China Says Missile Defense System Test Successful

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China's military successfully tested a system for intercepting missiles in mid-flight on Monday, state media reported.

Few details were given about the test, with the official Xinhua News Agency saying only that "ground-based midcourse missile interception technology" was tested within Chinese territory and achieved the expected objective.

"The test is defensive in nature and is not targeted at any country," Xinhua said.

China's military is in the middle of a major technology upgrade, spurred on by double digit annual percentage increases in defense spending. Missile technology is considered one of the military's particular strengths, allowing it to narrow the gap with the U.S. and other armed forces.

Xinhua did not further identify the system tested, although China is believed to be pursuing a number of programs aimed at shooting down stealth aircraft and downing or disabling cruise missiles and precision-guided weapons.