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Chinese J-20
Chinese J-20 has been spied performaing taxi tests

The Chinese military is using the money generated by its growing economy to invest heavily in military technology and new weapons systems. China continues to insist that it is not a threat, but many analysts believe the move to beef up its military is an effort to make the U.S. and allies think twice about intervening in any potential future conflict over Taiwan.

One of the new weapons system that China is developing is a new fifth-generation jet fighter aircraft called the J-20. Photos and video of the aircraft have been surfacing over the last month and many of the photos are from what is thought to be a runway taxi test of the prototype. The Pentagon stated previously that it thought China was years away from putting the aircraft into production and getting it into the air.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently clarified the concerns in the U.S. over the J-20. He noted during a press conference that China "may be somewhat further ahead in the development of the aircraft than our intelligence had earlier predicted."

Gates also said, "They [China] clearly have the potential to put some of our capabilities at risk and we have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programs."

Another of the weapon systems that has analysts in the U.S. worried is the Chinese missile system capable of taking out an aircraft carrier in one strike. Gates noted at the conference that China was "fairly far along" in the development of the missile system. Taiwan is responding to the increase in Chinese military might with increases in its own arsenal. 

Taiwan has purchased the Patriot PAC-2 air defense missile system and the systems are being upgraded to PAC-3. Taiwan has also installed early warning radar along the coast facing China and developed the Tien Kung 3 missile system that can intercept missiles and aircraft in the air.

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RE: Surprised? Really?
By Solandri on 1/10/2011 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 4
Since China is neither commie nor nazi (they are _officially_ commie but in real life no more than modern Russia for instance), besides Taiwanese are just renamed Chinese, with not many serious cultural or ideological differences with modern China.

China's not commie nor nazi, but they're totalitarian. That's enough reason to support Taiwan's independence (so long as Taiwan continues to be democratic).

If Taiwan wishes to become a part of China, it should be because they choose to do so. Not because some totalitarian state bullied them into it.

RE: Surprised? Really?
By Pirks on 1/11/2011 1:48:25 PM , Rating: 2
When this totalitarian state holds all the US debt and possesses enough military might to pwn the US Navy anywhere near Taiwan - then the US will swallow anything. You don't fight with a big heavily armed thug who also happens to be your main creditor.

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