India successfully launched a missile Thursday capable of delivering a nuclear warhead deep inside China.
With a 3,100-mile range, the missile could strike Beijing and Shanghai. It can carry multiple warheads or launch satellites into orbit. India's leaders say it's the first major step to being recognized as a world power.
"The nation stands tall today," said Defense Minister A.K. Antony, the Press Trust of India reported.
But defense analyst Rahul Bedi made it clear that India, which has a reputation for being slow on defense decisions, still has a lot of work to do.
"We need to build on today's success ... to build in a very capable, dissuasive deterrence capability," he said. "But going back to past records, I don't know if we can sustain it."
China already has intercontinental ballistic missiles that can hit anywhere in India. The two countries fought a war in 1962 and still have a border dispute.
"India should be clear that China's nuclear power is stronger and more reliable. For the foreseeable future, India would stand no chance in an overall arms race with China," read an editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the Communist Party's official mouthpiece, the People's Daily.