China is working on a secret "space bomber" to compete with America's Boeing X-37 reusable unmanned spacecraft.
Sources say people who reported UFO sightings on March 13 in the Chinese cities of Chongqing, Kunming, Chengdu, Wuhan, Changsha, Zhaoqing and Haikou actually saw a top secret rocket being tested by the government. This coincides with an announcement on the website of China's National Space Science Center the same evening which declared that scientists had successfully conducted a high-altitude scientific exploration test.
Various reports claim that China upped its space program following the successful launch of the US X-37B reusable unmanned spacecraft in December last year. Sources say China has been developing a mysterious space shuttle codenamed "Shenlong," meaning "Divine Dragon" in Chinese, a stealth space bomber that will significantly boost the country's space warfare capabilities.
Chinese military websites began "leaking" alleged photos of the Shenlong project in 2007, with a spacecraft appearing to be suspended from a Xian H-6 strategic bomber. In January 2011, a television station in northwest China's Shaanxi province reported the successful test of an aerosphere vehicle. However, precise details of the Shenlong have remained secret, with most online reports about the project deleted by censors.
Last June, media in central China's Hubei province said that the Shenlong is similar in purpose to the X-37B in that it is an unmanned spacecraft, and claimed that the country's scientists have achieved four major technological breakthroughs on the project in the last two years.
Speculation from alleged photos puts the Shenlong's size at around 1m high and 5m-6m in length, which would make it roughly a third the size of the X-37B. Others sources have estimated the Shenlong at around 1.1m high, 12m long and 4m wide.