The United States and China have been at odds against one another on all security fronts. This time, it appears China is drawing US ire further as it plans to launch 20 space missions. Analysts expect this move to have military implications later on.
China is looking into more than a dozen space missions this year to test its rocket and launch a habitual space module. However, even with the supposed goal in mind, US security analysts think that such focus on space can have military implications eventually.
According to Sputnik, Beijing has been testing its surface-to-air missiles that can hit targets in orbit. The country has also been reportedly experimenting with lasers that can blind and scramble satellites. As China continues to look into what it can do in space, there are those below concerned on what it may soon do should it progress in outer space.
“There are a lot of avenues to go after satellites, and what worries people is that the Chinese are pursuing all of them,” explained James Andrew Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The question becomes: If they’re so into peace, why are they building so many weapons?,” he added.
As previously reported by Morning News USA, part of Pentagon’s 2017 defense budget is a possible conflict that could take place in space. “I also want to mention space because at times in the past, space was seen as a sanctuary, new and emerging threats make clear that that’s not the case anymore and we must be prepared for the possibility of a conflict that extends in space,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter told press in February.
Space is not the only security concern brewing between the two countries as China expressed concerns over the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in the Korean Peninsula. Nonetheless, the US is hoping that it will be able to talk to Beijing about the matter. Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, emphasized that the two countries just started discussions. A final call has yet to be made about the deployment.
“THAAD is truly only capable of defending the territory on which it’s deployed. It is not capable of the kind of reach that the Chinese seem to be afraid that it has,” Reuters quoted Gottemoeller. “We will be very glad and hope we’ll have the opportunity to sit down and talk with China about those very technical limitations and facts about the system,” she said.