, which needs only a small take-off area and can operate in rugged terrain.
The Chinese hope a deal including the Jump-Jet may be easier to achieve with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's new administration, which is said to share some of China's mistrust of the Soviet Union. But Britain only wants to sell the Harrier as part of wider deal.