US Ambassador Says America Needs To Protect Its Assets
Some high-flying political
posturing and rhetoric is coming out of Geneva, Switzerland... as
representatives with the United States, China, and Russia hurled
accusations Tuesday during a disarmament debate aimed at preventing
an all-out arms race in space.
The Associated Press reports US officials decried Beijing's test last month of an
anti-satellite missile. Chinese and Russian officials,
in turn, said the US refuses to consider a treaty banning such
weapons -- and it is the US, not China, that is looking towards
establishing an orbital battlefield.
"The notion that introducing weapons and the threat of force
into outer space could be a sustainable way of securing strategic
advantage and legitimate defense objectives is fundamentally
flawed," the countries wrote in a working paper distributed to
delegates attending the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament.
Space-borne weapons, the paper went on to say, "are
counterproductive and jeopardize the security of all humanity."
Speaking from Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang
Yu said her country "has always advocated the peaceful use of
space, and advocates strengthening international exchanges and
cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space."
If those words sound hollow -- given China's recent missile test
-- well, you're not the only one who thinks so. US Ambassador
Christina Rocca says such statements represent misconceptions about
US space policy.
Rocca told delegates at the Geneva conference Washington is
committed to ensuring space is a peaceful frontier... and that any
militant steps taken are aimed at protecting its interests from
other countries that have shown hostile intentions.
"Put simply, these assets are vital to our national security,
including our economic interests, and must be defended," Rocca told
delegates. "The United States is not out to claim space for its own
or weaponize it."
Rocca added, however, the US sees the need to develop
space-borne defenses to combat technologies in place by a
"relatively small number of countries."
"We believe there is no arms race in space, and therefore no
problem for arms control to solve," Rocca said, in support of US
opposition to a space-arms treaty.
Japanese Ambassador Sumio Tauri defended the US position,
calling the proposed Sino-Russian space arms treaty "vague and