China conducted a mid-course land-based missile interception test, which its Ministry of National Defense said was conducted within China's territory and “achieved its preset goal.”
The type of missile used in the test or target was not mentioned in several reports published in China’s state-controlled media.
The announcement came after luminous clouds were spotted in Turpan, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region on Friday, of which pictures of it were spread online.
"The mid-course of the long-range ballistic missile is located in the outer atmosphere, where the interception could reduce damage to the target on our side," Yang Chengjun, a Chinese missile expert and quantum defense scientist, told the Global Times on Tuesday. "The higher the interception is made, the smaller the damage to us would be."
This is the Chinese military's third public announcement of a successful test of the mid-course land-based missile interception technology. The previous two were in January 2010 and January 2013.
Yang said that this mid-course land-based missile interception test was normal and part of a schedule.
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The US and China have launched a war of words over allegations made by a US congressional panel that Chinese government-linked hackers had launched dozens of cyberattacks on American defence contractors. Beijing has flat-out denied the charges, saying they were "fabricated out of thin air
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