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  • Dylan Malyasov

China deploys hypersonic weapon near Taiwan

The Chinese Dongfeng-17 (DF-17) missile systems were filmed moving across a beach in Fujian province, close to Taiwan.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has deployed its newest DF-17 solid-fuelled road-mobile medium-range ballistic missile equipped with a hypersonic glide vehicle close to Taiwan amid elevated tensions over United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the democratically-ruled island.

According to some reports, like one from NDTV, tensions across the Taiwan Strait are high as U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite Beijing warning of “serious consequences” should the veteran Democratic politician make the trip.

The DF-17 is China’s first operational hypersonic medium-range missile system. The 2020 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report on Chinese nuclear forces estimates the maximum range of the DF-17 to be more than 1,800 km.

The DF-17 will play a vital role in safeguarding China’s territorial integrity, as regions including the South China Sea, the Taiwan Straits and Northeast Asia are all within its striking range, Yang Chengjun, a Chinese missile expert, told the Global Times when the missile made its debut in 2019.

In addition to stationary targets, the DF-17 can likely also hit slowly moving targets, Song said, referring to aircraft carriers.


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