The five-day Silk Road International Exposition (SRIE) showcased China’s technological advances and achievements in aerospace tech under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Held from November 16 to 20 in Xi’an City, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, 16 Chinese aerospace companies and value chain partners exhibited their cutting-edge innovations.
A local industrial zone, the Fuyan Industrial Cooperation Zone (FICZ), brought a number of the enterprises it governs to the expo for five consecutive years.
Ma Yunfeng, senior director at Investment Promotion Service Bureau of the FICZ, told CGTN that a large number of merchants came to their booth for consultation every day.
He talked about receiving merchants from the Ningbo Chamber of Commerce in Shaanxi. Its president said that they are very interested in the market in Shaanxi and want to enter the Xi’an modern industrial cluster represented by aviation industry through the FICZ.
Ningbo, which lies in east China’s Zhejiang Province, boasts a group of specialized small and medium-sized companies with processing capability. “They committed a visit to our zone for inspection and cooperation in the future,” Ma said.
With the capabilities of research, development and testing in aviation technology, the FICZ has introduced a flight test team from the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC) in the first half of this year to conduct final test flight for China’s self-developed large passenger aircraft C919 and its derivative models.
Now, the FICZ is building a civil aircraft research and development center, a platform for the domestically made Xinzhou series aircraft that covers an area of 11.2 hectares. The first phase will be put into use in the first half of next year, said Ma.
The zone has signed nine key projects during the exposition, with a total contract value of around 8.15 billion yuan ($1.14 billion), which fully demonstrated the zone’s industrial capability, Ma added.
The SRIE offered companies extensive opportunities to establish connections with potential business partners.
The Xi’an Flight Automatic Control Research Institute under the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), which attended the exposition for the first time, told CGTN that they’ve been looking for ways to break into the international market over the exposition.
The institute displayed its latest vertical take-off and landing drones and rail inspection vehicles.
GalaxySpace, a Beijing-based satellite maker, demonstrated its low-Earth orbit satellite manufacturing capability. One of the models on display is able to connect with mobile phones and an antenna for communicating with low-Earth orbit satellites.
With a flexible solar wing whose single-layer flexible panel is only approximately one millimeter in thickness, the satellite was launched in July, verifying stackable multi-satellite launch technology in orbit for the first time. It will provide technical support for China’s large-scale communication satellite constellation to be deployed in low-Earth orbit, according to the company.
Satellite connectivity is seen as the next frontier for mobile phones. The flagship smartphone with a satellite calling feature launched by China’s telecom giant Huawei has ignited the internet. The GalaxySpace is also striving for such technology, featuring an integration of phased array antennas and solar wings.
Now in its seventh year, the SRIE has come to represent in-depth exchanges among the Belt and Road participating countries, with visitors from over 50 countries and regions, including Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.
China and BRI partner countries have combined to develop and launch communications or remote sensing satellites, and constructed satellite ground stations and other space infrastructure.
China has built links connecting South Asia, Africa, Europe and the America, and its BeiDou navigation satellite system provided comprehensive services for China-Europe Railway Express, maritime transport and other fields.
Under the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite program, China has collaborated with Brazil in developing Earth remote sensing satellites. Data obtained from these satellites is widely used in multiple countries in earth resource monitoring, agriculture, meteorology, environmental protection and surveying and mapping.
Additionally, China has signed bilateral air transport agreements with 104 BRI partner countries and opened direct flights with 57 partner countries to facilitate cross-border transport, according to a white paper issued by the country’s State Council Information Office on October 10.