China says it has successfully carried out a test of military technology to shoot down missiles in mid-air. The news comes in the wake of tensions between Beijing and Washington because of American missile sales to Taiwan, an island China considers part of its territory.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu Tuesday told reporters her country’s test of emerging military technology was successful.
Jiang says Monday’s test of “ground-based, mid-course missile intercepting technology” had what she describes as “the expected result.”
There have been few details about the test.
But the Chinese spokeswoman says it has not left any debris in space orbit and does not constitute a threat to the security of other spacecraft.
She emphasizes that the anti-missile test is in line with what she calls China’s path of peaceful development and is not targeted at any country.
Jiang says China has what she describes as a “defensive international defense policy.” She says China is stepping-up its defense modernization in the interest of national security, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The apparently successful test came soon after the United States cleared a sale of advanced missiles to Taiwan, despite strong opposition from Beijing.
China curtailed military-to-military contacts with the United States in 2008, after then President George W. Bush announced plans to sell Taiwan a long-delayed arms package.
China has claimed sovereignty of self-governed Taiwan since 1949, when the Nationalists fled to the island after losing a civil war to the Chinese Communists. Beijing has vowed to bring Taiwan back under its rule, by force, if necessary.
In recent years, China has arrayed hundreds of missiles along the Chinese coast, all pointed at Taiwan.
The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979. But Washington remains Taiwan’s biggest military backer and has said it will help the island defend itself.