BEIJING — An official Chinese newspaper on Tuesday dismissed a report that the country used technology taken from a downed US airplane in its own stealth fighter program.
Chinese officials this month staged the first-known test flight of the J-20 prototype stealth fighter that could one day challenge American air superiority.
The flight came during a rare visit to China by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and caught many defense analysts by surprise, seeming to indicate that China was acquiring cutting-edge technology more rapidly than previously thought.
China said the plane is based entirely on indigenous designs, and the Global Times on Tuesday quoted an unidentified Defense Ministry official as dismissing an Associated Press report citing Balkan military officials and other experts saying that China likely gleaned some of their technological know-how from an American F-117 Nighthawk shot down over Serbia in 1999.
"It's not the first time foreign media has smeared newly unveiled Chinese military technologies. It's meaningless to respond to such speculations," the official was quoted as saying by the newspaper, which is published by the ruling Communist Party's flagship People's Daily.