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Published on Mar 25, 2011
The emergence of the hi-tech weaponry - which would make it more difficult for the US navy and air force to project power close to Taiwan and elsewhere on China's coastline - comes at a politically sensitive time. Later this month, President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, will hold a summit in Washington aimed at patching up their differences after a niggling year in bilateral relations.
The photograph, of what appears to be a prototype J-20 jet undergoing runway tests, has been circulating on the internet since last week, fuelling speculation that China's fifth-generation fighter may fly ahead of forecast.