China has carried out a land-based missile interception test that “achieved its expected purpose”, its defence ministry said, describing it as defensive and not aimed at any country.
In a brief statement late on Sunday, the ministry said that the “ground-based midcourse anti-missile intercept technology” test had been carried out that night.
“The test reached its expected goals,” the ministry said. “This test was defensive and not aimed at any country.”
It provided no other details.
China has been ramping up research into all sorts of missiles, from those that can destroy satellites in space to advanced nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, as part of an ambitious modernisation scheme overseen by President Xi Jinping.
Beijing has tested missile interceptors before; the most recent previous public announcement of a test was in February 2021, and before that in 2018. State media said China has been conducting anti-missile system tests since at least 2010.
China, along with its ally Russia, has repeatedly expressed opposition to the US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.
China argued the equipment’s powerful radar could penetrate its territory. China and Russia have also held simulated anti-missile drills.
China has given few details about its missile programmes, aside from occasional brief statements by the defence ministry or in state media.
In 2016, the defence ministry confirmed it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television. Beijing says such technology is needed for national defence and security.