Chinese media lift silence on J-20

The English-language Global Times newspaper, which is published by the Chinese Communist Party, has broken China’s media silence on the J-20 program today. The story is headlined “Rumored stealth jet undergoes tests: report“, and is careful to not confirm or deny the J-20′s existence. China also seems to be trying hard to avoid looking provocative. The Global Times article quotes a Chinese military expert, Li Daguang, who pours cold water on comparisons of the J-20 to the Lockheed Martin F-22.


Li Daguang, a military expert at the PLA National Defense University, told the Global Times that Gates’ prediction was overly optimistic.

“The recent rumor about the J-20 is pure speculation,” he said. “The F-22 is an offensive weapon that fits Washington’s global strategy. China’s defense development is self-defensive in nature and does not require a fighter jet of that caliber.

“Furthermore, if China does want a fourth-generation fighter jet, it needs to build a large number of them in order to affect the regional military balance. The US has capped its number of F-22s at 187. How many should China build?”

Li also noted that China’s aviation technology is still far away from competing with Western countries, especially the US.

“Some Western media are more optimistic than Gates, and than the Chinese people,” he said. “They’ve hyped the issue because they want to.”

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7 Responses to Chinese media lift silence on J-20

  1. Dude 6 January, 2011 at 3:00 am #

    Again, unusual transparency from the PRC….

  2. Ex-Airman 7 January, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Gates… mention of his name raises my hackles…

    He reminds me of a past “Strange” SecDef and his personal choice of TFX/F-111 against the professional advice of the services. What say he now about the F-35 debacle, and future US tacair eggs in this unravelling basket?

    With the advent of the PAK-FA and now J-20, can the services be justifiably accused of “next-war-itis”? Wasn’t it not long ago when he blithely stated that China would not have a 5th gen fighter in service by 2020, and the US advantage actually grows after that.

    Hope we have a more enlightened next SecDef, whoever he/she may be.

  3. guest 8 January, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Gates has done a fine job of supporting troops currently at war. He has done this under trying financial circumstances under a Democratic administration. We are extremely fortunate to have a man like him at the helm.

    In any case, America is highly unlikely to get into a war with our banker. Odds of our next war being in another Muslim country requiring COIN proficiency are pretty good.

  4. Peter Pimentel 12 January, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    I saw the video of the new chinese stealth fighter it looks stealthy except for its jet exaust engines they look very old school. China may be all gaga over its first stealth jet but put it up against a USAF F-22 it would be toast!

  5. Bruce 13 January, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    Clearly the J-20 is not as advanced as the USAF F-22. However, it also looks much more affordable and easy-to-produce. If China can field 2000 of these fighters it can easily overwhelm any expeditionary F-22 force by shear number…
    Combined with anti-carrier and anti-AWACS missiles, China could very well win a limited conflict.

  6. Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA) 17 January, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Kind of makes sense now, you know, the development of UCAV’s. If things escalate into some build up, technology should give the United States some advantage for some time — if they protect the secret of how to make silk, that is.

    The Economist, The New York Times — actually, everyone — has been carrying almost daily pieces on the state of the euro, the US economy & that China will surpass the US probably before 2018 in sheer GDP output – which is inevitable anyway. I just wonder though, if the US is probably running thin important long term commitments like education & healthcare – that give it that technological edge.

  7. Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA) 17 January, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Slightly off topic, but you’ll catch my drift.

    There’s been a New York Times, there’s been a Financial Times, there’s even been a Sunday Times. I just can’t recall a Global Times..

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