Disarmament ambassador casts doubt on ability to defend against technology after reports of test

The United States is “very concerned” about China’s development of hypersonic technology, the US disarmament ambassador, Robert Wood, has said, after reports that Beijing had recently launched a hypersonic missile with a nuclear capacity, the Guardian reports.

“We are very concerned by what China has been doing on the hypersonic front,” Robert Wood told reporters in Geneva.

The Financial Times reported on Saturday that Beijing had launched a nuclear-capable missile in August that circled the Earth at low orbit before narrowly missing its target. Citing multiple sources, the FT claimed the hypersonic missile was carried by a Long March rocket and that the test had been kept under wraps.

“We just don’t know how we can defend against that type of technology. Neither does China or Russia,” Wood told reporters.

But Beijing said the report was inaccurate, and the exercise was a test of reusable technology that could reduce the cost of launching spacecraft.

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