Chinese Air Force to perform in Singapore; no quarantine done

The Star
Dong Zhaohui
2020-02-07 11:57:58



BEIJING, Feb 6 -- An aerobatics team of the Chinese Air Force will put on flight performances at a Singaporean airshow as scheduled despite the coronavirus outbreak, reported Global Times.

Singapore did not quarantine Chinese pilots who arrived in the country on Wednesday, and Chinese experts see this as a move showing Singapore’s high level of trust in China’s epidemic control measures.

On the invitation by Singapore, the Chinese Air Force’s August 1 Air Demonstration Team will put on flight performances at the 2020 Singapore Airshow from February 11-16, as nine aircraft, including seven J-10 fighter jets that will feature in the performance, the official Global Times reported.

More than 100 Chinese personnel arrived in Singapore on Wednesday, according to statements released by the Chinese Air Force and the Defense Ministry on Wednesday.

After the Chinese pilots arrived on Wednesday, they started training for the performances without being quarantined, a source told the Global Times.

He said this showed Singapore’s high level of trust in China’s epidemic control measures, which is very different to some Western countries’ moves.

Air defense expert Fu Qianshao told the Global Times that the Chinese military has taken very strict protective measures, especially for pilots.

For every flight, pilots have to undergo health checks and anyone found to be sick will not be allowed to fly at all, Fu said.

At a time when China is fighting against the virus outbreak, the performances of the August 1 Air Demonstration Team in Singapore will showcase the Chinese military’s confidence, analysts said.

The Singapore Airshow is a good chance to show China’s epidemic control measures, and let the world see the Chinese speed and spirit from the Chinese pilots up close, Fu said.

The August 1 Air Demonstration Team, or Bayi Aerobatic Team, is considered as China’s “honor guard of the sky,” a window of military communication and an envoy of peace and friendship.

This will be the first time the team participates in the Singapore Airshow.

At least 15 exhibitors have pulled out of the Singapore Airshow due to the coronavirus outbreak. South Korea’s Black Eagles Air Demonstration Group also dropped out because of the virus, according to media reports.

As many exhibitors retreat from the Singaporean exhibition, the August 1 Air Demonstration Team’s arrival should also be considered a strong sign of support for Singapore, analysts told Global Times.

Chinese and Singaporean military relations have been flying high since 2019, as the two countries signed an upgraded version of the Agreement on Defense Exchanges and Security Cooperation in October.


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