China mocks India's 'missile delusion' after rocket launch
A state-owned Chinese tabloid adopted a mocking tone as India entered the small club of nations with intercontinental nuclear weapons capabilities yesterday by test-firing a rocket that can reach Beijing and eastern Europe.
Footage showed the Agni V with a range of more than 5,000km blasting through clouds from an island off the east coast. Named after the Hindu god of fire, it is the crowning achievement of a programme developed primarily with a threat from China in mind.
The official response from Beijing was measured, with China's foreign ministry saying the two countries should "work hard to uphold friendly strategic co-operation". But the Global Times, owned by the Chinese Communist Party's main mouthpiece, the People's Daily, struck a less conciliatory tone, saying India was being swept up by "missile delusion". "India should not overestimate its strength," it said before the launch, which was delayed by a day because of bad weather.
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