China has successfully carried out a test within its territory on ground-based midcourse missile interception technology, just days after the US cleared a sale of advanced Patriot air defence missiles to Taiwan.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the test was defensive in nature and not targeted at any country.

“China has always taken the road of peaceful development and its strengthening of national defense construction was for the maintenance of national sovereignty and security,” she said.

The missile test did not produce space debris in orbit or pose a threat to the safety of orbiting spacecraft.

The Patriot PAC-3 missiles bought by Taiwan are capable of destroying missiles in mid-air and could be used against more than 1,000 offensive missiles.