Chinese defence ministry confirms new missile test

A statement by the Chinese defence ministry yesterday said that Chinese rocket forces tested a new type of missile in the Bohai Sea.

While no other country has claims in the busy Bohai Sea, the drills come amid heightened tension on the Korean peninsula, including Chinese anger at the deployment of the USA anti-missile defence system THAAD in South Korea last month.

In its brief statement, the Chinese defense ministry stated the training was aimed at enhancing missile capability while preparing to effectively respond to "national security threats".

Beijing has tested a new missile close to the Korean peninsula amid heightened tensions in the region, after North Korea, South Korea, and the U.S. recently conducted military drills in the area.

The tests of new missiles and weapons were carried out by the Peoples Liberation Armys Rocket Force in recent days and were created to "raise operational capability" of the armed forces to "effectively respond to threats" to national security, the statement said.

With relations between the United States and China fragile, holding a joint live-fire military display with the Thai army could be seen as making things worse - especially when Trump's chief advisor Steve Bannon believes America and China will be at war 'within a few years'.

The US conducted joint naval exercises with South Korea in late April, when a US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Carl Vinson, including a guided-missile cruiser, the USS Lake Champlain, as well as two destroyers, entered the Sea of Japan through the Tsushima Strait.

The missile test was carried amid China's vociferous protests over THAAD interceptor missiles in South Korea.

"It hasn't much to do with THAAD directly, but it is a kind of warning" to South Korea and the U.S., Song said.

At the same time, China has come under pressure from US President Donald Trump to lean on North Korea in order to rein in its nuclear ambitions.

But ties have begun to fray in recent years, with China increasingly exasperated by the North's nuclear antics and fearful of a regional crisis.

In February, Beijing announced the suspension of coal imports from the North for the rest of the year, a crucial foreign currency earner for the authorities.

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