News"Was a spacecraft": China denies nuclear missile test

"Was a spacecraft": China denies nuclear missile test

China is said to have tested a hypersonic missile capable of nuclear weapons. The US is alarmed. The Chinese government is now denying the reports.

+++ 1 p.m.: China has denied reports about the test of a hypersonic missile capable of nuclear weapons. It was a routine test of a spacecraft. “It was a spacecraft, not a rocket,” said a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday. The test was already carried out in July, the spokesman said.

First report from Monday, October 18, 2021, 9 a.m .: Washington DC – A suspected missile test in China has sparked concern and amazement in US politics. A member of the US Congress even rated the report on a Chinese test of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as a wake-up call. “This test should serve as a call to action,” said Republican Mike Gallagher on Sunday (10/17/2021, local time). “If we stick to our current inactive course, […] we will lose the new Cold War with communist China within this decade.”

As the Financial Times reported on Saturday (October 16, 2021), citing five anonymous sources, Beijing is said to have tested a hypersonic missile capable of nuclear weapons in August. China apparently sent the hypersonic missile into space with a missile of the type “Long March 7”. The bullet capable of nuclear weapons circled the globe once in a low orbit before it missed the intended target by about 15 kilometers.

China and the hypersonic missile: weapons program apparently well advanced – to the astonishment of the USA

According to the report, the test should show that China’s military is already much more advanced with its hypersonic weapons program than US intelligence agencies had previously assumed.

Dieses von der nordkoreanischen Regierung zur Verfügung gestellte Foto zeigt eine nach nordkoreanischen Angaben neue Hyperschallrakete.

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This photo, made available by the North Korean government, shows what North Korean sources say is a new hypersonic missile.

The hypersonic missile

Hypersonic missiles, like ballistic missiles, can carry nuclear weapons. However, while ballistic missiles fly in a high arc on a clearly defined course through space, hypersonic missiles can orbit the earth at more than five times the speed of sound, about 6200 kilometers per hour, in a low orbit. They are also remote-controlled and therefore difficult to detect and intercept by defense systems.

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.

Both the United States and Russia are currently working on hypersonic missiles. North Korea also stated that it tested a hypersonic missile in September. The Chinese Ministry of Defense in Beijing initially did not comment on the media report. (judo / tu with AFP / dpa)

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