BEIJING (AP) — China says it successfully conducted a mid-course missile intercept test, a move that could improve its ability to withstand foreign intervention as it asserts its territorial claims.
A brief statement from the Ministry of Defense on Sunday evening gave no details, but said the test was purely defensive in nature and not targeted at any foreign nation.
The missiles are a major part of China’s defense and are the backbone of its space program which has launched astronauts and components to the country’s orbiting space station.
The intercept test comes as China ramps up threats against the self-governing island of Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory to be annexed by military force if necessary. A dispute over Taiwan would likely bring in the United States, which is the island’s main source of weapons and is legally bound to treat threats against it as a matter of “grave concern”.
China is also engaged in territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam and other governments over the South China Sea.
China is also seen as supporting Russia in its invasion of Ukraine, although it did not provide material support for its actions.
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