Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chinese ground-based ballistic missile success

Concern grows over China's satellite-killing missile test

By Chris Buckley
Friday, January 19, 2007; 3:39 PM

BEIJING (Reuters) - Beijing insisted Friday it was opposed to an arms race in space after Japan and Britain joined a chorus of concern over a satellite-killing missile test by China -- the first known experiment of its type in more than 20 years.

The United States says China used a ground-based ballistic missile to shoot apart an aging weather satellite on January 11, scattering debris that could damage other satellites and raising risks of escalating military rivalry in outer space.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to confirm or deny the incident, but said Beijing wanted no arms race in space.

"I can't say anything about the reports. I really don't know; I've only seen the foreign reports," Liu Jianchao told Reuters.

"What I can say is that, as a matter of principle, China advocates the peaceful use of space and opposes the weaponisation of space, and also opposes any form of arms race," he said.

U.S. concerns were quickly echoed by Australia and Canada, and then Friday by Japan, which has become increasingly concerned about its giant neighbor's rising military strength.

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