Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said that the Chinese test of a hypersonic weapon during this summer was very concerning, and it has all the U.S. attention. While speaking to Bloomberg TV, the top U.S. general stopped short of calling the test a Sputnik moment. But, simultaneously, he acknowledges that it was very close to that. He also called the activity a very significant technological event that is only one element of the military capabilities of China.
The acknowledgment from Gen. Milley was the first official acknowledgment of the Chinese weapon test from the Pentagon. However, Milley added that the military capabilities of China are much more extensive than that single test. They are expanding swiftly in cyber, space, and the traditional domains of air, sea, and land. Moreover, he adds that China is very significant on the U.S. horizon.
General Mark Milley, the top US military general and chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced in an interview with Bloomberg TV recently that China’s recent “hypersonic missile test”. Very worrying”, comparable to the Sputnik moment of the year. pic.twitter.com/1wF9gZ64eT
— assako Fukuzawa (@assako4) October 28, 2021
The Financial Times reported earlier this month about a Chin’s test of hypersonic glide vehicle that it launched from a rocket in low-Earth orbit that might hypothetically be able to evade the American missile defense systems. Further, he added that the speed at which its rival country developed the system surprised the United States national security officials.
Beijing Races to Modernize its Military
When reporters asked about the report of the Financial Times, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the August test was a spacecraft, not a missile. Zhao further added that this test was a routine spacecraft experiment to authenticate the reusable tech of spacecraft, which is of huge significance for cutting the cost of spacecraft use. Furthermore, it can provide a cheap and suitable way for humans to use space peacefully. Several companies globally carried out similar experiments.
Lloyd Austin, the United States Defense Secretary, frequently emphasized that China is the rising challenge for the Pentagon as it races to modernize its military. Last week, Bill Burns, the CIA director, said that China is the major technological threat to the U.S. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, refused to comment further on the test. According to Kirby, the Pentagon has been clear on its concerns about the advancement of China in certain capabilities, capabilities that the secretary of state noted himself do very little to help lessen tensions in and across the region.
According to him, the hypersonic missile test is one of many concerns regarding the Chinese growing military strength in the Indo-Pacific region. Overall, all those things are the reason for concern and might use to inform the functioning concepts that the U.S. wants to be able to employ.