China’s fleet has unveiled an unprecedented test of a new one hypersonic missile at sea. Footage of the test appeared on Chinese social media a few days before the 73rd anniversary of the Chinese navy and just before negotiations between US and Chinese defense leaders.
The missile depicted in the video is probably China’s YJ-21, also called the Eagle Strike 21, which is believed to have a maximum range of about 620 miles.
Although the characteristics of the missile are unknown, as no official launches have been documented, NavalNews analyzes suggested that the missile is a cold-fired ballistic anti-ship missile with a hypersonic slider.
击 解放军 新型 舰载 反舰 导弹 导弹 鹰 21 pic.twitter.com/3Z8SCfjHM5
– lqy ???????????????? (@ lqy99021608) April 19, 2022
The test recordings come at a time of heightened anxiety in the United States over the lack of a robust domestic hypersonic program. It has US defense authorities said that the military will have to rapidly develop new capabilities to counter China’s hypersonic weapons, which they warn could be used as a nuclear weapon in the first attack.
Similarly, the missile was fired from one of China’s Type 055 cruisers. Type 055 is China’s most formidable surface warship and is likely to become a key asset in China’s budding aircraft carrier groups.
The ship, which was launched in 2017, is also the largest surface combatant in the world and boasts a displacement of around 13,000 tons compared to the 9,800 tons of Ticonderoga Class cruisers from the US Navy.
“If this missile turns out to be the hypersonic YJ-21, Type 055 cruisers would undoubtedly become the most heavily armed warships in the world,” NavalNews said.
The release of the video came just hours after an allegedly tense one phone calls between US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe, the first such call in Austin’s 15 months in office.
After that call, the Pentagon released a brief reading that said officials had discussed “regional security issues.”
The Chinese regime, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that Sino-US relations would be damaged if the United States undermined the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) claim that Taiwan is part of China.
The CCP maintains that Taiwan, which has been self-governing since 1949, is a breakaway province in China, even though the regime has never controlled Taiwan. The CCP’s Secretary General, Xi Jinping, promised to unite Taiwan and the mainland last year and has not ruled out the use of force to do so.
Taiwan’s continued de facto independence, a democratic nation and the world’s largest supplier of semiconductors, is thus a turning point in US and CCP foreign policy.
As such, Type 055 and missiles like the YJ-21 are fast becoming a central part of China’s military strategy, insofar as the CCP hopes the new capabilities will scare the United States away from defending Taiwan in the event of an invasion.
To that end, Hu Xijin, the former editor of the haughty CCP-controlled media Global Times, used the Austin-Wei call on April 20 as a pretext to demand that China “strengthen its military build-up” and use nuclear weapons to intimidate US States away from supporting Taiwan.
“It’s useless to reason with America,” Hu wrote in a lengthy post on Chinese social media platform WeChat.
“I have said it many times, but I will repeat it again: you do not have to worry about how Western public opinion reacts and what other effects there will be. “We need to build more nuclear warheads and put them on advanced missiles like the DF-41 and JL-3,” he wrote.
Similarly, Hu recently posted a series of threats against Taiwan and the United States on Twitter, promising that the Chinese military would “smash Taiwan’s army” with “thousands of missiles” in the event of an invasion.
From Epoch Times