January 07, 2013


2012-01-07 — The US media reported on January 4 that there is speculation circulating within the US defense and intelligence communities that China is gearing up to launch an anti-satellite test this month. It is said that a successful test will put the US strategic satellites, such as Global Positioning System navigational satellites, at risk.

China reportedly conducted an anti-satellite test in early 2007, which caused a great uproar. Some analysts said that even China really once again launches a test, it will not strike down satellites, but invalidate them.

China's public policy is peaceful use of space, which is also China's real desire. China has no interest in launching a large-scale space race with the US. China and Russia jointly initiated a program to avoid an arm race in outer space in 2008, but this proposal was refused by the US.

Against this background, it is necessary for China to have the ability to strike US satellites. This deterrent can provide strategic protection to Chinese satellites and the whole country's national security.

Whether China will launch new anti-satellite test is still unknown. However China should continue substantive research on striking satellites. It can avoid the controversy of whether this action violates peaceful use of space by doing so under the aegis of developing anti-missile defense systems.

In the foreseeable future, gap between China and the US cannot be eliminated by China's development of space weapons. The US advantage is overwhelming. Before strategic uncertainties between China and the US can disappear, China urgently needs to have an outer space trump card.

The US will continue to harass and even obstruct China's developing of its space capabilities. China should make tactical adjustments to reduce trouble. However, the bottom line of these adjustments should be that normal research cannot be undermined.

China's reputation is doomed to be poor in the West. Ingratiating ourselves to the West is the last choice for us. We have to develop ourselves and have complex communications with the West based on this. The West's stereotypes of China come from two reasons: ideological differences and national competition. With the rise of China, the latter becomes more obvious.

Security interests are the most important national interests. China's gradual rise of comprehensive power has brought Western countries a sense of crisis. However, as long as China sincerely wants to develop peacefully and maintain strategic restraints in disputes and conflicts, Western countries will gradually reassess China's strategic intentions and give up their paranoia.

It is key for China to have the ability of strategic retaliation. It is a safeguard for China to deter the US from taking risky action against China in this period of great transition. Currently China attaches great attention to improving people's livelihoods. However, consolidating China's strategic security is the foundation of long-term development. We must dedicate a portion of our resources and energy to the construction of advanced defense capabilities.

Therefore, hopefully, the speculation about China's anti-satellite tests is true.

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