Tensions could further escalate between the United States and China as the latter puts the former within its missile target range. Several reports now claim that China has been testing intercontinental ballistic missiles since the previous week that can eventually put the US within reach. Will China push for war?
It’s an understatement to say that tensions have reached new levels between China and the US. In a slew of reports, China appears to be testing the DF-41 which has a range of at least 12,000 km. Initial launch was reported on April 12. This also follows news of vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, General Fan Changlong, visiting the disputed islands in the South China Sea, as reported by the South China Morning Post.
The date and details of the inspection were not known but the news of the visit surfaced after US Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the USS Stennis – which is consequently deployed in the disputed region as well.
The report added that China’s missile comes with two multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles. Both vehicles can carry a number of warheads. Furthermore, the range makes it possible for the PLA to target any location in the US. A Pentagon official confirmed that US military satellites and other regional sensors monitored the missile in flight.
In a more recent report from Reuters, China also confirmed another test of its new long-range missile. The country’s Defense Ministry indirectly confirmed a report about its intercontinental missile test.
“These tests are not aimed at any set country or target,” said Chinese Defense Ministry in a statement on its website.
“Media reports about the test location are pure speculation,” it added.
U.S. Defense Department did not comment on the matter although Eric Lund, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, confirmed that they are aware of the launch.
“We continue to call on China to be more transparent with regards to the scale and scope of its intended missile and nuclear modernization programs.”