The Chinese space test that drew great attention was made to verify reusable spacecraft technologies, not to test a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, as some foreign media claimed, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Responding to questions about the test, ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing at the ministry in Beijing that he was told it was a regular test flight by a spacecraft intended to demonstrate reusable technologies.
“Such tests are important in the space industry’s effort to reduce the operational costs of spacecraft and help to realize an affordable, convenient method for people to make space trips,” he said. “Many companies in the world have carried out similar tests.”
The objects that departed from the test vehicle were auxiliary devices. Zhao said the objects must have fallen apart and burned during reentry into the atmosphere with the remnants dropping into the ocean.
He added that China will continue working with other countries to make peaceful use of space to benefit humankind.
The Financial Times claimed in an exclusive report on Saturday that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August that circled the globe before speeding toward its target, demonstrating an advanced space capability that caught United States intelligence by surprise.
The newspaper quoted five people it claimed had knowledge about the test as saying the Chinese military launched a rocket to deploy a hypersonic glide vehicle that flew through low-orbit space before cruising down toward its target.
The last time China publicly displayed its hypersonic missiles was in October 2019 when the DF-17 missile was displayed at a massive parade in Beijing that marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Source: Xinhua News AgencyInternet Explorer Channel Network