China Central Television (CCTV) just released a four-part documentary on how the country's military foreign trade developed since the implementation of the reform and opening-up policy in the late 1970s.
The documentary series going by the name "Military engineering memory: channeling the world" debuted on Monday night on CCTV.
It provides a rare inside scoop on how prominent Chinese military trade enterprises, such as the China North Industries Group Corp and China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation, overcame initial struggles in the time when foreign exchange and trade experience was lacking.
The documentary series is co-produced by CCTV and China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.
In the first episode, China's first-ever weapon export product, the Type 69-2 tank, from the 1980s is shown. To meet the tight schedule, the tank manufacturer, China North Industries Group Corp was faced with unprecedented pressure of delivering 100 completed products within a year. The buyer also demanded as many as 13 revisions to the original make before signing.
Working around the clock, all company staff from design to technician departments were together able to successfully meet the buyer's requirements and deliver 100 finished works within the contracted term.
From then on, the Chinese weapon industry established a solid reputation in the global market.
The first episode also mentioned a similar case in the 1980s of the export of China's land-based anti-ship weapon system, the HY-2, which was a hard-earned success through the all-in support of China's People's Liberation Army Navy.
In the second episode, the documentary takes the audience back to a later time in history, the 1990s and 2000s. In this period, Chinese defense companies successfully delivered the country's product, the JY-9 radar, with complete intellectual property rights, to Egyptian buyers.