What Scares the Vice Chief

China’s increasing ability to deliver advanced combat aircraft is disconcerting, Gen. Phillip Breedlove, vice chief of staff, told lawmakers this week. “Clearly, we are some number of decades ahead of the Chinese in stealth and in the capability to employ stealth,” he said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s readiness panel. While no nation can close a technology gap of “three or four decades overnight,” Breedlove said the Chinese, because of “the way that they’re intruding into the nets of our manufacturers and our government,” are “catching up at an increased rate because of what they learn in those cyber intrusions.” Accordingly, “When they say they’re going to build 300 [J-20s] in the next five years, they will build 300 [J-20s] in the next five years. They will put the money to whatever they decide to do. And that scares me because of the determination and the fact that they’ll deliver,” he explained during Tuesday’s hearing. China unveiled the stealthy-looking J-20 combat aircraft last December and began flying it in tests in January.