From the heyday of the Cold War to our present-day monitoring of rogue nation nuclear quests, the U.S. and its allies have maintained a technological picket fence to pick up evidence of test firings. In detecting the launch of a new weapon in the past 48 hours, however, NORAD's tracking screens were of no use. The trip wires in this test-launch are cargo shipping agents and port manifests. Their message was mixed, but ominous: China may have just test-fired an economic weapon in the Resource Wars.
More at link: http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2010/09/24/did_china_test_fire_its_resource_weapon.html