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China ramps up military potential for first strike, US general believes

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswman claimed that China tested a spacecraft, not a weapon

WASHINGTON, November 17. /TASS/. Vice Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff John Hyten believes that China is ramping up its military potential, which will allow it to carry out the first strike in the future.

Commenting on Chinese hypersonic weapon test, Hyten noted: "They launched a long-range missile," Hyten told CBS News. "It went around the world, dropped off a hypersonic glide vehicle that glided all the way back to China, that impacted a target in China." When asked if it hit the target, Hyten replied, "Close enough."

Speaking about this and other Chinese military projects, he underscored: "They look like a first-use weapon. That's what those weapons look like to me."

On October 16, the Financial Times reported that, earlier in August, China launched a nuclear-capable hypersonic glider via a carrier rocket. According to sources in US government and a number of Asian states, the glider travelled around the Earth at a low orbit, but was unable to hit its target, passing several tens of kilometers away. The test reportedly impressed the Pentagon, as it unexpectedly displayed China’s significant progress in the development of hypersonic weapons.

On October 18, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswman Zhao Lijian claimed that China tested a spacecraft, not a weapon.