BANGKOK, Thailand — China’s warming relationship with the Southeast Asian military regime the West loves to hate is emerging as a vital element in solving one of Beijing’s biggest problems — energy security. The jungles of Burma now seem certain to provide a shortcut for oil from the Middle East and Africa to the Chinese border. With China scouring the world for oil and gas supplies to replace its own rapidly decreasing reserves, strategists have pondered the potential security problem posed for Beijing by the Malacca Strait, wedged between Indonesia and Malaysia and through which between 70 and 80 percent [...]
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 [...]
China’s recent decision to blast one of its own satellites from the sky using a ground-based missile has re-ignited concerns in Washington that a potential military rival could be seeking to “weaponize” space. While China’s Foreign Ministry stressed that the “test was not directed at any country and does not constitute a threat to any country,” the destruction of its own satellite has created a hotbed of speculation regarding Beijing’s possible ulterior motives. Some China experts contend it was an attempt by Beijing to pressure Washington to negotiate an international treaty banning weapons in space. The Bush administration, however, remains [...]
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