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Top US General: China’s hypersonic missile test very concerning

The BBC reported, A top US General has said that China’s suspected hypersonic missile test is close to a Sputnik moment, indicating to the Soviet satellite launch that ignited the Cold War arms race.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said in an interview with Bloomberg News that the Chinese military is “expanding rapidly”.

The Financial Times reported this month that the test stunned the US military.
China denies any missile test, saying instead it was a spacecraft.

“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system. And it is very concerning,” Gen Milley told Bloomberg on Wednesday, the report said.
“I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. It has all of our attention.”

His comment is the first official acknowledgement by the US of claims that China conducted two missile tests over the summer. Reports indicate that it was a nuclear-capable missile that could evade US air defence systems.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby refused to comment on the general’s remarks at a Wednesday briefing, saying: “This is not a technology that is alien to us, that we haven’t been thinking about for a while.”

He added that the US is working to strengthen defence systems and pursuing its own hypersonic capabilities.

Hypersonic missiles can travel at 5 times the speed of sound.
They are considered more manoeuvrable than conventional missiles and more capable of avoiding interception from air defence, the report added.

Gen Milley also warned that the Chinese military has grown “from a peasant-based infantry army that was very, very large in 1979 to a very capable military that covers all the domains and has global ambitions”.

According to CNN, CIA Director Bill Burns described China last week as the greatest technological threat to the US.
At the beginning of this month, he said the spy agency would boost its efforts towards China.

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