China launches defensive anti-missile tests
China successfully performs a mid-range anti-ballistic missile test late Sunday, according to the country's defense ministry.
China conducted a test of "ground-based midcourse anti-missile intercept technology" that "achieved its expected purpose," according to the Chinese Defense Ministry, which described it as defensive and not aimed against any country.
Beijing has already tested missile interceptors; the most recent public declaration of a test was in February 2021, and the one before that was in 2018. According to state media, China has been testing anti-missile defense systems since at least 2010.
As part of President Xi Jinping's modernization plan, China has increased research on all types of missiles, from those that can destroy satellites in orbit to powerful nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
China and its partner Russia have often expressed their opposition to the United States' deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.
China said the equipment's strong radar may penetrate into its territory. China and Russia have also conducted mock anti-missile exercises.
Aside from brief announcements by the Defense Ministry or state media, China has provided few specifics about its own missile programs.
In 2016, the Ministry confirmed it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television. According to Beijing, such technology is required for national defense and security.