China accused the US’ newly-established Space Force as an attempt to weaponize space. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the comments in his press briefing.
“The US Air Force chief of staff said that as China and Russia pose a strong threat to the US, the country needs greater strength to deal with the space capabilities of China and Russia. I wonder if China has a comment?”
To the question, Geng Shuang responded that US has disregarded any opposition by the international community and has instead decided to weaponize space.
“In recent years, disregarding opposition from the international community, the US has been pushing its space dominance strategy, going further down the path of weaponization of outer space and risking turning it into a new theater of warfare. Such moves are a serious breach of the consensus on peaceful use of outer space. They undermine global strategic balance and stability and pose a direct threat to peace and security in outer space. China is deeply concerned about and firmly opposed to this.”
He said that, when Washington spoke of “space security” it only meant its own, and accusing Russia and China of precisely what the US itself was doing.
“The space security the US has in mind is only security for itself while the fundamental purpose of the international community is to safeguard the common security of all mankind in outer space. In its obstinate pursuit of weaponization, the US keeps making an issue of China and Russia. That is the guilty party shifting the blame on the innocent and seeking excuses to free itself.”
Finally, he repeated a claim that has been made by Beijing numerous times: that China stands for the peaceful use of space by the entire international community and stands against weaponizing it.
“China stands for peaceful use of outer space and against weaponization of and arms race in outer space. Under current circumstances, there is greater relevance and urgency to initiate negotiation of a legally-binding instrument on outer space arms control. We hope the international community, certain major countries in particular, will adopt a prudent and responsible attitude to safeguard lasting peace and tranquility in outer space and make sure it will not become a new battlefield.”
According to Axios, China’s ambitions and intentions in space remain questionable, but it “has publicly maintained that its goals in space are peaceful.” But, an US Congressional panel, China’s “military is also working toward shoring up its capabilities in space, driving the U.S. to take stock of its own orbital defenses.”
US President Donald Trump also made it quite clear that the space force was specifically aimed at deterring the US’ adversaries and not allowing them to lead the international community’s progress in that regard.
“The Space Force will help us deter aggression and control the ultimate high ground.”
“For the first time since President Harry Truman created the Air Force over 70 years ago — think of that — we will create a brand new American military service. That’s such a momentous statement,” Trump said at the signing ceremony.
“With my signature today, you will witness the birth of the Space Force, and that will be now officially the sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces. That is something really incredible. It’s a big moment. That’s a big moment, and we’re all here for it. Space, going to be a lot of things happening in space,” he added.
Meanwhile, China itself is readying its heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket for its comeback flight at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province.
The carrier rocket, coded as Long March 5 Y3, is planned to be launched around the end of December, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
China Central Television (CCTV) video, CNSA deputy head Wu Yanhua reports that engineers and scientists are convinced that all of the prep work for the upcoming launch — whether in terms of technology or quality assurance — has been completed.
“Next, we will fill it with fuel at the launching area and run some tests,” Wu told CCTV.
The Long March 5 booster is essential for China’s future space station, as well as its moon and Mars exploration plans.
“If the flight is successful, it will be tasked with a series of key missions including launching China’s first Mars probe, the Chang’e 5 lunar probe and a core module for the manned space station,” Wu said.
Russia is hard at work on its space ambitions as well, sending a recent satellite inspector into space, as well as filling the ranks of its early missile warning satellite network.
The US, on its part, recently got back its X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, after it flew for a record amount of days in orbit, pursuing an undisclosed objective.
At the same time, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner was successfully launched towards orbit, but couldn’t exit it due to an issue. It, however, landed safely on the ground.
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