China Flight Tests New Stealth Jet During Obama Visit

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China’s military upstaged the Asian economic summit in Beijing this week by conducting flights tests of a new stealth jet prototype, as the White House called on Beijing to halt its cyber attacks.

Demonstration flights by the new J-31 fighter jet—China’s second new radar-evading warplane—were a key feature at a major arms show in Zhuhai, located near Macau, on Monday.

The J-31 flights coincided with President Obama’s visit to Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting. In a speech and meetings with Chinese leaders, Obama called on China to curtail cyber theft of trade secrets.

China obtained secrets from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter through cyber attacks against a subcontractor for Lockheed Martin. The technology has shown up in China’s first stealth jet, the J-20, and in the J-31. Both of the jets’ design features and equipment are similar to those of the F-35. Continue reading

Japan flags Chinese army’s growing role as risk issue

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan on Tuesday flagged the Chinese army’s growing role in shaping the country’s foreign policy as a security risk, saying a sense of caution exists across East Asia about Beijing’s apparent military expansion in the region.

In its annual defense white paper, Tokyo said some believe that relations between the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Communist Party leadership were “getting complex” and said this was a matter of concern.

There is a possibility that the degree of military influence on foreign policy decisions has been changing, the paper said, without elaborating.

The report comes out at a time when China’s senior officers, intelligence advisers and maritime agency chiefs have been increasingly outspoken in calling for Beijing to take a tougher line in regional territorial disputes with rival claimants.

“China has responded to conflicting issues involving Japan and other neighboring countries in a way that has been criticized as assertive, raising worries about its future direction.”

Defence Minister Satoshi Morimoto said the sense of caution is shared by many countries in the region. “It is not that caution has been rising. But it is true that there exists a certain sense of caution not only in Japan but across East Asia regarding which way China is headed,” Morimoto told reporters.

Full article: Japan flags Chinese army’s growing role as risk issue (Chicago Tribune)