Hypersonic rocket or spaceship? Secret Chinese test worries the US

The USA, Russia, and, presumably, North Korea are working on hypersonic missiles - now China is also said to have shot a corresponding device around the globe. Or was it just a "spaceship"?

According to a report by the UK Financial Times, which cites five unspecified informants, China tested a nuclear weapon-grade hypersonic missile in August. However, after the long march missile orbited the earth in low orbit and finally aimed at its target, it missed the target by more than “two dozen miles” (more than 30 kilometers).

The report goes on to say that the US secret services are - according to an insider - quite surprised by this progress on the Chinese side. The remotely controlled hypersonic weapons are particularly difficult for defense systems to intercept because they can reach more than five times the speed of sound (approximately 6,200 kilometers per hour).

China is said to have tested hypersonic missiles: reaction from the USA

A public reaction to the reporting followed promptly from the USA: Republican MP Mike Gallagher (Wisconsin) published a statement in which he describes the reported test as a wake-up call and speaks of a "new cold war". "The People's Liberation Army now has an increasingly credible ability to undermine our missile defense and threaten the American homeland with both conventional and nuclear strikes."

Has China tested a hypersonic missile?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says no. China itself, on the other hand, denies having actually tested a hypersonic missile capable of nuclear weapons. As reported by the DPA, among others, the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, responded to inquiries from journalists with a brief statement: “It was a spaceship, not a rocket.” A routine test of used technology was carried out. A procedure that is common to reduce costs. "Many other countries and companies are doing similar tests." Remains of the spacecraft landed in the East China Sea, and the test was also carried out in July.

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