Prophecy Digest: China successfully tests missile interceptor

China successfully tests missile interceptor: state media+

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (AP) - (Kyodo)—China has successfully tested a ground-based midcourse missile interceptor, in a test described as "defensive" in nature, state media reported Tuesday.

The test, conducted Monday within Chinese territory, was not "targeted at any country" and achieved the "expected objective," a short dispatch by official Xinhua News Agency said, without giving further details.

The Global Times newspaper quoted Chinese military experts as saying that the test represents a breakthrough in the country's air defense capabilities and missile interception technology.

The newspaper quoted Yang Chengjun, a senior military strategist, as saying China needs improved military defense capabilities as the country faces "increasingsecurity threats."

The development of missile interception technologies represented a further step in the country's military modernization, Jin Canrong, an academic at Renmin University's School of International Studies, told the newspaper.

Monday's test took place soon after the United Statesannounced that it had approved the sale of advanced Patriot air defense missiles to Taiwan.

China has voiced opposition to the sale, with the Foreign Ministry last week urging the U.S. to cancel the planned sale of "PAC-3," an upgraded Patriot air defense missile system, to avoid damaging bilateral ties.

In a Xinhua commentary on the arms sale Monday, it warned that the arms sales justified suspicions of Washington's sincerity in taking concrete action to respect each other's "core interests."

China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its own and opposes U.S. arms sales to the island as a threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, issues it considers Chinese core interests.

"This move clearly showed the dual character of the United States in dealing with the major issues related to China's core interests, especially at the moment that the cross-Straits relations have embarked on a path of peaceful development," Xinhua said. "All previous U.S. arms sales to Taiwanhave caused great damage to the Sino-U.S. relations and blocked their stable and smooth development."

"The United States should...immediately stop arms sales to Taiwan, in order to avoid damaging bilateral cooperation in key fields," it concluded.

Amid warming cross-strait relations with Taiwan, China continues to deploy some 1,300 ballistic and cruise missiles against the island, according to the Taiwan military.

Beijing has vowed to attack the self-ruled island should it formalize its de facto sovereignty, while Washington serves as Taipei's security benefactor.

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