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‘Should not harm…’: China’s guarded response to India’s BrahMos missiles delivery to Philippines

Beijing: The Chinese military on Thursday reacted guardedly to the Indian government’s delivery of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, saying that their defence cooperation should not harm the interests of any third party and harm regional stability. The reaction comes after India on Friday delivered the first batch of BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles to the Philippines, over two years after inking a $375 million deal to supply the weapon systems with the country.

China is currently embroiled in a heated conflict with the Philippines over their territorial claims in the South China Sea, with both countries trading accusations over a series of maritime run-ins. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, a conduit for more than $3 trillion of annual ship-borne commerce, including parts claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

BrahMos Aerospace Pvt Ltd, an India-Russian joint venture, produces supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms. BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound. In January 2022, India sealed a deal with the Philippines to supply three batteries of the missile. It is the first export of the BrahMos missile by India. A few other countries including Argentina have also shown interest in procuring BrahMos missiles from India.

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