Sun, 22 May 2022

Washington [US], April 27 (ANI): NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said on Tuesday China continues to display a lack of transparency and willingness to cooperate with the United States and other countries in space.

"We want cooperation that has not been forthcoming from the Chinese government (but) it takes two to tango," Nelson told a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "We simply haven't had any transparency from the Chinese."When China launched its space station, the first stage of its booster space rocket landed in the Indian Ocean and Beijing did not share any tracking data either with the United States or other countries, Nelson said.

"When they put up their space station they did not reserve enough fuel to control where it came down and thank the Good Lord it came down in the Indian Ocean. (But) it could have come down in Europe, it could have come down in Saudi Arabia. It could have come down in Greece," he said.

There has still been no forthcoming from the Chinese government about such cooperation and so the United States will deal with tracking Chinese space activity as it progresses, Nelson added.

The United States suspects that China may have a plan waiting to use space technology to block American radars and jam sophisticated weapons systems if the need arises, according to the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) of the US.

The 80-page report released recently gives credence to what was suspected by the international community till now that China has acquired capabilities to "prevail in a major conflict with the US and is aggressively launching, acquiring, and obtaining through espionage the counter-space capabilities necessary to do so."According to this report, Russia and China seek to become leading space powers in the near future.

"Beijing and Moscow seek to position themselves as leading space powers, intent on creating new global space norms. Through the use of space and counter-space capabilities, they aspire to undercut US global leadership," the agency said.

The combined space fleet of Russia and China has grown by 70 per cent between 2019 and 2021, while in the 2015-2018 period the two countries increased their respective fleets by more than 200 per cent, DIA said.

"Between 2019 and 2021 the combined operational space fleets of China and Russia have grown by approximately 70 per cent. This recent and continuing expansion follows a period of growth (2015-2018) where China and Russia had increased their combined satellite fleets by more than 200 per cent," the agency added. (ANI)

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