China denies testing nuclear-capable hypersonic missile

China denies testing nuclear-capable hypersonic missile
China showed a hypersonic missile platform at a recent military parade. Source: Getty Images
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: China has denied testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile earlier this year, insisting that it was a routine spacecraft check.

Financial Times newspaper reported it first about the Chinese missile which prompted concern in Washington, and the report says US intelligence was reportedly caught by surprise.

Hypersonic missiles are more agile and much faster than normal ones, meaning they are more difficult to intercept.

The news broke out as concern grows around China’s nuclear capabilities.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing on Monday that a routine test had been carried out in July to verify different types of reusable spacecraft technology.

He said: “This was not a missile, this was a spacecraft. This is of great significance for reducing the cost of spacecraft use.”

Mr Zhao said that many countries had carried out similar spacecraft tests in the past. When asked if the Financial Times report was inaccurate, the spokesperson replied “yes”.

The Financial Times report published on Saturday quoted five unnamed sources who said a hypersonic missile had been launched in the summer. The report said, the missile flew through low-orbit space before cruising down and narrowly missing its target.

According to the FT report: “The test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realised.s”

US disarmament ambassador Robert Wood said on Monday that the US was “very concerned”, adding that Washington “had held back from pursuing military applications for this technology”.

You may read: North Korea fires ballistic missile into waters off Japan