China on Sunday carried out a land-based missile interception test that “achieved its expected purpose,” its defense ministry said.
The test, which Beijing said was within its borders, was for “defensive” purposes, and not aimed at any country. In a brief statement, the ministry said the “ground-based midcourse anti-missile intercept technology” test had been carried out that night.
“The test reached its expected goals,” the ministry said, according to Al Jazeera. “This test was defensive and not aimed at any country.”
Anti-ballistic missile systems are aimed at shielding a country from potential attacks by using projectiles to intercept incoming missiles, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). The latest missile test is the sixth known such activity carried out by China, CNN reported, citing state-run tabloid Global Times.
Before Sunday, the last anti-ballistic missile test by China was in February 2021, according to state media. The country has been conducting such tests since 2010, typically holding them every few years. Recently, China also carried out simulated anti-missile drills with Russia.
The latest missile test comes amid rising tensions in the region with a series of missile tests from North Korea, including short-range ballistic missiles and a presumed ICBM.
Meanwhile, there have been tensions between China and South Korea over the U.S.-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defense defense system. According to China, the missile defense system would jeopardize its own national security. Earlier last month, China slammed the United States for deploying medium-range ballistic missiles in the Asia Pacific region, calling the move something that could cause “gravely negative impact” on international arms control.
Another concern in the region involves China’s conflict with Taiwan. After President Joe Biden said in Japan on May 23 that America would militarily intervene if China tries to annex the island country by force, Beijing shot back, warning America to be “cautious in words and deeds” and asking it to “earnestly follow the ‘One China principle’.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping has often said Beijing could use military force for an “unavoidable” reunification with Taiwan, whose “independence is a reversal of history and a dead-end road.”