Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group is one of the most famous aircraft manufacturers in China which was founded in 1958; The airframe plant is based in Chengdu city in Sichuan province in the mid of China.
The company and the factory as well was a result of an agreement between China and Soviet Union in 1956 to assist in aircraft production for PLAAF, in 1979 it started exporting to the outside world with wide success till today.
The first production of CAC (Chengdu Aircraft Company) was the JJ-5 (the trainer version of Mig-17), which is a combination between the fuselage and engine of the Shenyang J-5 and the two-seat cockpit of Mig-15UTI.
1000+ units were produced till 1986 with exports to few countries; Pakistan and Zimbabwe still fly this trainer.
The fighter-interceptor J-7 which design was derived from the Soviet Mig-21 was CAC's next step from mid 1960s, development of this project faced many difficulties starting from Sino-Soviet split, to the withdrawal of Soviet advisers from China in 1960, to the Cultural Revolution in late 1960s.
Full scale production started in 1980s continued till 2006 with more than 2400 units built and exports reached 10 countries under the designation of F-7.
PLAAF still fly the J-7, while many countries rely on the F-7 as a lightweight interceptor.
Egypt, Sudan and Yemen are among the middle eastern operators of this variant, few airframes were spotted in overhaul facilities in Ukraine as Lviv and Odessa.
Cooperation between CAC and PAC (Pakistan Aeronautical Complex) in 1999 resulted in development of FC-1 (JF-17 in Pakistan), it was built as a low-cost multi-role combat aircraft to meet mainly the requirement of PAF.
First flight was recorded in 2003 and production started from 2007 to present, few countries in middle east & north africa showed interest in this aircraft for its reasonable cost maintenance, advanced avionics, serious BVR capabilities, wide selection of armament and capable of integration with weaponry of any origin.
J-10, the Vigorous Dragon as known in the west is an all-weather medium weight multi-role combat aircraft, being developed and built under high secrecy (first images was published in 2007), first flight was recorded in 1998.
Few sources relate the J-10 to the canceled IAI Lavi, on the other hand officials of CAC stated that it uses Chinese designed multi-mode fire-control radar.
PLAAF nowadays is the only operator of this Dragon awaiting deliveries of 36 units to Pakistan in 2014 to be the first export customer.
Codename J-XX program was launched in late 1990s resulted to the appearance of 5th generation stealth fighter J-20 which recorded its first flight in Jan. 2011 leading China to be the 3rd nation after U.S. and Russia to develop and test-fly a full-size stealth combat aircraft demonstrator.
Predictions of Russian and Chinese adoption of stealth tech. from the F-117 shot down by Serbian military, also rumors that CAC lacks the scale and experience to complete such a project.
Finally in my opinion...China found the formula to innovate a heavy weight multi-role combat aircraft with stealth tech. and already understood the necessity to a large, twin-engined aircraft capable to carry out any mission in any weather either in air combats or for ground attacks in addition to engage and protect itself against enemy's fighters exactly like the comparable ones as F-15 and F-22.