Latest Pentagon report says China, Russia threaten USA space dominance

Sergio Conner
February 14, 2019

'China has long advocated the peaceful use of outer space and opposes militarisation and an arms race in space, ' Hua said, adding that if the U.S. was serious about space security, then it should work with China to control arms development.

Russian Federation and China have active counterspace programs. The treaty has been ratified by more than 100 countries including the United States, Russia, China, and North Korea. The report also accused Russian Federation and China of pushing proposals that limit the militarization of space but leave room for both countries to build counter-space weaponry.

The report is aimed at education; the public needs to understand all that space brings to the United States, its allies and the world at large, said a senior Defense Department official, speaking on background. That includes China establishing "a strategic support force to integrate its space, cyberspace and electronic capabilities".

It calls out both China and Russian Federation as two countries with the technological prowess to take down U.S. communication and navigational satellites, which could cause mayhem for businesses and the military.

The Chinese foreign ministry responded after the US Defence Intelligence Agency claimed China was developing sophisticated space capabilities to use as weapons against American satellites.

"These capabilities provide their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide with enhanced situational awareness, enabling them to monitor, track and target USA and allied forces", it said.

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China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said the United States allegations were "groundless", as cited by Bloomberg. The proposal-entitled the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects-was immediately shot down by the USA, which labeled it "a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a military advantage", according to Nuclear Threat Initiative. "So this may lead to the reality of the weaponization and endangerment of outer space".

"The number of satellites and debris on orbit will grow concurrently, making tracking satellites, discriminating threats from non-threats, and predicting and preventing collisions a greater challenge", it said.

The Defense Intelligence Agency issued the warning in a report published onFebruary 11.

In 2003, China became the third country to achieve independent human space flight with the Shenzhou 5 spacecraft, commanded by astronaut Yang Liwei.

Space is the enabling domain for many capabilities, from hand-held devices to precision navigation.

Of that space junk, more than a third is from China's use of a missile in 2007 to destroy a defunct satellite and the accidental collision between a USA communications satellite and a defunct Russian one in 2009, Bloomberg reported. "Additionally, there is a wave of exciting commercial technologies and investments in space that are expanding the potential opportunities, the benefits we can all enjoy".

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