Five dollars into Africa, and finally earned the first pot of gold in Chinas military exports

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 Five dollars into Africa, and finally earned the first pot of gold in Chinas military exports


The protagonist of our story has a thin face, and his tall stature makes him appear energetic and capable. He is Liu Guomin, one of the founders and founders of China aviation technology import and Export Corporation, and a pioneer who has devoted his whole life to making Chinas aviation industry into the world. In January 1979, the Central Committee approved that military aid should be changed from free to charge, barter and free. This is a major change with world influence in the tide of reform. From this turning point, Liu Guomins legend began to be written.

If you want to go out, you must have an invitation letter from Egypt, otherwise you cant apply for a passport and visa. This is not a problem that can be solved only by determination. At the end of February 1979, the third Ministry of machinery industry received an invitation letter from the chairman of the Egyptian civil aviation, requesting the Chinese side to send a delegation to Egypt to discuss the repair of the Soviet made An-24 aircraft. The invitation of the Egyptian civil aviation was a good opportunity given by heaven.

Before leaving, the leader of the Ministry told Liu Guomin earnestly: we should insist on cash exchange. We need foreign exchange to develop the aviation industry. Even one dollar is good. When seeing him off, Gong Ying, the elder sister in charge of external liaison, walked up to Liu Guomin, half joking and half pitifully saying, big Liu, you look so thin. Can you sign a contract when you go out?

Liu Guomin didnt say anything, just nodded with a smile. Gong Ying said that he took out a five dollar note from his satchel and put it into Liu Guomins hand, which was the pocket money saved by the previous group going abroad. She patted Liu Guomin on the shoulder, trying to say take it, poor family and rich road, but the words came to her mouth and choked for a moment, unable to say it.

Holding the precious five dollars, Liu Guomin, with tears in his eyes, looked at his dear leader and comrades in arms with firm eyes.

Five dollars - thats all the foreign exchange at the disposal of a seven member delegation!

A wonderful start

On March 15, 1979, the delegation arrived in Cairo and first came to the Chinese Embassy in Egypt to report for duty. The delegation and the embassy started their work quickly. On the one hand, as the chairman of Egyptian civil aviation, who facilitated the Chinese delegations visit to Egypt, was visiting abroad, the talks on aircraft repair were soon concluded; on the other hand, the military attaches office of the Chinese Embassy informed the Egyptian Ministry of defense and the air force that Chinas first aviation industry delegation had arrived in Cairo and would hold consultations on matters agreed upon by the Egyptian Vice Prime Ministers visit to China not long ago. In this way, this negotiation has a wonderful start!

At the beginning of the negotiations, the Minister of the Egyptian air force equipment department once again raised the issue of free aid, repeatedly stressing that the Egyptian air force suffered huge losses in the Middle East war. He hoped that China would still give free aid this time and change to paid trade next time.

Liu Guomin spoke. He was calm and frank: in terms of the gross national output value, Chinas per capita per capita is less than 300 US dollars, while Egypt has exceeded 1000 US dollars. At present, it is obvious that China is poor and Egypt is rich. There is a Chinese saying that the rich help the poor; the poor help the rich, there is no way.. For a long time, the Chinese people have spared no expense and no additional conditions to give a lot of aid to many friendly developing countries and have done their best. At present, the government of our country has changed the gratuitous aid to the paid trade of equality and mutual benefit, which is a reasonable measure. The Egyptian people have regained control of the Suez canal through heroic struggle, and their annual income has reached more than one billion US dollars. Ships from all countries do not have to bypass the Cape of good hope. They can shuttle between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean through the Suez Canal, saving more than one billion dollars in voyage costs and saving valuable time, which benefits both sides. If some developing countries ask Egypt to pass the canal free of charge, of course, it would be inconceivable. Therefore, China advocates paid trade. Chinas trade policy is equality, mutual benefit, compliance and trustworthiness, and our company will certainly practice it.

The Egyptian friends present said this with great sincerity, and immediately said: all of you are patriots, and you should respect each other in your conduct. Since then, Egypt has never offered free assistance.

The road of negotiation with Egypt was long and rough. In the subsequent negotiations, the Egyptian air force was critical of the performance of the J-6 aircraft, which was used as a bargaining chip to lower the price. Liu Guomins strategy is to grasp Egypts psychology of urgent need to replenish air force equipment, play steadily, advance and retreat, and handle flexibly. By mid April, endless bargaining kept the negotiations going for a month.

The path winds along mountain ridges.

Mubarak emphatically asked about the technical situation of our plane. After hearing Liu Guomins answer, the vice president said: it doesnt matter if there are some difficulties in the negotiation. I ask the air force to resume the negotiations immediately. Egypt and China have a long history of friendship and are good brothers. The Egyptian people appreciate Chinas selfless support and help for a long time. After that, he called the commander of the air force and gave an order. Then he said, OK, you can talk about it. Ive read the draft contract. Even with my eyes closed, I can sign with you.

After leaving the presidential palace, Liu Guomin and Yao Guangguang rushed to the office building of the Egyptian air force commander immediately. As soon as the two sides met, the fog dispersed and the atmosphere changed. The commander of the air force welcomed each other with a smile and a candy treat. The Egyptian negotiators filled the room and honored them as guests of honor.

On May 2 and 3, 1979, China and Egypt signed two main military trade contracts, as well as ancillary contracts for spare parts supply and engine repair.

After Egypt, AVIC signed aircraft export contracts with Somalia, Zambia, Bangladesh and other countries in 1979. On April 5, 1980, less than a year before the signing of the first batch of contracts, Liu Guomin led a delegation to sign a contract with the Egyptian air force for the export of J-7 II aircraft in Beijing. The major breakthrough in Egypts military trade greatly encouraged the morale of China Aviation Technology Co., Ltd., and various regiments and groups launched attacks frequently with fruitful results.

Looking back, Liu Guomins seven party team has reason to be proud that the success of the business negotiation is far beyond the export contract itself. It is the foundation stone for China Aviation Technology to achieve leapfrog development, and it also opens up a new field of arms sales to China.

China aviation technology import and Export Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as AVIC), initially known as China aviation technology import and Export Corporation, was founded in 1979. It is a large state-owned enterprise owned by China aviation industry, which is engaged in the import and export of national military aviation technology and products. AVIC is a state authorized supplier of aviation technology and products, and its business scope includes all kinds of military aircraft, civil aircraft and airborne equipment and equipment, as well as relevant support and support equipment, spare parts and services. At the same time, through joint R & D, cooperative production, construction of overhaul line and other ways, it can provide external technical output and improve the level of customer aviation industry.

Editor: Yao Kui

Illustration: Chen Minggui