China today said it has tested a new guided missile in the Bohai Sea near the Korean peninsula to raise the operational capability of its armed forces and "effectively respond to threats" to national security.
The Chinese Defense Ministry has announced the successful testing of a new type of missile which analysts say is a response to the deployment of the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.
The test was conducted in accordance with the annual training plan to enhance the combat skills of the forces and their ability to handle threats to national security, the statement said. It just said the test was carried out recently.
However, the statement did not specify when the missile was tested.
The Bohai Sea is a body of water off the coasts of Tianjin municipality, Shandong, Hebei and Liaoning provinces.
The United States employed a THAAD missile defense system in South Korea to guard against any threatened North Korean missile attack.
China has invested heavily in both ballistic and cruise missiles.
The THAAD system is created to intercept and destroy short and medium-range ballistic missiles during their final phase of flight.
Following this week's presidential referendum in South Korea, newly elected President Moon Jae-in announced that he would "seriously negotiate with the USA and China" regarding the THAAD deployment. China claims the key waterway in its entirety but several other countries dispute the matter.
The Chinese weapon tested was likely a DF-26 intermediate range missile being developed to sink warships, including US aircraft carriers, said Song Zhongping, an expert on military affairs and commentator for Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.
The DF-26B is the new generation of the Dongfeng series missiles.
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