The brief statement by the Ministry of National Defense Tuesday announcing China successfully tested ground-based mid-course anti-missile intercept technology within its territory Monday marks a major step forward on the People's Liberation Army's path to modernization, as only a few countries have mastered the technology necessary to intercept a missile in flight.
But there is no reason for China's military modernization to be viewed as a potential threat to the security and interests of others. As the Ministry of National Defense explicitly stated, the test was "defensive and not aimed at any country".
Given the increasingly complex and grave security situations on its doorsteps and the growing missile imbalance that is not in its favor, it would be remiss of China not to seek to restore equilibrium with its own missile defense system in face of the increasingly unfriendly geopolitical regional environment.
Although Japan and the Republic of Korea have cited missile threats from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea as an excuse for their anti-missile system deployments, that cannot disguise the truth. Rather than being for their defense, the systems are instead aimed at increasing the geostrategic pressure on China and Russia as part of the United States' strategy to pursue absolute military superiority so it can achieve absolute security for itself and its allies at the cost of the interests and security of other nations.
The US has been talking a good game recently with its list of rogue states and its portrayals of China and Russia as predatory rivals and revisionist powers challenging the rules-based order. But then the biggest lies are usually told with handsomest shows of sincerity.
It is the US' desire to prevent the system it created to benefit itself from being reshaped more impartially, and its unwillingness to "surrender" its privileged position of prosperity that are the cause of the growing global volatility.
Without sustained investment to modernize its military to make it fit for the times and restore the regional balance, China would unnecessarily be inviting trouble.
Only by maintaining a strategic balance and making its deterrence to military threats more capable and reliable can China safeguard its own national security and regional peace.
The fact the Chinese military took the initiative to publicize its test indicates that with fewer things to alarm it, the PLA is willing to show its confidence.