The top US military official said Washington was watching China’s efforts to build up its military arsenal. But he declined to comment on reports that Beijing took a major step two months ago by testing a hypersonic missile.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters during a visit to Tblisi, Georgia on Monday that China remains a “major rival” and that its military advances are a matter of concern.
“We are watching China’s weapons development and increasing capabilities and systems only increase tensions in the region,” he said, without elaborating.
Financial Times pThere was a Saturday (16/10) report that China had tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, surprising US military and intelligence officials.
But China on Monday denied that it had conducted a hypersonic missile test, saying it was actually testing a multi-use spacecraft.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the spacecraft’s technology would allow costs to be reduced and provide a more affordable way for humans to use space safely. [vm/jm]