China has carried out a land-based missile interception test that “achieved its expected purpose,” the Chinese Ministry of National Defense said, adding that it was for defensive purposes and not aimed at any country.
China has been ramping up research into many types of missiles, from those that could destroy satellites in orbit to advanced nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, as part of an ambitious modernization scheme overseen by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Beijing has tested missile interceptors before. The most recent public announcement of a test was in February last year, and before that in 2018.
State media said that China has conducted anti-missile system tests since at least 2010.
The ministry in a brief statement on Sunday said that the “ground-based midcourse anti-missile intercept technology” test had been carried out that night.
“The test reached its expected goals,” the ministry said. “This test was defensive and not aimed at any country.”
It provided no other details.
China, along with its ally Russia, has repeatedly expressed opposition to US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in South Korea, saying that the equipment’s powerful radar could penetrate into its territory.
China and Russia have also held simulated anti-missile drills.
China has given few details about its own missile programs, aside from occasional brief statements by the defense ministry or in state media.
In 2016, the ministry confirmed it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures of the operations appeared on state television.
Beijing said that such technology is needed for national defense and security.
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