Even if China does not test such a weapon, military planners worldwide have already come to the conclusion that the threat of missile proliferation — specifically against maritime targets — is very real. Anti-ship weapons are proliferating across Asia, are for sale on the global arms market and are affordable. China already holds a number of land, sea and air based platforms to deliver such weapons, as do other nations across the region.
While China may not test its much fabled “carrier killer,” the threat of such weapons remains very real.
Harry Kazianis is a non-resident WSD Handa Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He has previously served as editor-in-chief for The Diplomat and deputy editor for e-International Relations.