The Chinese are stepping up their threat level against Taiwan, which it claims as its own territory. Any conflict over Taiwan would almost certainly involve the United States, whose armed forces are the island’s primary supply of weapons. Likewise, China is involved in territorial disputes with other countries in the South China Sea, and is seen as backing Russia in the invasion of Ukraine, despite the fact that it has not given any material support.
A missile-interception system on land is an important step in the Chinese defence. Such a system could prevent a hostile nation from launching a nuclear missile into the mainland. China’s military has been researching and testing all types of missiles over the past few years, and it is under President Xi Jinping’s leadership that the country is modernising its missile-reconnaissance arsenal.
Beijing has previously confirmed that the Chinese military has developed a missile-interception system. But it has not publicly announced the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile defense system. But it’s likely that the tests on Sunday were a medium-range version of its HQ19 missile-interception system. This system is similar to the US-developed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.
In addition to testing its missile-interception system, China has also conducted several anti-satellite tests. While both nations are using the term “missile defense” to cover their anti-satellite tests, the results are highly relevant. China’s mid-course interceptor is the high-altitude component of a multi-tier missile defense system. China is a potential threat to the United States and Russia.
Earlier this year, the US military deployed a ground-launched ballistic missile, believed to be of the intermediate-range variety. With multiple sites along the island chain, the US will have a more difficult time predicting China’s next attack. In this way, China needs a spear and a shield to defend itself. Having a missile-interception system could allow it to destroy the launch location when necessary and deploy its own missile defense system.
Moreover, the Chinese say that the test was successful, but if this is the first, the next one will be a much more challenging one. There are several stages in a ballistic missile’s flight: the boost phase, mid-course, and reentrythread. Because of the high speed of these weapons, intercepting them during the mid-course phase is extremely difficult.