China Accuses US of Hypocrisy Over Satellite Shootdown

Beijing accused Washington of holding China to a double standard after the US Navy successfully destroyed a satellite 150 miles above the Pacific last night, the Guardian reports.

Last year when China similarly shot down a failed satellite it was sharply criticized by the Bush administration.

“The United States, the world’s top space power, has often accused other countries of vigorously developing military space technology,” the People’s Daily, the ruling Communist party’s newspaper, said.

“But faced with the Chinese-Russian proposal to restrict space armaments, it runs in fear from what it claimed to love.”

Last month Washington rejected a global ban on space arms proposed by Russian and china. The Bush administration said that the proposal would have prohibited an America missile interceptor system in Eastern Europe, while exempting Russian and Chinese missiles that could fire into space.

The Chinese are also worried that this might have been an excuse for America to test and show-off it’s military technology, the Associated Press reports.

China’s objections signal its skepticism over whether the satellite downing was truly necessary and unease over apparent U.S. mastery of a key military technology that Beijing is also pursuing. They also appear aimed at turning the tables on U.S. criticism of Beijing’s own shootdown of a defunct Chinese satellite last year.

“The concern is whether the U.S. version of the story is true: Whether that satellite is indeed failing and out of control and if this kind of missile shooting is the best way to remove the threat,” said Shen Dingli, an America watcher at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Or, he said, the reasons could be a pretext for an anti-satellite weapons test.

However, China’s satellite shoot last year was unannounced and more dangerous. Debris from the targeted satellite threatened to hit communication satellites and other orbiting space vehicles.

February 21, 2008 3:52 PM
Categories: Sci-Tech