China launched a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile this summer because it wanted to show a sign of strength when the United States is showing a great deal of weakness, especially after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Rep. Michael McCaul said on Newsmax Monday.
"You know they are a threat to Taiwan, and these hypersonic missiles or fragments caught our intelligence community off guard," the Texas Republican said on Newsmax's "John Bachman Now." "We knew that they were building them, had them, but to actually launch one that could circle the globe and just come about 25 miles away from the intended target is a real threat to our national security."
China's foreign ministry early Monday denied that the launch, occurring last July, was of a missile but said that instead, they were testing spacecraft, but McCaul said the test proves dangerous because the missile flies at five times the speed of sound.
"We don't have a defense system that can defend the United States from these types of weapons, and I think that's the biggest danger, particularly if they were launched from a submarine off the [U.S.] coast," McCaul said, adding that the threat must be taken seriously.
"They have a strong presence in the South China Sea and we know President Xi Jinping's goal is to restore imperial China," said the lawmaker. "They're getting very provocative and they're going to continue to test us."
Meanwhile, China is suffering a wide-scale energy crisis, said McCaul, and wants to fire up their coal plants, and is still getting money from the World Bank, because the United Nations still has it listed as a developing nation.
"That's why any agreement on climate change if it doesn't include China, it's worthless and that's been our position for a long time," said McCaul. "I'm very worried. They've met with the Taliban and their intent is to go into Afghanistan and get their rare Earth minerals. I really worry that they perhaps could take over Bagram Air Base, which would be such a disastrous result from this whole debacle."
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