Seven years after it tested an anti-satellite weapon on one of its satellites, China’s military poses an increasing threat to US space assets as it develops new counterspace technologies, witnesses warned members of the US House Armed Services Committee.
“The current and evolving counterspace threat posed by China to US military operations in the Asia-Pacific theater and outside is extremely serious, and the threat ranks on par with the dangers posed by Chinese offensive cyber operations,” said Ashley Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in testimony at a joint hearing of two House Armed Services Committee subcommittees Jan. 28.
Not everyone at the hearing agreed that China represented the greatest threat to US space assets, however. “In my view, the greatest current vulnerability is the debris vulnerability,” said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center. “The more a nation depends on space, the more vulnerable it becomes just because of the debris problem, not even Chinese counterspace capabilities.”
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