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Gates Tours China's Nuclear Command Center


U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has toured China's nuclear command center on the last day of his visit to China.

Gates got a rare look at the Second Artillery Corps headquarters outside Beijing.

Gates is at the end of a four-day visit to China, aimed at forging closer military ties between the two powers ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington next week.

However, as Gate met Hu and other top officials on January 11, Chinese media published photos of the country's first radar-evading combat aircraft, the J-20.

Today, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said the country's weapons development is defensive and not aimed at any other country.

The popular tabloid the "Global Times" -- which is run by Communist Party mouthpiece the "People's Daily" -- said the United States should not see the first test flight of the J-20 as a threat.

Some analysts say the development of the J-20 indicates China is making faster-than-expected progress in developing a rival to the U.S. F-22 Raptor, the world's only operational radar-evading warplane.

compiled from agency reports
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