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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

China Says No More Anti-satellite Test Plans

Beijing has no plans to carry out further anti-satellite missile tests, Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan told Japan’s former Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga on Feb. 12, according to Kyodo News Service.

Using a ground-based medium-range ballistic missile, China knocked out an aging Chinese weather satellite about 537 miles above the earth Jan. 11 through "kinetic impact," or by slamming into it.

"We do not plan further tests," Nukaga quoted Cao as saying in a meeting in Beijing, Kyodo reported.

The Chinese satellite knockout was the first successful demonstration of an anti-satellite weapon since the U.S. destroyed a satellite of its own with a missile in 1985.

The U.S. had said China’s move raised the risk of escalating military rivalry in outer space. Those concerns were quickly echoed by Australia, Canada and Japan, which has become increasingly concerned about its giant neighbor’s rising military strength.

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