US Concerned Over China's Growing Space Capabilities
The US has said China could use it's growing space-related capabilities to gain diplomatic advantage over other nations, "possibly" against America's national security interests as well.

"China's modernised military, and especially its space-related capabilities, could be put to use in ways that increase China's ability to gain diplomatic advantage or resolve disputes in its favour, and possibly against US national security interests," said a US report.

The National Security Report on Revising US Export Controls on Satellites, by the State Department and the Department of Defence, said China was developing and testing several new classes and variants of "offencive" missiles, upgrading older missile systems, and developing space-based methods to counter ballistic missile defences of the US and its allies, including anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons.

"China produces a broad range of sophisticated ballistic, cruise, air-to-air, and surface-to-air missiles. Many of China's final assembly and rocket motor production facilities have received upgrades over the past few years, likely increasing production capacity.

"In addition to supplying China's military, complete systems and missile technologies could be marketed for export. China's space launch vehicle industry is expanding to support satellite launch services and the manned space program," it said.

Foreign and indigenous systems give China the capability to "jam" common satellite communications bands and Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) receivers, specifically, the Chinese navigation constellation, the report said.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is acquiring a range of technologies to improve China's space and counter-space capabilities, it said, adding that a PLA analysis of US and coalition military operations reinforced the importance of operations in space to enable informationalised warfare.

The analysis claimed that "space is the commanding point for the information battlefield. Battlefield monitor and control, information communications, navigation and position guidance all rely on satellites and other sensors."

One example of how China's advance in space-related capabilities could directly harm US national security interests is in the Taiwan Strait, the report said and added that Beijing could use a variety of "disruptive, punitive, or lethal space capabilities" in a limited action against Taiwan.

"Limited Short Range Ballistic Missile attacks against, and precision strikes directed by, imaging and navigation satellites on Taiwan's radar sites, missiles, and space-assets could be designed to degrade its defences or neutralise its leadership.

"The PLA builds capabilities aimed not only at Taiwan, but also to deter, delay, or deny possible US or allied intervention in a cross-Strait conflict. China's ASAT programs have significant implications for anti-access/area-denial efforts against the United States in Taiwan Strait contingencies," it said.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
FILED IN: Defence | Space | China-US |China|USA
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