China’s anti-satellite test in January increased the country’s military threat to Taiwan by demonstrating a limited ability to blind the U.S. satellites that would be deployed in defense of the island, according to a report by an independent private research group to be released today.
“The test is a vivid example of how China’s emerging military capabilities will complicate the strategic environment confronting U.S. forces for decades to come,” says the study sponsored by the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. The report is titled “U.S.-China Relations: an Affirmative Agenda, a Responsible Course.”
In the January test, China used a missile to destroy one of its weather satellites in low polar orbit, the first time Beijing had successfully tested an anti-satellite system. Three months after the exercise, the report says, the government’s motives are unclear.
China waited almost two weeks before publicly acknowledging the test. “China opposes the weaponization of space and any arms race,” a government spokesman said, adding that Beijing would not participate in a space arms race. “The test is not targeted at any country and will not threaten any country.” [Full Text]