What are the considerations of buying aircraft from China or Russia? What is the quality and durability? Of course aircraft vary by particular model, so it is case dependent. But many circumstances present determine the ultimate determination.
The ultimate last word is achieving an FAA approval. This would be meeting the various Air Worthiness ratings as listed here(the typical ones). If an aircraft meets these criteria, then it is definitely an aircraft built to recognizable standards. One other major consideration are equipment options. Now that there are so many co-produce engines and avionics, the playing field is leveled.
Differences probably will be minor. And I find all builders wish to make a good product. As far as I know none wishes to sell substandard products. This is where misconceptions lay. These builders use the best local materials as demanded by whatever markets they cater too. You simply have to be quite specific about your needs and follow up on making sure it happens. And remember a fit out of interiors acceptable in the third world might not be advisable on aircraft targeting western flyers.
Make no mistake, Russians in particular can outfit aircraft with very lavish interiors. Much more so then I would specify. I'm sure the Chinese can as well. It will come down to what YOU require. What you need to do is look for other reasons to buy their products. For instance what about terms? How about bulk financing. Can you seek marketing rights for the aircraft in your home market? How will spares and c-checks be handled? Can your financing cover multiple types of aircraft, perhaps even a few foreign ones to fill out your fleet requirements?
Of course you also have to check how your intended aircraft would fit into the local infrastructure. I find by mixing in western engines and avionics, Russian and Chinese aircraft are excellent choices. You just have to underpin their chance of success by providing capital and maintenance capacity.
As far as any fleets of my own, no there is none......yet. From my point of view the transportation project is secondary to the energy and mining project. But in a perfect world I already know what fleet I will look into. About 6 AN-70's. 6 IL-114-100's 12 BE-32K's and 12 AAC Angels. The BE-32K's would actually be bought to help foster a possible new model. Much more attuned to Canada and flexible for multi-role use.
Incidentally that is a niche problem the Harbin product faces along with the LET-410 and BE-32K. They do not come out to well against the Twin Otter. The LET and BE-32K both have potential to beat the Twin Otter. Actually it is a bit unfair to cast the Harbin aircraft against any of the other three. It is more in competition with aircraft typical of the South pacific(PAC XL-750, Super Caravans). It's sort of between all of them really though. The real killer against the first three is airspeed.