US army general Mark Milley says China’s military is “expanding rapidly”. File photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
US army general Mark Milley says China’s military is “expanding rapidly”. File photo: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

China’s weapons tests have the US concerned

By Shifaan Ryklief Time of article published Oct 28, 2021

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Cape Town – Following a number of missile weapons tests by China over the past months, United States army general Mark Milley has said the Asian giant’s military is “expanding rapidly”.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Wednesday, Milley said China’s tests were a “very significant technological event” and likened them to a Sputnik moment -- a reference to 1957 when a Soviet satellite launch set in motion a Cold War arms race.

According to the BBC, Milley’s comment is the first official acknowledgement by the US that China had conducted nuclear-capable missile tests. Milley reportedly added that China now “has all of our attention”.

“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system… And it is very concerning,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that.”

Meanwhile, China has denied testing the hypersonic weapons system which is said to have the ability to evade radar detection and can travel at five times the speed of sound. Officials said its tests were regular space vehicle ones and called on Washington to respect its rights to build a defence capacity.

A spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, Wang Wenbin, told China Central Television (CCTV) last week that the US had repeatedly expressed concerns over China’s normal spacecraft test and played up the “China threat” theory.

“The US is the first country in the world to conduct research and development of hypersonic weapons,” Wang told a media briefing.

“It is now still developing and even spreading hypersonic missile technology, and investing trillions of dollars to upgrade its nuclear triad force.”

African News Agency (ANA)

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