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China Test Flies Stealth Drone

FILE - An unidentified plane flies near disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the air over the East China Sea, in this handout photo taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by Joint Staff of the Defence Ministry of J
China says it has made a first successful test flight of a new unmanned stealth drone.

Chinese state media Friday posted photos and video of the sleek delta-wing drone, called "Sharp Sword."

Media reported that the 20-minute flight took place Thursday afternoon in the country's southwest.

Beijing is also developing two manned stealth fighters, and last year China put its first aircraft carrier into service.

In September, an unmanned drone was at the center of a dispute between China and Japan, when the unidentified aircraft flew near the disputed Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China.

Following that incident, Japan approved a plan to shoot down any foreign drones in Japanese airspace. China responded by saying that an attack on its aircraft would be considered an act of war and that it would strike back.

China has steadily increased its military expenditures in recent decades, although it remains far outpaced by the United States in defense spending.

This past week, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. congressional commission, advocated an expansion of U.S. military power in Asia as a counterweight to China's modernizing military.

China sharply criticized the panel's report, saying it shows a Cold War mentality.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.