China’s Defence Ministry said on Thursday that it was carrying out routine tests of a new long-range missile, after a US-based website said China had tested it from a railroad car, which would be difficult to locate in a conflict.
The Washington Free Beacon reported last week that US intelligence agencies had recently monitored a test of the DF-41 on the train, a missile that could hit US targets.
The report said the test was a “significant milestone”, and would add to an existing capability to move the missile on road-mobile launchers.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, asked about the report, would not comment on the specifics.
“The scientific research tests carried out domestically are done in accordance with plans,” he told a monthly news briefing, without elaborating.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is overseeing an ambitious military modernisation programme, including developing stealth fighters and building its own aircraft carriers.
That has rattled Beijing’s neighbours, several of whom are engaged in territorial disputes with China, as well as Washington.
China says it has no hostile intent and that it needs a modern military to protect its legitimate security needs as the world’s second-largest economy.