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March 13, 2013

China’s Anti-Satellite Test will add to Space Arms Race Worries

January 17, 2013

Screen shot from Chinese television of a multi-stage rocket believed to be similar to the Dong Ning-2 direct ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon that China may test this month

Although China will likely describe an expected rocket launch this month as a missile defense test, most experts believe this launch will be a smokescreen for a controversial anti-satellite test. If this is the case, it will be the latest indication of China’s intention to develop space weapons that will put U.S. security and economic interests at risk.

Speculation that China will conduct an anti-satellite (ASAT) test this month is growing and includes experts ranging from national security expert Bill Gertz to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Some indications of a planned Chinese ASAT test were reported by the media last fall. According to Gertz, China delayed the test to avoid hurting President Barack Obama’s re-election chances. A test would confirm a 2012 classified U.S. intelligence report that said China is continuing to develop ASAT weapons and plans to extend ASAT testing to target high-orbit satellites.

To read the full analysis, please visit LIGNET.com

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