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Joe Biden says he is concerned about China's hypersonic missiles
Relations between the US and China have come under strain as both nations are at odds over several issues. US President Joe Biden was pressed on whether the recent reports of hypersonic missiles from China were concerning.
Biden was pressed on whether Chinese hypersonic missiles are a concern on his way to Scranton, Pennsylvania aboard Air Force One, to which the US leader said yes. This follows previous reports from outlets saying that China tested a weapon back in August that was able to go through space and went around the world before missing its target. China’s foreign ministry, however, has denied the report.
This comes as the US and other competing countries are in a race to develop hypersonic weapons. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the press Wednesday that the White House has raised concerns regarding China’s hypersonic missile technology through diplomatic channels.
Back in September, a branch of the Pentagon successfully tested an air-breathing hypersonic weapon that can travel speeds five times faster than the speed of sound. This marked the first successful test of this particular type of weapon since 2013.
Senator Angus King also noted the importance for the US to already be able to develop its own hypersonic weapons. “Hypersonic weapons are strategic game-changers with the dangerous potential to fundamentally undermine strategic stability as we know it,” said the Maine Senator.
“The US cannot lag in this development or allow for blind spots as we monitor the progress of our competitors,” King added.
In other related news, Biden’s nominee to become the US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, took a hardline stance on China especially when it came to Taiwan during his Senate confirmation hearing. Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Burns criticized the incursions by China over Taiwan’s airspace. Burns added that bolstering Taiwan’s defenses should be a priority.
When it came to Taiwan, Burns said that China could not be trusted. “Our responsibility is to make Taiwan a tough nut to crack.”
Burn’s comments also follow an increasing pushback from the international community against China over the island nation. The European Parliament adopted a report calling for the EU to increase relations with Taiwan. A career diplomat, Burns also cited the aggression from China regarding the border it shares with India, as well as the situation in the South China Sea.