(REUTERS) China has successfully tested a new guided missile it says is highly accurate, state media said on Tuesday amid rising tensions with arch-rival Taiwan. “Several days ago, a new model of a guided missile developed and built by China was tested and achieved satisfactory success,” the China News Service quoted project researcher Feng Dawei as saying. “The missile accurately hit its target with a high degree of precision.”
The agency did not give any details about the missile’s range or payload, saying only that it was developed by China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. and that Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan attended and praised the test.
China has recently ratcheted up the belligerent rhetoric toward Taiwan, a self-governed island deemed by Beijing to be a renegade province that must be reclaimed by force if necessary.
The two sides, diplomatic rivals since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, have been holding annual war games. China has staged mock invasion drills while Taiwan’s military has held war games to fend off such an attack.
The China News service did not directly link the test to Taiwan, but quoted Feng as saying researchers were committed to “promoting military modernization and realizing the grand task of reunifying the motherland.”
The report also came two days after Taiwan Premier Yu Shyi-kun said China was rehearsing attacks aimed at killing or capturing the island’s leaders in a “decapitation” action based on U.S. strikes in Iraq against Saddam Hussein.
On Monday, a Taiwan newspaper said the United States planned to sell four Aegis missile-defense warships to the island to help protect against an estimated 500 ballistic missiles aimed at it by China.
The $3.5 billion sale would be announced next year with delivery to begin in 2011, the China Times said