China, Russia Seek Treaty Banning Space Militarization

Media Monitors reports that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese leader Hu Jintao issued a joint statement on Wednesday saying the two nations would work together for a treaty to ban the militarization of space.

“Russia and China advocate peaceful uses of outer space and oppose the prospect of it being turned into a new area for deploying weapons.

“The sides will actively facilitate practical work on a draft treaty on the prevention of the deployment of weapons in outer space, and of the use of force or threats to use force against space facilities, and will continue an intensive coordination of efforts to guarantee the security of activities in outer space.”

The statement also addressed the question of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its global expansion as well as an integrally related danger, the US-led drive to development a worldwide – and more than worldwide – interceptor missile system aimed at neutralizing China’s and Russia’s deterrent and retaliation capacities in the event of a first strike attack on either or both.

The section of the joint communiqué addressing the above stated, “Russia and China regard international security as integral and comprehensive. The security of some states cannot be ensured at the expense of others, including the expansion of military-political alliances or the creation of global or regional missile defense systems.”

China and Russia are worried about U.S. anti-ballistic mission plans, hypersonic trans-atmospheric vehicles, and deployments of weapons in space.  

American officials argue that anti-ballistic missile efforts are aimed primarily to protect against rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea, both of which have been testing missile technology. Japan is developing anti-missile defenses to counter the threat posed by North Korea.

Media Monitors reports that the Russians aren’t buying that explanation:

A Russian analytical news site reported at the same time that the danger of space war was potentially catastrophic and was being pursued without regard to its consequences:

“[T]he true reason behind the American plans for global anti-ballistic missile defense and space militarization [is that the] United States believes that over the next two to three decades, it can beat the others (Russia and China) in these spheres and gain a decisive strategic military advantage.

“A frightening Cold-War-type arms race to counter the U.S. missile defense systems and militarization of space is about to take off in earnest….This arms race is perhaps as dangerous as the Cold War one. This time, however, the trigger is in the hands of only one party – the U.S. establishment.

“Unfortunately, the signs are that the United States is already pulling the trigger.”

China’s involved in this effort is problematic. The nation caused international outrage two years ago by blowing up a weather satellite, creating thousands of pieces of debris that continue to threaten space assets.

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