China claims to have successfully executed a midcourse missile intercept test, a step that could improve the country’s ability to withstand outside interference as it pursues territorial claims.
The Defense Ministry issued a brief statement late Sunday with no details, but stated that the test was solely defensive in nature and was not aimed at any foreign countries.
Missiles are an important part of China’s defence strategy, as well as the backbone of its space programme, which has launched personnel and supplies to the country’s orbiting space station.
China has been raising threats against Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing claims as its own territory and threatens to annexe by military force if necessary.
A confrontation over Taiwan would almost certainly involve the United States, which is the island’s primary military supplier and is legally obligated to view threats to it as “grave concern.”
In the South China Sea, China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, and other states.
China is likewise perceived as supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite the fact that it has not offered material help.