This week the general public got to see China’s latest fighter jet. At an airshow taking place in the city of Zhuhai in the south of China the Chengdu J-20 stealth fighter made its first appearance. There were hundreds of spectators in attendance as well as dignitaries and industry executives. As the crowd gasped and applauded, car alarms in the parking lot went off from the noise that the fighter jets generated.
China’s residents could see images of the Chengdu J-20 online and react to them. They used Chinese social network Sina Weibo to express their enthusiasm. The social media site is similar to Twitter and is very popular in China.
China’s Answer to America’s Fifth Generation Fighter Jets
Reactions from average Chinese people on Sina Weibo showed pride in the achievement of their country.
“The J-20 is a sharp sword to defend our country and protect our people,”
wrote one user.
“I am so excited that it has finally taken to the skies,”
said another one.
The Chengdu J-20 is designed to be a rival to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well as the F-22 Raptor that the United States have. The F-35 and the F-22 are the most advanced fighter jets available today. There are many similarities between the planes. And many say that the similarities are not just mere coincidences.
United States officials have made accusations that the Chinese military hacked computer systems and stole information that helped them build the Chengdu J-20. The F-35 and the F-22 are cutting edge stealth fighters. Information about the two aircraft may have contributed to the making of the Chengdu J-20.
Experts say that there are striking similarities between China’s J-20 and the F-35 and F-22 of the United States. These serve to show that China stole know-how in order to be able to catch up very quickly on the technology to build these warplanes. The F-35 and F-22 are “fifth generation” fighter jets and use the most advanced technology that is available today. China brought itself up to speed in record time and started making the Chengdu J-20.
China Claims to Have an Original Design
Justin Bronk is a research fellow at the Royal Services Institute, a think-tank in London. He believes that China stole proprietary information in order to be able to build the Chengdu J-20.
“China has been extremely active in stealing design information for many years. It’s a Chinese strategy to steal what they can and reverse engineer it,”
said Justin Bronk.
He added that many of the features on the J-20 appear to be almost identical to either the F-35 or the F-22.
However, the Ministry of National Defense in China rejected any claim that the design for the Chengdu J-20 was not original.
“The J-20 is a new generation of stealth fighter jet independently developed by China. The accusation by some people that China stole the technology of others is totally groundless,”
said the Chinese Ministry of National Defense in a statement sent to the press.
Image source: here.