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China displays J-20 stealth jet at country's biggest air show

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By Alasdair Sandford  with Reuters
China displays J-20 stealth jet at country's biggest air show

China has shown off its much-anticipated J-20 stealth fighter in public for the first time. The new plane took to the skies at Airshow China, the country’s biggest meeting of aircraft makers and buyers.

Two of the J-20 jets swept over the audience at the show in the southern city of Zhuhai, in Guangdong province.

Experts say China has been refining designs for the fighter plane in the hope of narrowing a military technology gap with the United States.

Some analysts said the plane’s brief appearance answered few questions, for instance over its ability to dodge radar in the same way as its closest American rivals.

But at least one commentator said the display demonstrated a lot of Chinese confidence in showing off weapons that were not yet in full service.

Firms from the world over are exhibiting at the meeting, but the hosts are grabbing most of the interest.

The event is seen as Beijing’s shop window for its defence ambitions, as well as showing off its know-how in civil aerospace.

It is thought China will overtake the US as the world’s top aviation market in the next decade.