China calls for 'strategic balance' in South Asia after Agni-V test-firing

28 December, 2016, 00:48 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • China calls for 'strategic balance' in South Asia after Agni-V test-firing

"China always maintains that preserving the strategic balance in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries and beyond, " Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing without naming Pakistan.

India's Defense Research and Development Organization completed a test for its Agni-V ballistic missile, leading China to question the country's intentions.

"This was the fourth test of Agni-5 missile and the second one from a canister on a Road Mobile Launcher", the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

Without going into details during her regular press briefing, Ms. Hua also signaled that there are restrictions imposed by the UN Security Council on India for developing missiles carrying nuclear weapons.

Though defence officials would want to stick to the 5,000 km range, sources said the inter-continental ballistic missile can be "tweaked" to "go for the kill" anywhere between 8,000 to 10,000 km range. It's no wonder then that Hua earlier today bristled at media reports that suggested Agni-5 was targeted at China. "India abides by all the applicable global obligations and hopes that all other do the same", said its spokesperson Vikas Swarup, taking a dig at China's own record of missile and nuclear proliferation. "India's strategic autonomy and growing engagement contributes to strategic stability", said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

The rest of Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson's reaction echoed Chinese response after the first Agni-V missile test four years ago.

China on Tuesday said it was willing to work with India.

"Successful test firing of Agni V makes every Indian very proud".

The spokesperson stressed that India and China, as emerging economies, were not rivals but partners, following media reports from India and Japan.

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