The United States has been made aware that China performed its first hypersonic missile test successfully, stunning members of the Biden administration. The Chinese communist government fired a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile late this summer that circled the entire planet before taking aim at its target.
Although the hit was miles off, those familiar with the test said that the rocket that carried a hypersonic glide vehicle flew through low orbit space before cruising towards its target, the Financial Times reported.
“The missile missed its target by about two-dozen miles, according to three people briefed on the intelligence,” the publication reported. “But two said the test showed that China had made astounding progress on hypersonic weapons and was far more advanced than US officials realized.”
One of the five people speaking to FT claims “we have no idea how they did this.”
The report adds that the United States, Russia, and China are engaged in an arms race to develop hypersonic weapons, including glide vehicles that are launched into space on a rocket but orbit the Earth under their own momentum.
The Chinese regime, meanwhile, denied that the rocket was a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, instead claiming the launch was for a space vehicle.
These hypersonic weapons can fly at five times the speed of sound, but are slower than ballistic missiles. However, unlike ballistic missiles, they do not follow a fixed parabolic trajectory and can be maneuvered, which makes them difficult to track, much less shoot down.
Former director of national intelligence John Ratcliffe said earlier this year that the Biden administration would be in for a shock once they were brought up to speed on Chinese military advancements, noting that “China closed the gap,” on areas he could not reveal due to the nature of that intelligence.
Speaking to Fox News, Ratcliffe told host Bill Hemmer that the Biden administration was in for a rude awakening for downplaying the threat China poses with its technological advancements.
HEMMER: About 18 months ago, I think Joe Biden as a candidate was in Iowa, and he said that the possibility of China eating our lunch is not going to happen. It was a common man kind of response. Well, earlier in the week, he changed. And in the Oval Office, he’s on camera saying, China’s going to eat our lunch. Well, why would he make such a pivot? After talking with President Xi on the phone?
RATCLIFFE: “Well, what I like to say is that when he made the comment in Iowa, he wasn’t getting the benefit of, you know, the intelligence briefings that he started to receive when he became president-elect. And like I said, that, you know, you pointed out the, you know, the Wall Street Journal op-ed, and, you know, the, you know, as I said, in the conclusion, the intelligence is clear, and our response has to be as well. And, you know, I have to think that, that he and his advisors were, you know, I don’t know if surprised is the right word, but when you look at it, and you look at how quickly, China has closed the gap, and the things that they are doing, where they’re spending money, and you can’t help but be concerned, you know, about China’s ability to challenge us, as I said, you know, in certain places without, you know, I don’t want to talk about those in detail, because it, it poses a national security threat to acknowledge that, but there are places where China’s frankly, doing a better job, and it’s further down the curve on some technology issues than we are and that that’s never been the case before.