China Unveils 'Aircraft Carrier Killer' Missile Amid Tensions Over Pelosi's Indo-Pacific Trip
A press release from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office on Sunday said that she was leading a Congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, with a focus on "mutual security".
Beijing has for the first time unveiled a video featuring the launch of what appears to be a DF-17 hypersonic missile, which Chinese experts quoted by state media have described as an "aircraft carrier killer".
The video, titled 'The capabilities of the Chinese troops shown in 81 seconds' was broadcast on China Central Television (CCTV) on Sunday, amid the ongoing tensions with the US over the possible visit to Taiwan of House of Representatives' Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The video was published a day before the 95th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
A military expert quoted by Global Times said that potential enemies would have a "hard time" locating the new missile, which can be launched any time and anywhere.
Military observers have also said it is "almost impossible" to "intercept" the missile since it uses an "unpredictable trajectory".
Further, experts have reckoned that the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and the north-east Asian region are located within "striking range" of the missile, which can also hit slow-moving targets such as aircraft carriers.
The video surfaced a day after the PLA held "live-fire drills" near the Pingtan Islands in the Taiwan Strait. The Maritime Safety Administration warned ships to avoid the area from 8am to 9pm on Saturday. Beijing also conducted naval drills in the South China Sea on 29 and 30 July.
The US Navy this week confirmed that an aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, and a strike group is at present operating in the South China Sea amid tensions over Pelosi's trip to the region.
Beijing has issued several warnings over the past week saying that Washington would "bear the consequences" if Pelosi, who is now on her trip around the Indo-Pacific, visits Taiwan which Chinese authorities say would violate the 'One China Policy'.
The possible visit has been attracting attention since mid-July when the Financial Times reported the alleged plans of the US House Speaker.
On Sunday, Pelosi shared her itinerary to the Indo-Pacific, without mentioning Taiwan among the places she was going to visit.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden against "playing with fire" over Taiwan during a telephone call lasting more than two hours on 28 July.
"Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this," Xi said, adding that Beijing would "resolutely" defend China's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
As part of the One China Policy, Beijing opposes all forms of official contact between Taiwan and foreign governments and has warned of "resolute measures" should Pelosi visit the self-governed island.
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