China puts J-20 stealth fighter into service

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The J-20 made its public debut at a Chinese airshow previous year - but at the time it was thought the aircraft was not yet ready for service.

Chinese plane-spotters first caught a glimpse of the J-20 in 2010, before the public got its first viewing of the craft at the Zhuhai airshow in November 2016.

The J-20, which bears some resemblance to the US F-22, also raises questions about the extent to which China has been able to steal USA military secrets. "The J-20 has not yet entered mass production progress, and now just a few limited aircraft are able to serve in the air force, similar to the Y-20".

China's new generation stealth fighter jet J-20 has been commissioned into the country's Air Force.

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The navy is another key focus for China.

President Donald Trump's unpredictable stance in the region has Beijing on edge as it continues to bolster its Navy.

China's second aircraft carrier is now for "equipment installation", according to Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) Deputy Chief-of-staff Wang Weiming.

"We will intercept any intruding aircraft and follow every military vessel in areas under our responsibility", Wang said on March 9, Reuters reported. The new carrier is expected to enter service around 2020, along with the Liaoning, China's only other aircraft carrier.

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Another senior officer, Li Yanming, political commissar of the Navy's armaments department, said a "first-class navy should be equipped with first-class armaments", the report added. China will also increase its defence budget by 7 per cent to 1.044 trillion yuan (S$214 billion).

China's defence spending amounts to only about a quarter of the USA defence budget, though many experts believe its actual spending on the military to be higher than the official figure.

However, Academy of Military Sciences researcher Chen Zhou told Beijing Youth Daily that China will not compete with United States.

And the J-20 aircraft are so technologically ahead, they make Britain's new F35s look antique in comparison.

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Xinhua quoted Wang Huayong, deputy political commissar of the Eastern Theatre Command, as saying that China's increasing Naval power does not pose any threat. "The marines remain weak, and the number and quality of long-distance vessels do not meet expectations".

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