Putin ‘breaks’ Beijing’s bloated military program, says ‘US well ahead of China in hypersonic missile race’ – Community News
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Putin ‘breaks’ Beijing’s bloated military program, says ‘US well ahead of China in hypersonic missile race’

Russian President Vladimir Putin created a new buzz with his recognition of arch-rival America’s military might over China.

Speaking on the “Russia Calling!” investment summit on Nov. 30, Putin said Russia is aware that the US is ahead of China in hypersonic weapons development, although “no one is concerned,” TASS reported.

He mentioned the success of the Chinese hypersonic weapons in the same breath. However, the statement has attracted widespread attention as tensions between Russia and the United States are running high and tensions between Moscow and Beijing are mounting.

“And we saw how our American allies reacted to this. We do know that the Americans are slightly ahead in the development of hypersonic weapons. They just don’t talk about it and no one seems to care. Nobody cared when they tested their anti-satellite weapon 10 years ago, and nobody cares now,” Putin added.

File:Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva, June 16, 2021 (05).jpg - Wikimedia Commons
US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Geneva on June 16, 2021 (Wikimedia Commons)

“When Russia conducted such a test not long ago, it caused quite a stir around the world,” the president said, referring to his recent anti-satellite weapons test that allegedly endangered the International Space Station.

The statement has caused a stir in the international media as the two Cold War rivals continue to view each other with great suspicion and tensions between them have recently reached new heights.

Friendship between Russia and China

Rising tensions between the West and China were also touched upon by the head of the Russian state. According to Putin, the formation of the AUKUS partnership (Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) is an example of destabilizing actions by Western countries.

“The fact is, this rivalry is growing and is sometimes repulsive,” Putin said. “One example is the creation of the AUKUS Agreement, which includes the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.”

Forming a closed alliance against someone does not help to improve the situation in the region; rather, it exacerbates tensions,” the president said.

China Missile Test
Chinese Hypersonic Missile Testing (via PLA Daily)

Putin also claimed that US sanctions against China are unjustifiable. “They have scared me of China since 2000. Those who scared me had become afraid and as a result, they started to change their policy towards China.”

“It has already changed, leading to a whole host of sanctions and restrictions that I believe are completely unjustified. I mean, they go against the norms of international law,” the president added.

A rare admission

However, Putin also said that Russia considers it vital to engage in a strategic stability discussion with the US and China while acknowledging the growing discontent between the two.

“We evaluate our own security and work with our partners in the areas we believe are essential. For example, we believe it is critical to engage in a strategic stability discussion with the United States. We had a similar conversation with the People’s Republic of China,” Putin said. This statement could potentially be seen as hinting at a more accommodative approach to its Western adversary.

Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (File photo/Twitter)

This rare statement comes a few days after both sides accused each other of provocation in the Eastern European region, especially on the Ukrainian border.

China’s hypersonic ability

Earlier this month, senior US officials had said a Chinese hypersonic missile was orbiting the world, as previously reported by EurAsian Times.

There were reports that China was reportedly testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic glider from a near-orbital orbit in August, amid an intensification of the race for next-generation long-range weapons that are difficult to detect and intercept.

It was then learned that China’s launch of a nuclear-capable missile with a hypersonic glide vehicle involved the unprecedented launch of a separate missile from that vehicle.

The test had revealed that China’s development of strategic, nuclear-capable missiles is far beyond expectations, startling Pentagon officials. It is believed to be a capability that neither Russia nor the US have been able to demonstrate.

Concept of Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapons Concept (HAWC) (Raytheon Missiles & Defense)

Putin, however, insists the US is still ahead of China in the hypersonic race. The fact that the statement comes against the backdrop of mounting tensions, with the US continuing to be at the center of Russian and Chinese resentment, could be taken as a carefully calibrated line to avert further tensions.

America had also successfully tested hypersonic missile technology, a new weapon system already being deployed by China and Russia, the US Navy had announced in October this year.

It had expressed deep concern about what China has been doing on the hypersonic front. On the other hand, in 2019, Russia tested its Tsirkon (Zircon) hypersonic missile from a submarine and has now started mass production.

So while one military’s hypersonic program is more advanced than another, it’s clear that America, China and Russia remain heavily invested in developing superior hypersonic capabilities, to further their respective military goals, often in direct opposition to the other.