I do not think that the issue has been that, "China can't make engines." At least certainly not here on SD.My first thought is that its a Mach 3.0-4.0 recon/strike platform (the YJ-12 already acheives Mach 3+ speeds, though that begs the question about solid vs liquid fuels), but it could be much much more.
If this is a hypersonic plane, then maybe we won't have to hear that tripe about "China can't make engines" anymore.
The issue is the development and production of some very special engines for high-end applications. Making the very high end engines for aircraft like the J-20 is still an ongoing, developmental process in China, which I am sure the Chinese are going to overcome.
But to date, they have had difficulty completing those types of engines and that is a fair, factual statement. Heck, there are only there or four countries on earth who can...and even they have problems when ever they try to push the envelope further.
Hypersonic travel is going to mean ramjets and scramjets...which are a completely different animals than a really high-end, cutting-edge turbofan engine.