Lindsey Graham seeks Senate briefing on reported Chinese launch of hypersonic missile

Lindsey Graham seeks Senate briefing on reported Chinese launch of hypersonic missile
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Sen. Lindsey Graham said he will ask Senate leaders for a briefing on a media report on China testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile.

The South Carolina Republican told Fox News host Sean Hannity that if Beijing, which denied the report, is developing a hypersonic missile that can deliver nuclear weapons, it would be a "game changer" that poses a tremendous national security challenge to President Joe Biden and the United States.

"Weakness breeds aggression and I'm going to ask the Senate leadership, [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer and [Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell, to brief the entire body on whether or not the story is true," Graham said Monday.

CHINA REJECTS REPORTS OF NUCLEAR-CAPABLE HYPERSONIC MISSILE TEST AND CLAIMS IT WAS A SPACECRAFT

The Financial Times reported over the weekend China “tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile” that “circled the globe before speeding towards its target, demonstrating advanced space capabilities that caught U.S. intelligence by surprise,” citing unnamed sources “briefed on the intelligence.”

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian rejected the reporting on Monday, saying the test, which occurred in August, was “a spacecraft, not a missile,” according to CNN.

The United States, China, and Russia are all trying to create, test, and perfect hypersonic weapons that travel at five times the speed of sound. These missiles would still travel slower than a ballistic missile, but they have the maneuverability that ballistic missiles lack, which helps them dodge and become harder for enemies to track.

U.S. military leaders have warned about China's nuclear capabilities, as tension regarding Taiwan continues to escalate.

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In response to the reported Chinese launch, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. sees China as the No. 1 "pacing challenge."

"We have made clear our concerns about the military capabilities China continues to pursue, capabilities that only increase tensions in the region and beyond,” Kirby said.

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Tags: News, Congress, Lindsey Graham, China, National Security

Original Author: Daniel Chaitin

Original Location: Lindsey Graham seeks Senate briefing on reported Chinese launch of hypersonic missile

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