Chinese soldiers march past a mobile rocket launcher on display at the Chinese Military Museum of the People's Revolution in Beijing. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
June 5 (UPI) -- China "successfully" sent into orbit a solid-fueled launch vehicle from the Yellow Sea, according to Chinese authorities.
China's National Space Administration stated Wednesday it had launched the Changzheng 11, a four-stage rocket carrying five commercial satellites and two "wind-measuring devices."
The launch comes at a time tensions are escalating with the United States over trade and defense. Over the weekend, China's defense minister accused Washington of destabilizing the Pacific.
The launch marks the first time China used an offshore platform to send the Changzheng 11 into orbit.
In January, China launched the same rocket with four satellites. The country has sent the rocket into the atmosphere a total of six times, not including the Wednesday launch.
"With the success of this rocket launch, China has filled a technological vacuum," CNSA said in its statement.
China is increasingly using its northeastern waters to test rockets; reports indicate China tested submarine-launched ballistic missiles in Bohai Bay, not far from North Korea, on Sunday.
Economic tensions with the United States have yet to subside as the Trump administration continues to ban equipment from tech firm Huawei.
On Wednesday, China appeared to be retaliating against U.S. companies, fining a Ford Motors joint venture, Changan Ford, $23.6 million, according to CNN.
The fine equals 4 percent of company sales in Chongqing in 2018.
Chinese authorities are claiming Changan Ford deprived downstream dealers of pricing autonomy, restricted competition and hurt the interests of consumers, according to the report.
The move comes soon after China said it is investigating FedEx, following claims from Huawei the delivery company diverted two packages for the firm's Chinese offices to the United States.
Ford's sales in China dropped 40 percent from 2017 to 2018.