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China comes clean over shot-down satellite

发布时间:2019-02-27 03:10:05来源:未知点击:

By New Scientist Space and Reuters/AFP China said today it had fired a missile at one of its satellites, confirming earlier US reports from Washington DC – but a Chinese spokesman said the test posed no threat, and that he knew of no plans for a second launch. The test on 11 January has raised fears of an arms race in space, and US officials among others had criticised the test as a provocative escalation of military competition, but China had initially refused to publicly say whether it hit one of its own satellites with a missile. On Monday, a US State Department spokesman said in Washington that Chinese officials acknowledged the test when they met assistant secretary of state Christopher Hill in Beijing over the weekend. The Chinese foreign ministry also informed the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Monday that China had conducted “one experiment in space recently”. Japan has asked for a fuller explanation. “The destruction of a satellite by a ballistic missile, which scatters debris as a result, raises great concerns in our country from the viewpoint of the safe use of outer space as well as national security,” said chief cabinet secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki. “It is natural for us to demand a thorough explanation.” Asked about China’s delay in reporting the test, Liu told a news conference today: “China has nothing to hide. After various parties expressed concern we explained this test in outer space to them.” “What needs to be stressed is that China has always advocated the peaceful use of space,” said Liu. “China has never participated and will never participate in any arms race in outer space.” No current international treaties or agreements prohibit military strikes against satellites,