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Agni-V: India’s strategic nuclear capabilities not targeted against any country, MEA tells China

Agni-V: India's strategic nuclear capabilities not targeted against any country, MEA tells China

Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that India’s strategic capabilities were not targeted against any country.

It added that India’s strategic autonomy and growing engagement contributed to strategic stability.

“India’s strategic capabilities are not targeted against any particular country. India abides by all the applicable international obligations and hopes that all other do the same. India’s strategic autonomy and growing engagement contributes to strategic stability,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The MEA’s reaction came after China today hoped that India’s testing of the nuclear-capable Agni-5 intercontinental ballistic missile complied with UN Security Council rules and safeguarded South Asia’s strategic balance even as Beijing maintained that the two nations were “not rivals for competition but partners for cooperation”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said,” We have noted reports on India’s test fire of Agni-5 ballistic missile. The UN Security Council has explicit regulations on whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. China always maintains that preserving the strategic balance and stability in South Asia is conducive to peace and prosperity of regional countries and beyond,” as per PTI.

The reference to the strategic balance in South Asia apparently alluded to the military balance between India and Pakistan.

“We also notice reports, including some from India and Japan, speculating whether India made this move to counter China. They need to ask the Indian side for their intention behind the move. China and India have reached an important consensus that the two countries are not rivals for competition but partners for cooperation as two significant developing countries and emerging economies. China is willing to work alongside regional countries including India to maintain the long-lasting peace, stability and prosperity of the region. We also hope that relevant media can report in an objective and sensible manner and do more things to contribute to the mutual trust between China and India and regional peace and stability,” she added.

Agni - v

India had yesterday successfully test-fired Agni-V, the country’s most lethal nuclear-capable inter-continental ballistic missile with a range of over 5,000 kms that covers entire China which may also pave the way for user trial of the weapons system and its eventual induction into the Strategic Forces Command (SFC).

Experts say that proven ICBM capability currently exists only with the five major powers – the US, Russia, France, the UK and China.

Russia’s land-based Satan missile can reach 16,000 kms, while China has ICBMs that can hit targets up to 13,000 kms.

While India is part of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), China is not.

(With Agency inputs)

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