Remember when Mao derisively labeled the US a "paper tiger"? That was when we had a huge military presence in Asia and in Europe. It was a period when we had 26 tactical fighter wings, more than 20 Army divisions, and were edging toward a 500 ship naval fleet. Well, SecDef Bob Gates just got his ticket punched in Beijing. We aren't a paper tiger at all. We don't have the strength of paper or even the stripes of Hobbes. And we don't have the will to defend ourselves or the respect of most of the world.
Gates went off to our Asian banker to smooth the path for the upcoming summit when Hu Jintao comes to Washington to accept the apologies and surrender of the Messiah. Gates was going to demonstrate a new era of cooperation and strong relationships forged by the passivity of the incompetent incumbent of the White House. How did that back-slapping, hand-shaking and jovial gathering go?
Wanna See Our New Toys, Mr. Gates?
Gates got lectured by the Chinese military chief of staff. He got dissed by Hu at the public meeting and back home the Bamster is announcing the downsizing of the military by a couple of hundred thousand troops. Then as a special side-show the Chinese fast-tracked announcement, roll-out and first-flight of a new fighter. Be sure to check out the viddies at the Wall Street Journal link.
No, I'm not off the deep end about the "Stealth" aspects of the J-20. Slab-sides and jagged gear doors do not a stealthy fighter make. You definitely don't get one with all those control surfaces flapping and flashing your reflections all over the electro-magnetic spectrum.
The Chinese are still grappling with engine issues. They've got a cheap knock-off of a stealthy planform ala 5th generation fighter being powered by 3rd gen engines. They clearly don't have thrust vectoring capability like the Russians (3-D) or Raptor (2-D). They are addressing agility with brute force, lots of control movement. That isn't stealthy.
You need weapons for a fighter. Nothing indicates they are anywhere with regard to low probability of interception (LPI) sensors. There's no info about data linking or fusion from multiple sources. Simulator shots show a very rudimentary HUD style display without much else beyond flight controls. Landing and take-off speeds in the videos look quite high which isn't unreasonable for a first flight, but probably indicates concerns about high AOA maneuvering.
On the whole, the J-20 is a show. It is a propaganda ploy and it is a very intentional thumbing of a large nation's nose at the former world super-power.
If anyone still needs to ask the question about why we need more than 187 Raptors in terms of "who are they going to need to fight;" I've got the answer for them.