China on Tuesday said it had successfully tested a surface-to-air missile system designed to intercept other missiles.

The test on Monday of a “ground-based, mid-course missile interception technology” had “achieved the expected objective,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

“The test is defensive in nature and is not targeted at any country,” the agency said in a brief report.

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) stepped up its modernization in the 1990s after studying U.S. use of high-technology weapons and systems in the first invasion of Iraq.

China jumped to second place in the list of the world’s biggest military spenders in 2008, behind only the United States, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reported last year.

Its estimated military spending reached $85 billion, one-seventh of the estimated U.S. spending, the institute said.

During a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, the PLA showcased more than a dozen missile systems.

Among those identified were Dongfeng 21C medium-range ballistic missiles, Dongfeng 15B and Dongfeng 11A short-range missiles, Hongqi coastal defence and ship-to-air missiles, and Hongqi 12 surface-to-air missiles.

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