China will once again make its presence known at the Dubai Airshow as part of its ongoing effort to find a beachhead in the potentially lucrative, but so far elusive, gulf defense market.

China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corp. (CATIC) will feature both a stand (820) and chalet (A41/42) at the show. Controlled by the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), CATIC serves as AVIC’s agent for its products, which have been finding some acceptance in the Middle East and Africa.

But when it comes to promoting advanced defense products, China faces challenges in trying to sell to the Middle East, said Richard Bitzinger, a military transformation specialist at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. […]