China Denies Testing Nuke-Capable Hypersonic Missile
China has denied a report that it tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, saying on Monday that the test was instead a "routine spacecraft experiment," Hannah Ritchie reported for CNN.
Photo Insert: Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian
The Financial Times reported Sunday that "China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught US intelligence by surprise."
When asked about the report at a regular press briefing Monday, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the August test was "a spacecraft, not a missile."
He added: "This test was a routine spacecraft experiment to verify the reusable technology of spacecraft, which is of great significance for reducing the cost of spacecraft use. It can provide a convenient and cheap way for humans to use space peacefully. Many companies in the world have carried out similar experiments."
He said that "what separated from the spacecraft before returning was the supporting equipment of the spacecraft, which was burned and disintegrated in the process of falling into the atmosphere and landed on the high seas."