Sunday 10 February 2019 - 06:00

China's space program poses no threat to US

Story Code : 777156

"US military concerns about possible 'threats' coming from a Chinese-run space station in Argentina which Beijing used recently to land a probe on the far side of the moon are completely bogus and not worthy of consideration," Etler said.

A top US military commander told Congress on Thursday that China was expanding its sphere of influence into South America.

Etler said the report against China was false and the US military ought to know better than making such "unfounded" claims. 

“’Fears voiced by senior US military officials that “China can use the remote station, which is located in the deserts of Patagonia, to shoot down American and allied satellites,’ are unfounded and those making such claims know better,” he said.  

Etler said the Chinese satellite station in Argentina was similar to the stations set up by the US in other countries across the globe.

“The Chinese facility is no different from similar stations administered by NASA in Madrid, Spain and Canberra, Australia. Such deep space communications complexes are an integral part of space exploration and allow for unbroken transmissions between the Earth and space probes,” he said.

Etler went on to explain that the northern and southern hemispheres link different parts of the cosmos due to the Earth’s spin and rotation, and without communications centers in both hemispheres space exploration would be impossible.

He noted that senior US military operatives know this technicality full well.

"Like a thief crying stop thief, the US merely wants to cast aspersions on China’s space program to create roadblocks by arousing unnecessary suspicions about their motives," he said.

Etler added that the US has a long history of trying to sabotage China’s space program.

“While forging space cooperation with first the Soviet Union, and then its successor the Russian Federation, the US refused to allow Chinese participation in the International Space Station because of fictitious ‘national security’ concerns,” he said.

Etler said after China's notable advancements, the US now wants to start space cooperation with China.

"China which is forever patient with the duplicitous actions of the US is open to collaboration with the US. It is already cooperating with the Russian and European space agencies, to everyone’s benefit. It is not China which is a 'threat' to the peaceful use of space, but the aggressive and belligerent US which pulls out all stops to bully and beleaguer anyone who stands in their way of domination, in space as on Earth," he concluded.