NEW DELHI (AP) — India test launched a new nuclear-capable missile Thursday that would give it, for the first time, the capability of striking the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai, according to television news channels.
The government has hailed the Agni-V missile, with a range of 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), as a major boost to its efforts to counter China's regional dominance and become an Asian power in its own right.
"It will be a quantum leap in India's strategic capability," Ravi Gupta, spokesman for India's Defense Research and Development Organization, which built the missile, said before the launch.
Indian media reported the missile was launched just after 8 a.m. local time from Wheeler Island off India's east coast. News channel Times Now showed footage of what it described as the missile streaking through the sky.
There was no immediate confirmation of the launch from the government and no word on whether it was successful.