Ask yourself: What destination and/or targets lie on the other side of the Pacific from China?
The AG-600, set to make its first flight next year, is being developed primarily to extinguish forest fires and carry out maritime humanitarian operations, according to its manufacturer. Kashin said however it is extremely unlike China to devote so much resources and money to design an aircraft purely for firefighting purposes. Kashin said that the AG-600 will likely be unfit for purpose as a search and rescue plane at sea, as it will not stand up to ocean waves.
Kashin said it is also unsuited to long-range maritime patrol missions because most land-based aircraft with sufficient range can do the job better and more efficiently. With its large size, the AG-600 is more likely to be used as long-range transport to transfer cargo and personnel across the vast Pacific region. The People’s Liberation Army Navy or Air Force may use it to project Chinese power and influence to the disputed South China Sea and any other region in the Western Pacific, Kashin said.
Full article: AG-600 likely a military transport for PLA in Pacific: expert (Want China Times)