China conducted a test of “ground-based mid-course anti-missile interceptor technology” which “achieved its intended purpose”, the Defense Ministry in Beijing said, describing it as defensive and not targeting any country.
Beijing has already tested missile interceptors; the most recent public announcement of a test was in February 2021, and before that in 2018. State media said China had conducted anti-missile system tests since at least 2010.
China has stepped up research into all kinds of missiles, from those that can destroy satellites in space to advanced nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles, as part of a modernization overseen by President Xi Jinping.
China, along with its ally Russia, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.
China argued that the equipment’s powerful radar could penetrate its territory. China and Russia have also held mock anti-missile drills.
China has given few details about its own missile programs, other than occasional brief statements from the Defense Ministry or in state media.
In 2016, the Defense Ministry confirmed it was continuing testing of the anti-missile system after footage aired on state television.
Beijing says the technology is necessary for national defense and security.