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Iran Press TV

China says testing new long-range missile

Iran Press TV

Thu Dec 31, 2015 3:35PM

China's Defense Ministry says the country is conducting routine tests of a new long-range missile.

"The scientific research tests carried out domestically are done in accordance with plans," China's Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a monthly news briefing on Thursday.

Yang, however, refrained from elaborating on the specifics of the projectile tests.

The remarks came one week after The Washington Free Beacon, a privately-owned online newspaper, said US intelligence agencies had recently monitored a DF-41 missile test on a rail launch platform by Beijing.

The test was a "significant milestone" and would strengthen capabilities to move the missile on road-mobile launchers, the report said.

The new missile tests are believed to be part of a military modernization program by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which includes developing stealth fighters and building aircraft carriers. Beijing says the military overhaul plan is needed to protect its legitimate security needs.

A second aircraft carrier

Elsewhere in his comments, Yang said china is building its second aircraft carrier entirely with domestic technology.

The 50,000-ton vessel, which is being built in the port of Dalian, will carry J-15 fighter-bombers and other aircraft and use a ski jump mode for launching fixed-wing aircraft, he added.

China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is a secondhand Soviet ship built over 25 years ago.

Beijing's reinforcement of its naval capabilities comes at a time that it is involved in maritime disputes with neighbor countries in the East and South China Seas.

China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, which is also claimed in part by Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. The contested waters are believed to be rich in oil and gas.

The dispute has at times drawn in extra-territorial countries, particularly the United States, which have more often sided with China's rivals.

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