Chinese state media reported the successful launch of the satellite from the southern island of Hainan with a Long March 5 rocket.

No details on the satellite were given except that it will be mainly used for "multi-band and high-speed communication technology experiments".

The powerful Long March 5 rocket is normally used to launch very large payloads.

A Long March 5 rocket was last used in December to launch a large optical remote sensing satellite into orbit.

The last satellite launched under the classified military programme was in early November, though the smaller medium-lift Long March 7A rocket was used.

State media reported that the satellite was also to be used for largely multi-band and high-speed communication technology experiments, without elaborating.

Western orbital data previously indicated a satellite under the programme approached a U.S. satellite in at least one instance in 2022.

The U.S. Space Force has previously complained about one of its satellites being followed by two Russian satellites.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Franklin Paul)