China’s President Xi Jinping called for efforts to “break new ground” in military equipment and weapons development for the People’s Liberation Army, China’s armed forces, according to a report from the official Xinhua media on Tuesday.
Xi, who is also chair of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC), made the comments at a conference in Beijing, according to the report.
China’s strategic capabilities had been enhanced by “leapfrog development” in military equipment and weapons, said Xi.
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Zhang Youxia, vice chairman of the CMC, also said that China should pursue self-reliance in technology and make an “all-out” push to accelerate modernisation and build a “world-class” army, according to the report.
Earlier this month, the Financial Times citing unnamed sources reported that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August, showing a capability that caught US intelligence by surprise.
The report said the Chinese military launched a rocket carrying a hypersonic glide vehicle that flew through low-orbit space, circling the globe before cruising towards its target, which it missed by about two dozen miles.
“The test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realised,” the report said, citing people briefed on the intelligence.