China Condemns US Deployment of Previously-Banned Missile System to the Philippines

The US deployed Typhon missile launcher for the Balikatan exercises

The Chinese Defense Ministry on Thursday strongly condemned the US deployment of an intermediate-range missile system to the Philippines during military drills that were conducted in April and the first half of May.

During Washington and Manila’s annual Balikatan exercises, the US deployed a Typhon launcher, a covert system that is concealed in a 40-foot shipping container and fires Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles.

The Typhon system would have been banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a treaty between the US and Russia that the US scrapped in 2019. It prohibited land-based missile systems with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles.

Tomahawk missiles can hit targets up to about 1,150 miles away, making any land-based variant banned under the INF. The SM-6 missiles have a range of 290 miles, and US officials believe they could be effective against Chinese ships.

US officials previously told The New York Times that the purpose of developing and deploying the Typhon launcher is to prepare for a war with China, whether over Taiwan or the South China Sea.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said the deployment of the Typhon system increased the risk of conflict. “The United States and Philippine practices put the entire region under the fire of the United States (and) brought huge risks of war into the region,” Wu said, according to Reuters. “Intermediate-range missiles are strategic and offensive weapons with a strong Cold War color.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.