China says it tested a missile intercept system

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s ground-based missile intercept test has “achieved its expected goal”, China’s Defense Ministry said, describing it as defensive and not targeting any country.

China is ramping up research into all kinds of missiles, from those that can destroy satellites in space to advanced ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads, as part of an ambitious modernization plan overseen by President Xi Jinping.

Beijing has tested interceptor missiles before; The most recent public announcement of the test was in February 2021, and before that in 2018. State media said China had conducted tests of anti-missile systems since at least 2010.

The ministry said in a brief statement late on Sunday that a test of “ground-based anti-missile interception technology” was conducted that night.

“The test achieved its expected goals,” the ministry said. “This test was defensive and did not target any country,” he added.

No other details were provided.

China, along with its ally Russia, has repeatedly expressed opposition to the US deployment of a High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea.

China argued that the powerful radar of the equipment could penetrate into its territory. China and Russia also conducted simulated anti-missile exercises.

China has provided few details about its missile programs, apart from occasional brief statements by the Defense Ministry or in state media.

In 2016, the Ministry of Defense confirmed that it was proceeding with tests of the anti-missile system after images appeared on state television.

Beijing says such technology is essential to national defense and security.

(Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; writing by Ben Blanchard)

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