NSHina denied a media report that the People’s Republic of China had tested a hypersonic missile suitable for nuclear weapons. “It was a spacecraft, not a missile,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday. They were routine tests to test technology for reusing the spacecraft. It happened in July.
A representative of the US Congress interpreted the report on China’s test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as a wake-up call. “This test should be a call to action,” Republican Mike Gallagher said Sunday (local time). “If we stick to our current inactive trajectory, (…) we will lose the new Cold War with communist China within this decade.”
Undermining US missile defense and threatening nuclear strikes
As reported by the Financial Times on Saturday, citing five anonymous sources, Beijing is said to have tested a hypersonic missile capable of producing nuclear weapons in August. It circled the globe once in a low orbit before missing its target by about 15 km. According to the report, the test should show that the Chinese military is already more advanced in its hypersonic weapons program than previously assumed by US intelligence agencies. Hypersonic weapons are particularly difficult to intercept because they can reach more than five times the speed of sound.
According to Gallagher, China is increasingly able to undermine the US missile defense system and even threaten it with nuclear strikes. The Republican represents the US state of Wisconsin in the House of Representatives, and is a member of an important committee on the US armed forces.
Both the United States and Russia are currently working on hypersonic missiles. North Korea also said it tested a hypersonic missile in September. The Chinese Defense Ministry in Beijing initially did not comment on the media report.