Amid rising tension and ongoing trade war with the United State, a new hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile was unveiled by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) during the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai, a South China's Guangdong Province, on Tuesday, which was hailed as a weapon that could potentially destroy a rival ship after traveling at a speed six times faster than sound.

The CM-401, unveiled at the country's largest military and commercial aviation exhibition, was a short-range missile that could be fired near-space trajectory and was capable of hypersonic maneuverable flight on its way to hit its target. Moreover, what made the missile almost impossible to intercept was its  "skip-glide trajectory,” which meant the weapon was equipped with the ability to change its course mid-flight, hence making its flight pattern unpredictable.

"The system is intended for rapid and precision strikes against medium-size ships, naval task forces, and offshore facilities," a CASIC representative said, Business Insider reported.

The missile included an independent phased array radar in its nose for the purpose of enhanced terminal targeting, and can be launched from an onshore launcher or from a cruise-based launch-canister. The state of the art radar system made it capable of conducting last-second course corrections after being trigged by initial targeting data provided by a ship, plane or satellite.

"The country will possess greater deterrence against hostile sea attacks, especially from large vessels like aircraft carriers," a military expert told the Global Times.

CM-401s have a range of 180 miles and can be carried by Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's new Type 055 destroyers.

The missile performed a steep climb before changing its direction and descents rapidly to hit its designated target.

“Once it begins to dive, it is very difficult to intercept because of its hypersonic velocity,” an unnamed military expert told the Global Times.

If the Chinese military added the CM-401s to its already impressive collection of weaponry, it would add to its passion of DF-21 and DF-26 anti-ship ballistic missiles and YJ-18 supersonic anti-ship missiles. However, CASIC has also said it intended to sell the anti-ship weapons in the global market.

China’s recent display of top-grade military weaponry came at a crucial time when it was caught in a growing trade war with the U.S. as well as trying to establish dominance over areas of South China Sea, which were claimed by multiple Asian countries.

Chinese President Xi Jingping recently met with troops and generals on a tour of Guangzhou province where he told his military commanders to “concentrate preparations for fighting a war,” amid escalating tension with the West. “It’s necessary to strengthen the mission … and concentrate preparations for fighting a war. We need to take all complex situations into consideration and make emergency plans accordingly,” he added, the Sun reported. 

China A new hypersonic anti-ship cruise missile was unveiled by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) during the Airshow China 2018 in Zhuhai. This representational photo taken on shows Thai sailors visiting Chinese guided missile destroyer Guangzhou during the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise at a military port in Zhanjiang, in China's southern Guangdong province, Oct. 24, 2018. Photo: Getty Images/ STR