China conducted two hypersonic weapons tests this summer

Chinese troops tested hypersonic weapons twice in the summer, raising US concerns that Beijing is steadily competing to develop a new generation of weapons.

July 27 Chinese army According to four people familiar with US intelligence, they used a “partial orbital bombing” system to launch the first rocket to propel a nuclear-capable “hypersonic glide vehicle” to Earth.

This Week’s Financial Times report The first test was in August, not the end of July. China then conducted a second hypersonic test on August 13, said two people familiar with the matter.

The three, familiar with the first test in July, said they didn’t elaborate on the details, but said they surprised the Pentagon and US intelligence as China was able to demonstrate a whole new weapons capability.

Some said government scientists were having a hard time understanding the abilities that the United States doesn’t currently have, adding that China’s achievements seemed to “go against the laws of physics.”

Space and missile experts have been discussing China’s testing since FT unveiled the event over the weekend.

Geoffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons expert at the Middlebury International Institute in Monterey, said China appeared to have developed new innovations, but emphasized the need to maintain some skepticism.

“We should accept the reality that innovation is possible in China as well,” he said.

“But I will note the exaggerated characterization that may help tolerate common intelligence failures. If it’s impossible to imagine innovation, no one is responsible for missing it. No, “Lewis added.

The White House declined to comment on Wednesday. US government officials, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, have refused to confirm or deny the existence of tests that remain classified.

President Joe Biden expressed concern about hypersonic weapons on Wednesday. When he left Washington for Pennsylvania, he was asked if he was worried about the development of high-speed, mobile weapons, and he answered “yes.”

China’s Foreign Ministry denied FT’s talk this week saying it had just launched a spaceplane, but the test took place on July 16. The Chinese embassy in Washington declined to comment on Wednesday.

Talk to U.S. military newspaper Star-Spangled Banner Admiral Charles Richard, head of the Strategic Command, which oversees US nuclear forces, said in Germany this week that he was “not surprised” by the FT’s report. He added that he wouldn’t be surprised to see more reports next month.

Richard, who issued a warning about China’s nuclear forces this year, told newspapers that “breathtaking expansion” meant that China was “capable of implementing possible nuclear employment strategies.”

During the summer, satellite images appeared showing that China was building hundreds of silos to house intercontinental ballistic missiles.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said this week that the Biden administration was very concerned about the rapid expansion of China’s nuclear forces, including the development of a “new delivery system.”

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China conducted two hypersonic weapons tests this summer

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