China has demonstrated yet another advanced military capability, using a July test of a hypersonic weapon to fire a projectile from the system as it approached its target at around five times the speed of sound, media reports said Monday.

The Asian powerhouse's advances in delivery systems, coupled with its growing stockpile of nuclear warheads, have stoked fears that the weapons could be employed to prevent U.S. and Japanese intervention in a regional conflict, including over Taiwan, some observers say.

The technological leap forward revealed Monday — a capability that no other country has previously demonstrated — allowed the nuclear-capable hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV), a maneuverable craft launched on a rocket, to fire a separate projectile midflight in the atmosphere over the South China Sea, the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified sources familiar with the intelligence.