By Yu Runze, Sina English
The Chinese are continuing to test new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), conducting the fourth such flight test of an upgraded DF-31A last week, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
The online newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, said U.S. intelligence agencies monitored the latest flight test, which was launched from a Space and Missile Test Center in north China's Shanxi to an impact range in China's west.
The test was the fourth since July of upgraded, road-mobile Chinese ICBMs.
The Beacon said Pentagon officials would not comment directly on the test.
"The Department of Defense continues to carefully monitor China’s military modernization efforts, including progress in developing its offensive missile force," said Lt. Col. Damien Pickart, a Pentagon spokesman.
China is currently in the middle of a major strategic nuclear forces buildup that includes four new ICBMs – the DF-41, JL-2, DF-31A, and another road-mobile missile called the DF-31 that is assessed to have less range than the DF-31A, US media reported.
China's Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed on August 30 that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) had conducted missile tests within national territory and clarified that they were not targeted at any one country.
"We conducted some normal weapons tests within the territory recently," spokesman Geng Yansheng told a regular press conference arranged by the ministry.
"These tests have no specific targets and were not targeted at any specific countries," Geng said, reiterating that the weaponry buildup is to answer the need to safeguard Chinese national security.