With China quickly growing as a regional power, the US military is stepping up investment in a range of military technologies, including a long-range nuclear-capable bomber aircraft, a new generation of electronic jammers, and a radar-evading fighter jet, reports the New York Times. China has concerned many with its own stealth fighter jet, and an antiship ballistic missile capable of hitting American aircraft carriers. “They clearly have potential to put some of our capabilities at risk, and we have to pay attention to them, we have to respond appropriately with our own programs,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Gates made his comments while flying to Beijing, where he is to speak with Chinese generals and President Hu Jintao, to promote better relations between Chinese and US militaries. Although military observers consider China to be one or two generations behind the US, Gates expressed concern about the speed of China's modernization. But, lest the Chinese discount the US as a nation in decline, Gates warns that "history’s dustbins are filled with countries that underestimated the resilience of the United States."