Has China Launched an Arms Race in Space?

China’s decision to conduct its first test of an anti-satellite weapon represents a sharp escalation in the hitherto low-key dispute between China, Russia, and the United States over the use of outer space for military purposes. The test, which occurred Jan. 12 (Beijing time), represents the first anti-satellite attack by any country in over two decades. It also marks the first use of a ground-based missile to destroy an orbiting satellite. On Jan. 18, the Bush administration confirmed media reports that China had used a kinetic kill vehicle (i.e., one which attacks targets by colliding with them rather than exploding […]

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