Chinese missile test very concerning, says top US general

Chinese missile launch very concerning, says top US general
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Daily US Times: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has said China’s suspected hypersonic missile test is close to a Sputnik moment, referring to the Soviet satellite launch that sparked the Cold War arms race.

The top US general said in an interview with Bloomberg News that the Chinese military is “expanding rapidly”.

Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that the test stunned the US military.

China denies any missile test, saying instead it was a spacecraft.

On Wednesday, Gen Milley told Bloomberg: “What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system. And it is very concerning.”

The top US general added: “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.”

His comment is the first official acknowledgment by the United States of claims that China conducted two missile tests over the summer. Media reports indicate that the missile was a nuclear-capable missile that could evade US air defence systems.

The 1957 Soviet satellite launch of Sputnik shocked Americans, as the US leadership and critics feared that the Soviets were pulling ahead in technological ability.

The Sputnik launch spurred President John F Kennedy to declare that the US would land men on the moon, an aim achieved in less than a decade.

John Kirby, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, refused to comment on the general’s remarks at a Wednesday briefing, saying: “This is not a technology that is alien to us, that we haven’t been thinking about for a while.”

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