US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday that Washington was closely watching China’s development of advanced weapons systems, while Beijing declined to comment directly on reports that it was testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile.
The Chinese foreign ministry denied reports in the Financial Times newspaper that Beijing had launched a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide weapon in July. Beijing said it was a spacecraft, not a missile.
Both the United States and Russia have tested hypersonic weapons, commonly defined as missiles, that fly at more than five times the speed of sound in a new-generation arms race designed to detect and Blocking is difficult.
Austin told reporters during a visit to the former Soviet republic of Georgia: “We watch China’s development of weapons and advanced capabilities and systems closely that will only add to tensions in the region.”
He said Washington would remain focused on the military challenge from Beijing.
Austin was speaking during a visit to Europe, at which the Pentagon said it would “reassure allies and partners of America’s commitment to its sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression”.
He said the United States would partner with Georgia, which fought a losing battle with Russia in 2008, to help it strengthen its defense and deterrence capabilities.
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