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
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.