Beijing launched a long-range missile, said the deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces, General John Hyten.

The U.S. Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Armed Forces (AF) General John Hyten believes that China is building up its military potential, which in the future may allow Beijing to strike first. The American military commander made this statement in an interview with CBS, which aired on Tuesday.

Commenting on the recent tests of hypersonic weapons by China, Hyten noted: “They launched a long-range missile. She flew around the globe, a hypersonic gliding unit separated from her, which flew to China and hit a target in China.” When asked by a journalist whether the target was hit, Hyten replied: “Close enough.”

Speaking about these and other developments of the Chinese side in the military sphere, he stressed: “Why are they developing all this potential? It looks like a first-use weapon.” “This is exactly what, in my opinion, a weapon of this type looks like,” he added.

On October 16, the British newspaper Financial Times reported that in August, China launched a hypersonic gliding aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons using a launch vehicle. According to sources in government circles of the United States and a number of Asian countries, this device flew around the Earth in a low orbit, but could not hit the target, passing several tens of kilometers from it. The test, as the publication noted, made a strong impression on the Pentagon, as it unexpectedly demonstrated significant successes of the PRC in the development of hypersonic weapons.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on October 18 that in August China tested not a new type of weapons, but a spacecraft.