China tested emerging military technology aimed at destroying missiles in mid-air after an initial test in 2010, state media said on Sunday, in a move that will unnerve its neighbours.
A brief report by the official Xinhua news agency said the military carried out a “land-based mid-course missile interception test within its territory”.
“The test has reached the pre-set goal,” the report quoted an unnamed Defence Ministry official as saying. “The test is defensive in nature and targets no other country.”
It did not specify whether any missile or object had been destroyed in the test.
“Although no other detailed information about the test was released from the military authorities, weapon system experts said such a test could build shield for China’s air defences by intercepting incoming warheads such as ballistic missiles in space,” the report added.
People’s Liberation Army officials and documents in recent years have said developing anti-missile technology is one focus of defence spending, which has grown by double-digits over many years.
The latest flexing of China’s maturing military hardware comes as Beijing is involved in increasingly bitter territorial disputes in the East China Sea with Japan and in the South China Sea with several Southeast Asian nations.
Beijing says its military spending is for defensive purposes and the modernisation of outdated forces.