freebeacon.com China is developing significant space warfare capabilities that threaten U.S. strategic satellite systems, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command told Congress on Thursday. “We’ve seen very disturbing trends in space, particularly from nation states like China, as well as Russia, who have been public about their counterspace endeavors and ambitions,” Adm. Cecil Haney, Stratcom commander said. Counterspace is the military term for space warfare capabilities and weapons. China conducted a test of a missile-fired anti-satellite kill vehicle as recently as last summer, Haney told the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee. “Fortunately this time it didn’t hit anything as it did in 2007, creating just thousands and thousands of pieces of debris which we’re still struggling with,” Haney said, adding that the recent test indicated China’s intention to invest heavily in what he said is a “not very transparent” space arms program. “Additionally, we see things that … have also been put in orbit that also is of concern, as well as things on land that are also being used to threaten our assets, such as lasers, such as jamming capability and what have you that threatens communications, GPS,” the four-star admiral said. China’s test of an antisatellite (ASAT) missile in July was disguised by the Chinese government as a ballistic missile defense test. In the past several years, China also conducted space tests using miniature satellites, some with retractable arms capable of grabbing or crushing satellites. Little is known of China’s ground-based laser and jamming ASAT capabilities. The comments were the most explicit to date by a senior military officer expressing concerns about China’s buildup of space weapons that are designed to inflict damage on the U.S. military in a time of crisis or war. The congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Committee annual report made public in December also warned about China’s growing space warfare programs. China “likely calculates its growing space warfare capabilities will enhance its strategic deterrent as well as allow China to coerce the United States and other countries into not interfering with China militarily,” the report said. “Based on the number and diversity of China’s existing and developmental counterspace capabilities, China probably will be able to hold at risk U.S. national security satellites in every orbital regime in the next five to ten years.” to read more: freebeacon.com
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