September 24, 2023

US Watches China’s Space Activities for Possible Risks

  • The head of the United States military undertakings in space stated that America is closely watching China’s activities that could have risks to its space assets.
  • That comes after increased debris in Earth’s orbit.

The United States monitors China’s activities that might intimidate American space assets. On Friday, the American military undertakings in space stated that the new move came as debris quickly accumulated in Earth’s orbit (low).

Also, Commander of the United States Space Command Militia General James Dickson applauded the overpowering United Nations passage, involving a resolution that nations avoid direct-upside antisatellite tests that form massive space junk. Remember, the debris endangers space stations and satellites.

Of the four nations that have done such ASAT tests, Russia and China voted no, whereas only the United States voted in favor, and India abstained. Dickson told Asian reporters in a phone news conference that we cannot contribute to heightening/increasing debris that the space domain has. He added that most of this junk hovers in a critical low Earth orbit, making it contested, congested, and competitive.

Even metal shards might mean danger, and objects have increased rampantly. Space Command tracks over 48,000 objects near Earth’s orbit, including telescopes, satellites, debris, and space station. That reflects a massive uptick from 25,000 three years ago (according to Dickson).

China became the third to send astronauts into Earth orbit in 2003, after the United States and the former Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the Chinese space program has improved steadily since. Meanwhile, the program attracted rare global criticism after the country conducted the 2007 unexpected test where it utilized a missile to explode a defunct Chinese satellite, creating debris that poses risks.

Beijing trusts that space remains crucial for their economy, global economy, and military activities. In that context, Dickson stated that the United States would watch as China keeps expanding its capabilities.

Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army, the ruling party’s military wing, operates the secretive Chinese space program, preventing China from cooperating with NASA. Also, it limits its participation in the ISS (International Space Station).

Proceeding Without Outside Help?

Indeed, China could be prepared to proceed with little help from the outside, launching the final of its space station’s three modules last month. It hosted six China astronauts in space amid a 3-person crew turnover. Moreover, it has rovers on Mars and the moon and plans a lunar mission in the coming future.

With the high China-US tension over Taiwan, trade, the South China Sea, and technology, space is becoming another flash point. Moreover, last week’s Pentagon yearly China security data & warned that Beijing could have around 1,500 nuclear warheads come 2035, and it is yet to clarify its plans to utilize them.

Dickson trusts China is creating capabilities that risk most American assets. Moreover, Russia’s attack on Ukraine has demonstrated how crucial protecting space is. He added that the United States Space Command is always alert in that role.

Dickson used Beijing’s description that has become Pentagon’s standard, stating that he’s focused on their pacing challenge – China. He added that the unified outlook of their partners and allies remained crucial in countering the subversion and coercion that risks the global rules-based order in Indo-Pacific & beyond.

What are your opinions about China’s space moves? Feel free to comment in the section below.

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