A US general has described China as a ‘major threat’, saying the arms race has caused a ‘fundamental change’ in the space landscape in just a few years.
According to the French news agency AFP, speaking to selected media representatives on the sidelines of a security conference in Munich on Saturday, US Space Operations chief General Bradley Chance Saltzman said, “We are keeping an eye on the weapons developed by our strategic rivals.” are.’
He said that the most challenging threat is from China, but this threat is also from Russia.
These words of the head of US space operations have further highlighted the ongoing tension between China and the US.
The strained relations between the two countries were also witnessed when the US and Chinese foreign ministers exchanged harsh words in Munich on Saturday over the suspected Chinese spy balloon.
“What will be our way of operating in space (in the future) has also changed now,” he added.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken warned Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that the “irresponsible act” of sending a balloon into US airspace should not be repeated.
The Chinese Foreign Minister responded by saying that the downing of the balloon has damaged the relations between the two countries.
An arms race in space
An arms race in space is not new. In early 1985, the Pentagon used a missile to destroy a satellite.
Since then, America’s rivals have been trying to show they can compete. China did the same in 2007 and India in 2019 as the US did.
In February 2020, a US general said there were two Russian satellites in orbit that were tracking a US spy satellite.
In late 2021, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites by launching a missile from Earth. “This is an irresponsible move,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said at the time.
US General Bradley Chance Saltzman said that space is critical to modern warfare.
“You can attack through cyber networks or other vectors without going into space,” he said. We have to make sure that we are defending all these capabilities.
General Saltzman’s adviser says that he has never spoken to his Chinese and Russian counterparts, but in Munich, General Saltz has talked to the Norwegian Defense Minister.
“We talked about responsible behaviors. There is a proper way to work in space that doesn’t create debris and doesn’t interfere. It has safe distances and safe routes and orbits and we communicate when problems arise.