In the aftermath of President Trump’s inauguration, a new era of US-China relations has begun.
On January 21, President Trump announced the US would purchase advanced precision-guided munitions from China at a cost of $4.9 billion.
The sale, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, is the second major US weapons deal announced by Trump in less than a month.
The US military has already ordered nearly half a billion rounds of ammo for the US military, and the White House has made it clear that it intends to purchase tens of billions of dollars more in weapons over the coming years.
The two countries are expected to formally announce their first major weapons deals next week.
The president is expected to announce an additional $5 billion in military aid for the Chinese military during his visit to the country.
According to Reuters, the US will pay China $4 billion for a new variant of its F-35 fighter jet, which is expected be delivered by 2021.
The Pentagon has also ordered $500 million worth of precision-aimed bombs from China, and China is expected next week to award another $1.7 billion contract to purchase another variant of the F-22 stealth fighter.
The announcement is significant in the US, as China’s recent ballistic missile test has raised concerns in the Whitehouse.
The F-16 has been in service for decades, and some in Washington believe that the jet is not the right weapon for the Pentagon’s air combat mission.
The aircraft is designed for precision-targeted air attacks and other special operations, and has become a symbol of the United States’ ability to respond to military threats, including North Korea.
It is a powerful weapon, and Chinese leaders have repeatedly stressed its superiority.