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19 Oct, 2021 13:25

Rumors of Chinese ‘hypersonic missile test’ don’t worry Russia given ‘allied relations,’ Moscow says, as US warns of global threat

Rumors of Chinese ‘hypersonic missile test’ don’t worry Russia given ‘allied relations,’ Moscow says, as US warns of global threat

The first purported test of a Chinese missile that can fly faster than the speed of sound might be causing consternation in the West but, as a close partner of Beijing, Russia has no reason to be concerned, the Kremlin has said.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said recent reports the advanced nuclear-capable weapon had been test-fired in August were nothing for Moscow to worry about. Asked whether Russian officials see such a development as a threat, the Kremlin official said that “no, it isn’t being seen that way.”

“We have allied relations with China,” Peskov went on. “China is developing its armed forces and its weapons systems, but it isn’t going beyond the framework of any international agreements,” he added.

Last week, Britain’s Financial Times reported that the launch of a hypersonic rocket earlier this year “took US intelligence by surprise.” The missile reportedly entered into orbit and circled the globe before landing several miles away from its intended target. Despite that, the report claims, Pentagon analysts were taken aback by how advanced the system was.

Also on rt.com ‘Blow to US strategic superiority’? Chinese media fuels suspense over ‘hypersonic missile that circled globe to hit target’

Robert Wood, President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the UN, has since warned that “hypersonic technology is something that we have been concerned about, the potential military applications of it, and we have held back from pursuing.”

However, he went on, “we have seen China and Russia pursuing very actively the use, the militarization of this technology, so we are just having to respond in kind...We just don't know how we can defend against that technology, neither does China, neither does Russia.”

China formally denies that the launch of a missile took place at all, arguing that the mission had simply tested re-usable spacecraft technology. However, an anonymous editorial published by Beijing’s Communist Party mouthpiece, Global Times, said that the country had struck a blow against US strategic supremacy, while refusing to confirm China has developed such a weapon.

“It is meaningless to discuss the credibility of the Financial Times report,” the article read. “But it is important to note the unstoppable trend that China is narrowing the gap with the US in some key military technologies as China is continuously developing its economic and technological strength.”

Also on rt.com WATCH: Russian Navy successfully fires Zircon anti-ship hypersonic cruise missile from nuclear submarine for first time ever

Earlier this month, Russia announced that it had successfully fired the Zircon anti-ship hypersonic missile from a nuclear submarine for the first time in history. Capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound, American admiral Charles A. Richard has previously warned the Zircon poses unprecedented challenges for detection and interception by conventional rocket defense systems.

President Putin has previously announced that, when it comes to hypersonic weapons, “the arms race has already begun,” and claimed that Washington fired the starting pistol by unilaterally withdrawing from nuclear weapons treaties and developing systems to shoot down older rockets. “Their country is now building an umbrella to protect itself,” Putin added. “You have to either have a missile defense system, or weapons that can’t be hindered by missile defense.”

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