6th February, 2018
China has successfully carried out another test of an anti-missile intercept system, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday, describing it as defensive and not aimed at any country.
China has been ramping up research into all sorts of missiles, from those which can destroy satellites in space to advanced nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, as part of an ambitious modernisation scheme overseen by President Xi Jinping.
The Defence Ministry said in a brief statement the “ground-based midcourse anti-missile intercept technology” had been tested on Monday within China’s borders.
“The test reached its expected goals,” the ministry said. “This test was defensive and not aimed at any country.”
It provided no other details.
While China, along with its ally Russia, have repeatedly expressed opposition to the U.S. deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea, it has not stopped Chinese research into such technology.
China and Russia have also held simulated anti-missile drills, most recently last year.
China fears the THAAD system, with its powerful radar, can look deep into Chinese territory and threaten its own security.
It also says it will do nothing to help ease tensions with North Korea over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programmes.
South Korea and the U.S. say the THAAD deployment is simply to deter North Korean missile attacks.
China has given few details about its own missile programmes, aside from occasional brief statements by the Defence Ministry or in state media.
In 2016, the Defence Ministry confirmed it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television.
State media says China has been conducting anti-missile system tests since at least 2010.
China says such technology is needed for its own national defence and security.