n what appears to be a clear message of its military might, China staged the first test flight of the new stealth jet earlier this month - at the same time that U.S. defence chief Robert Gates was in Beijing on the second day of an official visit.
The fighter jet's successful test follows reports that China is planning to launch its first aircraft carrier and has tested a ballistic missile capable of sinking U.S. vessels in the Pacific.
The prototype jet was shown in flight, with civilians and air force personnel watching on, in pictures on several unofficial Chinese military websites, after local media outlets had claimed a successful test flight had taken place.
While the Chinese government is renowned for its stringent approach to state secrets, photos and reports of the J-20's test have remained online.
According to international agencies, the scheduling of the test flight to coincide with Mr Gates' visit to China, coupled with the seemingly relaxed approach to reports about the flight, indicated Beijing's willingness to be more open about its military intentions.
Nonetheless, reports of the stealth's successful test will do little to quell anxieties about the speed of China's military progress.
The U.S. F-22 Raptor is currently the only operational stealth fighter in the world, while Russia's Sukhoi T-50 jet is expected to enter active service in the next four years.
But pictures of China's J-20, which looks larger than the F-22 or T-50, will be of concern to the Taiwanese government, whose antiquated aircraft and radar systems would provide little resistance to radar-evading Chinese jets.
The U.S. has claimed China would not be capable of developing a stealth jet for years and production of the F-22 was recently capped.
But the J-20's successful test, coupled with reports of the development of an aircraft carrier and missile system, confirms China's growing military might.
Add to this the F-35 is YEARS behind in production and well over budget.... Thoughts?
How many branches of the US military utilize the F-22? Seems the Chinese are cunning and resourceful.
Answer by Sisteract at 1:08 PM on Jan. 24, 2011
Answer by UpSheRises at 2:47 PM on Jan. 24, 2011
Answer by Carpy at 3:37 PM on Jan. 24, 2011
Answer by UpSheRises at 4:13 PM on Jan. 24, 2011
We ARE smart enough... Especially when our leaders aren't apologizing our nations way into "global equality
I do believe China is number one in math & science. What number are we again?
Answer by mommom2000 at 4:57 PM on Jan. 24, 2011
Schwartz and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley have publicly endorsed Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to halt production of the F-22 after ordering just four more fighters under the fiscal 2009 war spending budget.
We currently have 187
Answer by sweet-a-kins at 1:10 PM on Jan. 24, 2011
Next question overall
I am 21 weeks and i am having numbness in my hands and feet is anyone else...