China has tested emerging military technology aimed at
destroying missiles in mid-air after an initial test in 2010,
state media says, in a move that will unnerve its neighbours.
A brief report by the official Xinhua news agency said the
military carried out a "land-based mid-course missile
interception test within its territory".
"The test has reached the pre-set goal," the report quoted an
unnamed Defence Ministry official as saying. "The test is
defensive in nature and targets no other country."
It did not specify whether any missile or object had been
destroyed in the test.
"Although no other detailed information about the test was
released from the military authorities, weapon system experts
said such a test could build shield for China's air defences
by intercepting incoming warheads such as ballistic missiles
in space," the report added.
People's Liberation Army officials and documents in recent
years have said developing anti-missile technology is one
focus of defence spending, which has grown by double-digits
over many years.
The latest flexing of China's maturing military hardware
comes as Beijing is involved in increasingly bitter
territorial disputes in the East China Sea with Japan and in
the South China Sea with several Southeast Asian nations.
Beijing says its military spending is for defensive purposes
and the modernisation of outdated forces.