BEIJING, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- China conducted a test flight of its new stealth fighter Tuesday while U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was visiting the country, a military observer said.
Speaking by telephone to The New York Times from Hong Kong, Andrei Chang, considered to be an expert on the Chinese military, said the J-20, which can evade radar detection, was in the air for about 15 minutes during the test over an airfield in southwestern Chengdu city.
The test, coming before Gates' scheduled meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, was seen as a show of Chinese force, the report said.
The Times said pictures of the flight were carried by unofficial Chinese military Web sites and a computer bulletin board run by China's state-run Global Times. There was no immediate reaction from Pentagon officials traveling with Gates, whose China visit is aimed at improving military relations between the two countries.
Chang said the stealth fighter's flight test had originally been set for Thursday before a large crowd of officials at Chengdu airfield but was postponed unexpectedly.