China’s Overseas Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian has accused the U.S. of being “the primary driver in turning outer area right into a weapon and a battlefield.”
His feedback got here throughout one of many ministry’s common press conferences which regularly embrace barbed responses to accusations in opposition to China or different developments.
In Tuesday’s session, Zhao was requested by Chinese language state-run information company China Information Service about final month’s opening of the U.S. Nationwide Area Intelligence Middle (NSIC) and whether or not it posed a threat to “humanity’s total stability”.
Zhao replied: “The U.S. is the primary driver in turning outer area right into a weapon and a battlefield. It has lengthy pursued a method for dominance in area and brazenly outlined outer area as a war-fighting area.
“To realize its technique, the U.S. has been aggressively growing and deploying quite a lot of offensive outer area weapons equivalent to directed power and Counter Communications System, steadily holding army drills and advancing all-round army buildup and preparedness in outer area.”
The Nationwide Area Intelligence Middle (NSIC) was established final month on the Wright-Patterson Air Power Base in Ohio. It will likely be operated by a unit often called Area Delta 18, which is answerable for “delivering essential intelligence on risk programs, international intentions, and actions within the area area.”
“Within the years forward, the [space] surroundings will solely develop into extra contested,” stated Avril Haines, director of nationwide intelligence, in an announcement at an NSIC launch occasion. “And as we transfer ahead, NSIC will likely be relied upon to supply and analyze scientific and technical intelligence associated to area for the complete nation.”
It comes as a part of a push for extra army area funding inside the U.S. authorities, with the Area Power requesting $24.5 billion in funding for 2023 again within the spring—a 40 % enhance from the earlier yr, in response to army information web site Navy.com.
Zhao’s criticism of NSIC just isn’t the primary time that concern concerning the U.S. presence in area has come from inside China. Earlier this yr Chinese language researchers printed an article through which they outlined methods China might strike Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite tv for pc community.
Starlink consists of hundreds of small internet-providing satellites in low Earth orbit. The authors voiced issues that Starlink has cooperated with the U.S. army up to now and could possibly be used for army functions.
The examine known as for “a mix of sentimental and laborious kill strategies” that might disable a few of the satellites, in response to the South China Morning Publish, which had seen the report.
Regardless of Zhao’s feedback, the U.S. just isn’t the one nation increasing its army presence in area. Chinese language researchers have been growing or proposing a number of anti-satellite weapons together with directed power weapons that might feasibly destroy enemy satellites, The Diplomat stories.
Washington has additionally voiced issues about China’s ambitions in area. The U.S. Area Power’s Vice Chief of Area Operations, Gen. David Thompson, warned final December that China was on a speedy tempo in area improvement, including to mounting issues that it might outpace the U.S. in area and acquire army benefit, Politico reported.
Newsweek has requested the U.S. State Division for remark.