WASHINGTON -- The U.S. says China has tested a missile designed to destroy satellites and is urging Beijing to refrain from destabilizing actions. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the "non-destructive" test occurred Wednesday. She said a previous destructive test of the system in 2007 created thousands of pieces of dangerous debris in space. Harf said Friday that the continued development and testing of destructive anti-satellite systems threaten the long-term security and sustainability of the outer-space environment that all nations depend upon.
China's state-run Xinhua (shihn-wah) news agency, citing a Defense Ministry statement, reported a successful missile interception test conducted from land within Chinese territory late Wednesday. Xinhua did not refer to it as an anti-satellite system. It said such tests could strengthen Chinese air defense against ballistic missiles.