On Thursday, the Chinese military carried out trials on the launch of the hypersonic anti-ship missile. According to a video posted on social media, it is the YJ-21 missile being launched from China’s Type 055 warship.
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The South China Morning Post (SCMP) said that this missile is the Chinese Navy’s largest and most advanced destroyer. According to the details dropped from the report issued by the SCMP, it has a range of between 1 000 to 1 500 kilometers, designed to target carrier strike groups. “The ship-borne YJ-21 missile, which has a range up to 1,000km, is able to hit any vessel in an aircraft carrier strike group,” said Li Jie, a Beijing-based naval analyst. The paper noted that the Type 055 destroyers count with up to 112 vertical launch missile cells.
Western media has said that the missile might represent a potential “risk” to U.S. aircraft carriers. “Video images of the launch of the YJ-21, from a Type 055 Renhai-class cruiser, prompted warnings from analysts that the hypersonic missile poses an even greater threat to American aircraft carriers than the DF-21 and DF-26 ‘carrier-killer’ ballistic missiles already deployed by the Chinese navy,” added the SCMP.
The event comes in the middle of escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan. The U.S. supports Taiwan in seeking its independence, while China regards the island as an unassailable part of its territory. Since 1949, Taiwan has been self-governed but has never been proclaimed independent from China, so Beijing views it as a breakaway territory under its One-China policy.
Beijing also warned that, although it prefers a peaceful solution to the island’s re-integration, it would not hesitate to use force should Taipei try to cut ties with mainland China.
The U.S. does not maintain an official diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, as in 1979, Beijing was recognized as the sole legitimate authority in China. The U.S. government actively backs its push for independence and supplies it with weapons despite the facts.