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Today, the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed that China tested a space vehicle in July and not a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile. On Saturday, a news agency condemned China of testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile that flew through space, circling the globe before cruising down toward its target, which it missed by about two dozen miles. “The feat was caught US intelligence by surprise,” the article read.

Replying to the allegations, Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed that it was not a missile but a space vehicle. “It was a routine test for the purpose of testing technology to reuse the vehicle,” Lijian added. Zhao mentioned the importance of a reusability test. “Reusability test can provide a cheap and convenient method for humans to peacefully travel to and from space”, Zhao said.

The test had reportedly taken place in July, and not in August. After this, the US is closely monitoring China’s military modernization program to assess the possible risks posed to it by its increasingly assertive strategic competitor.

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