President Biden On High Alert Aboard AF1 While Chinese Test Hypersonic Missiles

Days after reports of Beijing testing a nuclear-capable hypersonic glide weapon, President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he is concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles. Asked by reporters as he was boarding Air Force One for a trip to Pennsylvania whether he was concerned about Chinese hypersonic missiles, Biden replied "Yes."

Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of more than five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200 kph (3,853 mph).

China is reported to have tested a weapon in August that flew through space and circled the globe before descending on a target which it missed. China's foreign ministry denied the report. The test took place as the United States and its global rivals are diligently working to build hypersonic weapons - the next generation of arms that do not allow for reaction time and traditional counter mechanisms.

The White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday The White House has voiced concerns about Chinese hypersonic missile technology through "diplomatic channels."

In September, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency successfully tested an air-breathing hypersonic weapon capable of speeds faster than five times the speed of sound. It was the first successful test of the class of weapons since 2013.

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