China has tested a hypersonic missile capable of nuclear weapons, according to a Financial Times report. Beijing reacts – and speaks of a “routine test”.
Beijing (dpa) – China says it has tested a new spacecraft with reusable technology.
Responding to reporters’ questions on a Financial Times article about an alleged August attempt with a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, State Department spokesman Zhao Lijian said, “It was a spacecraft. space, not a missile.
He spoke of a “routine test”. It was about using technology again. This is important in space travel in order to keep costs down. “Many other countries and companies are doing similar tests.” The remains of the spacecraft fell into the East China Sea. The spokesperson did not give further details.
The “Financial Times” had reported, citing five anonymous sources, that the “rocket” circled the globe once in low orbit before missing its target by about 15 kilometers. This was seen as proof that the Chinese military was much more advanced with its hypersonic weapons program than US intelligence agencies had previously assumed.
Hypersonic weapons are particularly difficult to intercept because they can reach more than five times the speed of sound. The United States and Russia are currently working on hypersonic missiles. North Korea also said it tested a hypersonic missile in September.
US politicians: the report is a wake-up call
US Congressman Mike Gallagher has taken the report as a wake-up call. “This test must serve as a call to action,” said the Republican. “If we stick to our current inactive course, (…) we will lose the new cold war with Communist China in this decade.”
According to Gallagher, China is increasingly capable of undermining US missile defense and even threatening it with nuclear strikes. The Republican represents the US state of Wisconsin in the House of Representatives and sits on the important committee on the US armed forces.
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