The editor-in-chief of a Chinese state media group subtly mocked the US, suggesting it re-adopt the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) after Washington was shocked by Beijing’s missile tests.

The Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin mocked Washington in a tweet on Thursday after a week in which the US reiterated its concern and surprise by Chinese hypersonic missile tests in the summer.

Hu was responding to a story published on Thursday from The Financial Times, which stated that China conducted two hypersonic missile tests this summer, and not one as originally reported at the weekend.

“In face of speculation of China’s hypersonic weapons, the US needs to keep rationality and returns to the logic of major power game in the nuclear era. MAD [Mutually Assured Destruction] won’t make the US unsafe,” the state media boss wrote.

“The US must abandon the crazy idea that it can strike China and Russia, but they can’t strike it,” Hu added.

MAD is a doctrine associated with the Cold War era, when both the US and the Soviet Union built up sizeable nuclear arsenals. The doctrine is based on the theory of deterrence, in which neither side will use nuclear weapons against the other on the principle that the other party has the capacity to strike back in equal force. 

The abbreviation ‘MAD’ was developed ironically, with its creator, Donald Brennan, suggesting that holding weapons which could wipe out humanity was irrational. 

On Saturday, The Financial Times reported that China had tested a space-capable hypersonic missile in August – it could also carry a nuclear payload. It has since been reported that two missiles were tested in the summer.

Washington has claimed it was surprised that China had caught up with Washington. On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden admitted he was concerned by the news. 

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