U.S. officials see security risks in China’s progress in space
U.S. officials see security risks in China’s progress in space

U.S. officials see security risks in China’s progress in space

China’s takeover of space could pose an existential threat to US national security, officials said at the US Space Force Association’s ‘Lasso the Moon’ conference in Houston on Monday.

“Whoever leads the space sets the rules. And I do not want the Chinese Communist Party to set our rules,” the rep said. Brian Babin (R-Texas), who attended the conference almost due to a week-long illness.

The United States, China and Russia have been fighting for power in space for years. China has recently merges with Russia for a panel of space missions and initiatives, including plans for a research base on the moon.

China is too expected to send an expedition to the moon in 2024, which would strike the United States plans to land in 2025.

“The bottom line is we can not give up our US presence in LEO [low-Earth orbit]. “I’m not interested in giving more grass to other states, or worse, to conflicting nations like China,” Babin said. “China is a problem, and the more they prioritize space, the more of a problem they will become.”

One recently white paper from China indicated plans to complete its space station before the end of this year. Beijing is also expected to launch as many as 40 space flights this year alone.

China too allegedly called the United States irresponsible following a recent near-accident between China’s space station and two of Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites.

The United States still dominates the space landscape, but “if we fall victim to party-political gains, our leadership will erode over time,” Babin said.

Lieutenant General Chance Saltzman, the space force’s deputy chief of operations, nuclear and cyber, strengthened Babin’s point about the intersection between space exploration and national security and drew a parallel with the current information war surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“If you do not have control over space and cyber, then forget Taiwan. If you do not own the information space, then forget about Ukraine,” Saltzman said during his speech at Monday’s event.

“If we are reactive in the space of cyber domains, we will fail. We just do not have the luxury of time to recover. And so we have to be at the forefront of this power curve,” Saltzman added.

Saltzman urged the public to look at how the United States has had control over the information space against Russia as an example of how non-military arenas can shape geopolitical power.

After fierce competition between the Soviet Union and the United States in the 1970s space race, Washington and Moscow have taken a joint approach to their work on the International Space Station (ISS).

On Friday, the head of Russia’s space agency said tweeted that Russia could terminate its cooperation on the ISS in response recent sanctions from the United States and its allies over Russian attacks on Ukraine.


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