The Chinese military shot down one of its own aging satellites with a ground-based ballistic missile last week, demonstrating a new technological capability at a time of growing Bush administration concern over Beijing’s military modernization and its intentions in space.
The shoot-down, which U.S. officials said occurred on the evening of Jan. 11, prompted a formal protest from Washington that was joined by allies including Canada and Australia, U.S. officials said Thursday. Japan has demanded an explanation, and Britain and South Korea are also expected to file formal objections.
“The United States believes China’s development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area,” said Gordon D. Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council. “We and other countries have expressed our concern to the Chinese.”
A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry said today that he could not comment on the anti-satellite test. ( more… )
Well, this ups the stakes.