Amid reports on January 7 that Beijing is preparing to carry out another anti-satellite weapons test, state media said China has the right to conduct the test because the technology represents a “trump card” against American power.
In both 2007 and 2010, Beijing carried out anti-satellite weapons tests, and some U.S. analysts suspect that the next test will see China aiming for higher altitudes than in the previous ones—targeting an object around 12,000 miles above Earth’s surface. A report on Space.com said a test at such a level would place the constellation of America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) at risk.
China’s state-run Global Times said Washington’s worries that the test could damage the U.S.’s GPS are “over blown,” but fell short of any real reassurances, saying only that the test would “not strike down satellites, but invalidate them.”
Why does China need to develop the anti-satellite weaponry that it is testing? The state-run Times explained:
The U.S. advantage is overwhelming. Before strategic uncertainties between China and the U.S. can disappear, China urgently needs to have an outer space trump card. China and Russia jointly initiated a program to avoid an arms race in outer space in 2008, but this proposal was refused by the U.S. Against this background, it is necessary for China to have the ability to strike U.S. satellites. This deterrent can provide strategic protection to Chinese satellites and the whole country’s national security.
China’s planned test comes as Beijing is rapidly assembling its own “GPS,” called the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. China’s military and many official bodies are already using this system. In the years ahead, Beijing plans to launch 20 more satellites to improve its functionality.
Full article: China: Our Anti-satellite Weaponry Is a ‘Trump Card’ Against the U.S. (The Trumpet)