The popular tabloid, owned by the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, showed a photograph of a grey fighter plane and a caption that said “an alleged J-20 prototype prepares to take off” from an airfield in Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province on Sunday.

The aircraft made several passes and waggled its wings to salute the crowd near the airfield,” the Global Times quoted an anonymous person as saying.

China’s Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment…

Some analysts have said that the first few photos of the J-20 suggest that China may be making faster-than-expected progress in developing a rival to Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor, the world’s only operational stealth fighter designed to evade detection by radar.