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China’s President Xi Jinping
China has released footage of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile that has enough range to strike United States territory, dubbed by some as the “Guam killer.”
The Dongfeng-26 (or DF-26) ballistic missile has a range of 1,864 to 3,567 miles, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP). That means the U.S. island of Guam, located in the Pacific Ocean, would be within striking distance of the missile from mainland China. Experts have suggested the recent CCTV footage showing a successful test launch of the missile is a message directed at leaders in Washington.
Beijing wants to demonstrate “that it can hold at risk U.S. strategic assets, such as carriers and bases,” Adam Ni, a China researcher at Macquarie University in Australia, told SCMP.
“It’s an attempt to reinforce the notion that the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] has the capability to sink U.S. carriers and inflict unacceptable damage on American forces,” Ni explained. “Within the context of increasing strategic competition and tension between the two countries, the latest drills are just another signal to the U.S. about the prevails of escalation,” he added.
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