BEIJING – China accuses US of turning space into “battlefield” after Washington announced the creation of the Space Force.
US President Donald Trump signed the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act on Friday, which created a new arm of the US Armed Forces, the Space Force.
China has responded by accusing the US of “seeking militarization of outer space.”
“These US actions strongly violate the international consensus on the peaceful use of space […] posing a direct threat to outer space, peace and security,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
Geng urged the international community to “take a prudent and responsible attitude to prevent space from becoming a battlefield . ”
With the creation of the Space Force, the US Armed Forces will have six formal arms, along with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.
“A lot of things will happen in space because space is the newest war domain in the world,” Trump said during the signing of the Act.
The new Armed Forces division will have about 16,000 employees from both the Air Force and civilian agencies, some of whom are already incorporated into Space Command, said US Air Force Secretary Barbara Barret.
China develops civil space activities and has an advanced space program. In November, Beijing successfully completed a series of tests for its first Mars expedition, scheduled for 2020.
A US Defense Intelligence Agency report cited the development of Russian and China space programs as a threat to US interests.
“China and Russia, in particular, are developing a variety of ways to exploit what they see as US reliance on space-based systems and challenging the US position in space,” the report said.
On Sunday, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued that the creation of Space Forces by countries like the US and France should be discussed internationally.
“It has now become clear that initiatives such as missile shields have nothing to do with defending against Iran, but they are truly global systems. We insist on discussing issues related to the mobilization of weapons in space. Not only are the Americans already made statements to that effect, but so did the French,” the Russian minister told Pervy.
France announced the formation of the Aeronautics-integrated Space Force in August this year and has allocated about $4 billion to the project by 2025, France 24 reported.