China has told the visiting US defense secretary that a maiden test-flight of its first home-built prototype stealth fighter was not a show of muscle against Washington.
The test flight comes on the second day of US Defense Secretary Robert Gates' visit to China aimed at mending frayed military ties between the two sides.
Gates said Chinese President Hu Jintao has told him during a meeting that the flight was not timed to coincide with his visit.
"I asked President Hu about it directly, and he said that the test had absolutely nothing to do with my visit and had been a pre-planned test,” Gates told reporters.
Chinese media reported that the J-20 flew for about 15 minutes over an airfield in the country's southwest.
Ahead of his arrival in China, Gates had warned that Washington would respond to Beijing's development of a new stealth aircraft.
Defense analysts say the flight can eventually help end the US military dominance in the troubled region.
Gates has sought to resume military exchanges with China amid rising tensions between the two countries over a range of issues.
The developments come as senior officials in Beijing have strongly condemned the several rounds of joint US-South Korea naval war games recently conducted close to Chinese waters.
China says the drills were a fresh provocation "to China and its surrounding.”
Moreover, China has reduced its military cooperation with the Pentagon over the USD 6.4 billion US arms sales to Taiwan. China considers the island as part of its territory.
Reports say China is also building game-changing aircraft carriers, stealth jet fighters and advanced weapons that can pave the way for ending the dominance of the United States at sea.