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Did the Chinese regime's J-20 Stealth Jet test flight in 2011 foreshadow the current political power struggle?
Well, the former U.S. Ambassador to China, John Huntsman, has confirmed that Chinese regime leader Hu Jintao did not know about that test flight in January 2011, which took place during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Huntsman was in New York on Wednesday, attending an event organized by the National Committee on United States-China Relations. Huntsman said Secretary Gates was not pleased about the J-20 test flight, and brought it up with Chinese leader Hu Jintao. Huntsman said Hu was taken by surprise.
[John Huntsman, Former U.S. Ambassador to China]:
"When Hu Jintao turned to the Defense Minister, and said something to the effect of, is this true? Did it fly? And I looked at that and I though, wow, this is a rare moment. And I think the Chinese side looked over at the U.S. side and probably figured there were some Chinese speakers in the crowd. And the Liang Guanglie turned to General Ma who then turned to one or two others, and back the response came to President Hu Jintao: No Secretary Gates, you're not to take offence at this, it was only a scientific research experiment."
Liang Guanglie is the Chinese Defense Minister, and General Ma is Ma Xiaotian, the General of the People's Liberation Army.
So from what Huntsman said, it would appear that Hu did not know about a major military exercise that took place under his watch while the U.S. Defense Secretary was in town.
Huntsman said this apparent broken chain of communication indicated something about the Chinese regime.