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Trump’s Space Force addresses China talking like it owns space

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space
NASA
Astronaut Nick Hague, a Flight Engineer, reviews a computer model
during his Robotics training in the Systems Engineering
Simulator.

REUTERS/Ruthy
Munoz


  • The US just laid out its plans for the future of space
    and took a big shot at China’s ambitions in the
    process.
  • The head of the Chinese lunar exploration program
    recently described space like it was the South China Sea, an
    area Beijing has seized with force and militarized after
    wrecking the environment to build new islands. 
  • The US is the only power strong enough to stop Beijing
    in the South China Sea — or in space.
  • Space is full of chokepoints and strategic locations
    that China could pin down and establish control of.
  • The US is locked in fight to maintain an edge on China
    to keep space free and open. 

When Vice President Mike Pence set forth the US’s
vision for the future of space exploration and combat
, he
took a not-so-subtle shot at China, signaling a coming space race
between the world’s two biggest powers. 

First, Pence brought up a 2007 Chinese shooting down of its
own satellite as a “highly provocative demonstration of China’s
growing capability to militarize space” (

but the US has satellite-killing
missiles too
). 

But the real dig at China that hints at the future of space
conflict came in more subtle fashion. 

“While other nations increasingly possess the capability to
operate in space, not all of them share our commitment to
freedom, to private property, and the rule of law. So as we
continue to carry American leadership in space, so also will we
carry America’s commitment to freedom into this new frontier,”
Pence said

Pence also mentioned Russia, but one of the “other” nations
at the top of Pence’s mind is China, where space exploration has
boomed and Beijing has already started talking about celestial
bodies as if they’re a birthright. 

Here’s Ye Peijian, the head of
the Chinese lunar exploration program, last year:

“The universe is an ocean, the moon is the Diaoyu Islands, Mars
is Huangyan Island. If we don’t go there now even though we’re
capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by our descendants.
If others go there, then they will take over, and you won’t be
able to go even if you want to. This is reason enough.”

Ye’s mention of the Diaoyu Islands, which the Japanese also
claim and contest, and the Huangyan Island, which the Philippines
also claim and contest, recall Beijing’s behavior in the South
China Sea, where it has discarded international law in favor of
its own strength and power to intimidate. 

China unilaterally, and in violation of international
law
, claims 90% of the South China Sea, a massively
resource-rich shipping lane and maritime chokepoint. It has
heavily militarized artificial
islands
it built there at tremendous cost to the environment.
If Beijing locked down the South China Sea, it
could consolidate much of Asia’s live
blood under the de-facto control of its authoritarian
government

Space works in much of the same way.


china space agency
A Chinese astronaut works in orbit.
AP Photo/Xinhua

“What appears at first a featureless void is in fact a rich
vista of gravitational mountains and valleys, oceans and rivers
of resources and energy alternately dispersed and concentrated,
broadly strewn danger zones of deadly radiation, and precisely
placed peculiarities of
astrodynamics,” 

Everett Dolman, a professor of
comparative military studies at the US Air Force’s Air Command
and Staff College, wrote in his book on astropolitics
,
as the Australian Strategic Policy
Initiative has highlighted.

In other words, due to the pushes and pulls of gravity,
space works much like the sea. Chokepoints, high ground, runways
and thoroughfares mark deep space’s lack of terrain.

‘Totally at war with China’


china space program
A Chinese space launch vehicle takes
flight.

REUTERS/China
Daily


Meanwhile, China stands accused of stealing
technology from the US on a massive scale
as it ramps up its
space program. The space race of the 1960s proved that countries
with the strongest industrial base and manufacturing excel in
space. China has done everything in its power to match the US’s
industrial and economic strength.

“Make no mistake about it that we are — we are totally at
war with China right now,” said Jim Phillips, CEO and chairman of
NanoMech, a nanotechnology firm, as Brietbart notes. “It’s not
a war of bombs. It’s a war of cyber warfare, and it’s also a war
of GDP and jobs. And the one that has the most GDP and the jobs
is going to be the clear winner.”

Phillips said nanotechnology, which can aid in
manufacturing the advanced materials needed for space travel,
will determine the next space race’s winner. China, he said, is
aggressively stealing nanotech secrets. 

“At that point, China will have the new world,” he said.
“America will no longer have a disproportionate financial
advantage that gives it the moral, economic and the leadership
authority it has now. When this happens, America loses; the world
changes. Everything changes. [China] won’t have to use its
military.”

But the US, for now, appears unwilling to let China have
its way in either the South China Sea, or space.

“Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national
identity, but a matter of national security,” Trump said in June.
“When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely
have an American presence in space.  We must have American
dominance in space.”

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