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China tested hypersonic weapons twice in July-August, ‘stunned’ US military: report

China conducted not one, but two tests of new hypersonic weapons in July and August, the Financial Times (FT) newspaper has reported, raising more concerns in the United States about the growing military capabilities of its geopolitical rival.

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China tested hypersonic weapons twice in July-August, ‘stunned’ US military: report
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The London-based Financial Times reported on Thursday that Beijing launched a rocket that employed a “fractional orbital bombardment” system to propel a nuclear-capable “hypersonic glide vehicle” around the Earth for the first time on July 27, according to four people familiar with US intelligence assessments.

More than two weeks later on August 13, China conducted a second hypersonic test, the report said citing two people familiar with the matter.

The newspaper initially reported, in a story published over the weekend that the first test was done in August, instead of the end of July.

The latest report said that the missile test “stunned” American military and intelligence officials about the Chinese military advance.

It further said that US scientists “were struggling to understand” the hypersonic weapon’s capability, “which the US does not currently possess”.

In response to the FT’s initial report, China’s Foreign Ministry said that it had only launched a space plane and the test took place on July 16.

“It’s understood that this was a routine test of a space vehicle to verify technology of spacecraft’s reusability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday.

Zhao was quoted by state-owned broadcaster CGTN as saying that the test was “essential” for reducing the cost of spacecraft use, and providing a convenient and inexpensive way for humans to use space for “peaceful purposes”.

US ‘very concerned’

In a statement earlier this week, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that the administration of President Joe Biden was very concerned about the latest development in China’s nuclear arms capability and “novel delivery systems”.

Reporters travelling with Biden on Wednesday also asked him if he was concerned by the report, and he replied, “Yes”.

According to estimates and analysis, hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 6,200 kilometres per hour (3,853 miles per hour) – more than five times the speed of sound, which travels at about 1,235 km/h (767 mph) and evade even the most advanced radar systems.

On Monday, US Senator Angus King described the new weapon as a “strategic game-changers with the dangerous potential to fundamentally undermine strategic stability as we know it”.

“The implications of these weapons under development by China or Russia could be catastrophic,” the senator from Maine was quoted by reports as saying.

The US is also said to be racing to develop its own hypersonic weapon technology.

According to reports, US military contractors such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are involved in the missiles’ development.

Writing for the Foreign Policy magazine, Jeffrey Lewis, a non-proliferation expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said that China’s test was “unwelcome news”, but he added that the technology was “not new”, pointing out that the Soviet Union deployed the same system during the Cold War.

Lewis, however, warned that the latest development “is yet another step in a pointless, costly, and dangerous arms race”.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Pakistan

Govt announces no change in POL prices

The petrol price will remain unchanged at Rs145.82 per litre, and diesel price will remain Rs142.62 per litre as it was before.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Govt announces no change in  POL prices

Islamabad: The federal government Tuesday announced to maintain the prices of petroleum products.

Following the prime minister's decision, the petrol price will remain unchanged at Rs145.82 per litre, and the price of diesel will remain Rs142.62 per litre as before.

The prices of kerosene oil and light diesel will stay at Rs116.53 and Rs114.07 per litre, respectively.

According to the notification, the new prices will be effective from December 1.

On November 5, the government had jacked up the price of petrol in Pakistan by Rs8.03 per litre despite November 1's decision of the prime minister to not increase the prices.

 

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Sports

Pakistan grab second spot in ICC Test Championship rankings

Pakistan won the first Test against Bangladesh by eight wickets

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Pakistan grab second spot in ICC Test Championship rankings

Dubai: Pakistan grabbed 2nd position in the International Cricket Council's Test Championship ranking following a marvelous victory over Bangladesh by 8 wickets in Chittagong Test.

According to details, Pakistan National Cricket Team have surpassed India National Cricket Team to become the No.2 ranked side in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 points table.

Sri Lanka is at the top of the points table in the Test Championship while Pakistan has played 3 matches, won 2 and lost 1 match.

Pakistan has won two series under the championship, India is on the third spot on the points table and West Indies is on fourth.

Similarly, the winner of the first Test Championship New Zealand bagged fifth place and England is on sixth spot.

The second Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh will start from Saturday in Dhaka.

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Sports

13 Belenenses players contract Omicron variant; 44 quarantine 

As many as 44 players and staff at Belenenses are now quarantining while Benfica has not taken the same steps due to what it calls low-risk for getting the virus from their opponents.

Published by Mehak Javed

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13 Belenenses players contract Omicron variant; 44 quarantine 

Thirteen players at Portuguese club Belenenses have tested positive for the newly discovered COVID variant ‘Omicron’, upon return from national team duty in South Africa.

As many as 44 players and staff at Belenenses are now quarantining while Benfica has not taken the same steps due to what it calls low-risk for getting the virus from their opponents.

It has now been confirmed all 13 players have the Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa last week.

The players, reportedly, wanted to cancel the game, but officials pressed forward with the contest. 

Meanwhile, Portugal’s health authorities are also sequencing the viruses from two passengers who tested positive for COVID after flying in from Maputo, Mozambique. 

Portugal’s health institute INSA, said in a statement that “there is still no scientific data to support [the Omicron variant’s] greater transmissibility or its ability to reduce the effectiveness of current vaccines.”

The World Health Organization (WHO), has declared the new strain a ‘variant of concern’.

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