China’s military disclosed a video of a previously unreported test of a new hypersonic ballistic missile.
It surfaced on Chinese social media only days before the Chinese fleet’s 73rd birthday and discussions between the US and Chinese military officials.
These Things Are Dangerous
The missiles shown in the clip are most likely China’s YJ-21, also known as the Eagle Strike 21, with a maximum distance of 620 miles.
While the missile’s specifications are unclear, due to the lack of formal launches, NavalNews’ analysis suggests it is a cold-launched heavy anti-ship rocket with a hypersonic gliding component.
The test film comes at a time when the United States is concerned about the lack of a strong domestic hypersonics program.
Defense officials in the United States indicated in order to resist China’s hypersonic missiles, which they fear may be deployed as a nuclear first-strike capability, the military will need to develop new technologies swiftly.
Likely YJ-21 anti-ship ballistic missile. A theory of what it is related to
Now Chinese Navy cruisers are arguably the most heavily armed surface combatants in the world pic.twitter.com/8qPyXsFd1s
— H I Sutton (@CovertShores) April 19, 2022
The rocket was launched from a Type 055 warship, China’s most powerful surface warfare ship and a potentially important weapon in the country’s growing fleet of aircraft carriers.
The vessel, which was completed in 2017, is also the nation’s biggest surface combatant, with a weight of roughly 13,000 tons, contrasted to the US Navy’s Ticonderoga-class cruisers, which have a weight of 9,800 tons.
The video’s publication came before a heated phone meeting between US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, as well as his Chinese colleague, Gen. Wei Fenghe, on April 20, Austin’s first since taking office.
The Pentagon issued a brief statement following the call, stating that the officials discussed “international security challenges.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese authorities issued a statement claiming if the US undercut the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) assertion that Taiwan is a part of China, Sino–American relationships would suffer.
The CCP claims that Taiwan, which has been self-governed since 1949, is a Chinese renegade province, despite the fact it has never been under its jurisdiction.
Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, promised to unite Taiwan and the motherland, and hasn’t ruled out the use of violence.
Taiwan is under Threat
Taiwan’s de facto autonomy, as a democratic republic and the world’s largest producer of semiconductors, has become a bone of contention in US and CCP foreign policy.
— Nino Brodin (@Orgetorix) April 21, 2022
As a result, the Type 055 ship and missiles like the YJ-21 are quickly becoming an important aspect of Chinese military strategy, with the CCP hoping the new weapons will deter the US from supporting Taiwan in the event of an attack.
To that goal, Hu Xijin, an editorial director of the hawkish CCP-controlled Global Times, used the Austin–Wei call on April 20 as an excuse to urge that China “enhance its military expansion” and use nuclear weapons to scare the US out of backing Taiwan.
In a lengthy message on the Chinese social network WeChat, Hu said, “It is pointless to reason with America.”