China denies testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, says it was a spacecraft

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The Financial Times reported on Sunday That “China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before accelerating toward its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that surprised US intelligence.” The report cited unnamed sources “informed on intelligence.”

Asked about the report at a regular press briefing on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the August test was “a spacecraft, not a missile.”

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“This test was a routine spaceflight experiment to verify the reusability technology of spacecraft, which is very important to reduce the cost of spacecraft use. It is a convenient way for humans to use space peacefully.” and may provide a cheaper method. Many companies in the world have done similar experiments,” Zhao said.

He said that “what separated from the spacecraft prior to its return was the spacecraft’s accessories, which burned to ashes and disintegrated in the process of falling into the atmosphere and landing on the high seas.”


“China will work together with other countries of the world to benefit mankind in the peaceful use of space,” he said.

Responding to the FT’s report, Mike Gallagher, a Republican member of the US House Armed Services Committee, said the alleged hypersonic missile test “should serve as a call to action.”

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Gallagher said the US could “lose the new Cold War with communist China within a decade” if the Biden administration persists on its “current complacent course”.

America is engaged in a race with China and Russia To develop hypersonic weapons at a time of rising global tensions.

Hypersonic missiles are designed to travel at such high speeds that they can fly over great distances and move rapidly through heavily defended airspace against targets such as harbors, airfields, and other installations. They can be successfully killed before attacking.

Both Russia and China are developing hypersonic weapons programs and Russia has claimed to have successfully tested the missile. The US is focusing on conventional hypersonic weapons that are based on ships, land and air platforms.

China first tested a hypersonic missile in 2014 and Russia in 2016.

China’s hypersonic glide vehicle, known as the DF-ZF, has been tested at least nine times since 2014, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

Sean Deng, Barbara Starr and Oren Lieberman contributed to this report.


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