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US monitors China’s space activities for possible risks

BEIJING (AP) — The United States is closely monitoring Chinese activities that potentially threaten U.S. assets in space as debris rapidly accumulates in low-Earth orbit, the U.S. military chief of operations said Friday. space.

US Army Space Command Commander General James Dickinson also applauded the overwhelming approval at the United Nations of a resolution that countries not conduct direct ascent anti-satellite tests that create vast fields of space debris, which put satellites and space stations at risk.

Of the four countries that have conducted such ASAT tests, the United States was the only one to vote in favor, while China and Russia voted no, and India abstained.

“We cannot continue to contribute to the debris that we find in the space domain,” Dickinson said in a conference call with reporters in Asia. Most of that debris is in crucial low-Earth orbit, which has become “congested, competitive.” and answered,” she said.

Even small shards of metal can pose a hazard, and the number of objects is growing wildly. Space Command is now tracking more than 48,000 in near-Earth orbit, including satellites, telescopes, space stations and debris of all sizes, up from 25,000 just three years ago, Dickinson said.

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China in 2003 became the third government to send an astronaut into orbit on its own after the former Soviet Union and the United States. His program has steadily advanced ever since.

China’s space program drew rare international criticism after it carried out a unannounced test in 2007 in which he used a missile to blow up a missing Chinese satellite, creating debris that continues to pose a danger.

Beijing believes that “space is a very important piece of not only to its global economic or economic environment, but also to the military environment, so we continue to watch that very closely as capabilities continue to grow,” Dickinson said.

China’s secret program is run by the ruling Communist Party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army, which prevents it from participating in the International Space Station or engaging in most forms of cooperation with NASA.

With little outside help, China last month launched the last of three modules for its own space station, which briefly hosted six Chinese astronauts in space during a three-person crew rotation. He also has rovers on the Moon and Mars and is planning a manned lunar mission in the future.

With tensions running high between the US and China over Taiwan, the South China Sea, trade and technology, space is increasingly becoming a potential flash point. In addition, the Pentagon released an annual China security report last week warning that Beijing is likely have 1,500 nuclear warheads by 2035, and that you have not provided clarity on how you plan to use them.

China continues to “develop capabilities that, quite frankly, put most of our assets in the space domain at risk,” Dickinson said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has further demonstrated that space is a “disputed domain that must be protected. It is a role that we at US Space Command take very seriously,” he said.

“I am seriously focused on our pace challenge, China,” Dickinson said, using a description of Beijing that has become standard at the Pentagon. “The unified stance of our allies and partners is critical to countering the coercion and subversion that threatens the rules-based international order here in the Indo-Pacific and beyond,” Dickinson said.

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