Beijing downplays India’s missile launch

April 19th, 2012 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 19 (IANS) Beijing Thursday reacted cautiously to India’s successful launch of a missile capable of striking anywhere in China, saying the “neighbouring giants are not rivals but co-operation partners”, it was reported here.

On Thursday, India stormed into an elite club of nations with the capability to hit targets 5,000 km away, with the successful test of the much-anticipated Agni-V long-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

With its launch from Wheeler Island off the Odisha coast, India also emerged as a major missile powerhouse of the world, having developed Agni-V almost entirely indigenously over the last four years.

Asked for comment on the launch, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters in Beijing Thursday: “China has taken note of reports of India’s missile launch.”

“China and India are both big emerging countries, we are not rivals but co-operation partners,” the Sky News quoted Liu as saying.

“India is today a nation with proven capability to design, develop and produce a long-range ballistic missile. India is a missile power now,” India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief V.K. Saraswat told reporters at the test site after the successful launch.

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