Chinese Testing of Space Nukes Threatens United States

Chinese Testing of Space Nukes Threatens United States

Max Schwartzman, Editor-in-Chief

In mid-August of 2021, China tested its first hypersonic missile. This test which wouldn’t even be known about until recently may help usher in a new kind of arms race between the Peoples Republic of China and the United States of America. 


But what is a hypersonic missile and why are they so important? “Hypersonic missiles, like traditional ballistic missiles, can fly more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5),” wrote NDTV, an Indian based news site, “But they are more maneuverable than their ballistic counterparts and can trace a low trajectory in the atmosphere, making them harder to defend against.”


The idea of the hypersonic missile is still relatively new, with the missiles not being a regular munition for any nation as of now.


One could wonder why the need for developing such a weapon? According to an interview with the Financial Times, “A hypersonic glide vehicle armed with a nuclear warhead could help China ‘negate’ US missile defence systems,” Taylor Fravel, an expert on Chinese nuclear weapons policy who was unaware of the test stated, “which are designed to destroy incoming ballistic missiles.”


Though the prospect of a missile being able to bypass missile defence systems, the Chinese hypersonic missile was shown to be incredibly inaccurate in the manner of missiles. In comparison former President Donald Trump of the United States once claimed that the average American missile was 97.5% accurate, though this was never fact-checked. 


“Although the missile missed its target by about two-dozen miles,” warned an anonymous source to Business Insider wanting to protect his identity from the Chinese government, “the test demonstrated China’s advanced space capability and took US intelligence by surprise”


This missile test being completely a surprise to the United States’ intelligence might be seen as problematic to some Americans, considering the $15 Billion annual budget of the Central Intelligence Agency. 


However, “When asked about the report at a regular press briefing Monday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said,” as reported by CNN “the August test was ‘a spacecraft, not a missile.’”


The question that really remains: Was it a Chinese spacecraft or a Chinese missile, and if a missile is the American populace in imminent and severe danger?