United States closely monitors China’s arms development

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has expressed caution about the development of advanced weapons by China following the reported launch of a hypersonic missile.

Austin told reporters on Monday that Washington was closely monitoring “China’s development of advanced weapons and capabilities and systems which will only increase tensions in the region.” The Pentagon chief made the comment during a visit to the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

His comment came in response to a Financial Times report that China tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in August. The article indicates that the missile circled the Earth before heading towards its target.

Austin did not mention the report.

Reuters reported that US Ambassador for Disarmament Robert Wood also expressed concern over China’s alleged move.

The news agency said Wood told reporters in Geneva: “Hypersonic technology is something of concern to us.”

He reportedly said that although the United States has “refrained from pursuing military applications for this technology,” China and Russia are actively pursuing “militarization.”

The US government is increasingly wary of improved hypersonic missile technology in China and other countries. It is believed that such a missile is able to travel five times faster than sound while changing course, making it difficult to intercept.

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