China is developing sophisticated space capabilities such as "satellite inspection and repair" and debris clean-up - "at least some of which could also function" as weapons against U.S. satellites, according to the Defense Intelligence Agency in a report published on Monday.
"China and Russian Federation, in particular, are developing a variety of means to exploit perceived USA reliance on space-based systems and challenge the US position in space", the report said.
The report is aimed at education; the public needs to understand all that space brings to the United States, its allies and the world at large, said a senior Defense Department official, speaking on background.
"Chinese and Russian doctrine indicate that they view space as important to modern warfare and view counterspace capabilities as a means to reduce USA and allied effectiveness", a senior official told reporters on background during a Department of Defense briefing. "Both will continue their efforts to enhance their space and counterspace capabilities, and better integrate them into their respective militaries", the report said.
Hua said that if the United States is serious about space security, it should work with China to control arms development.
The report has detailed a variety of Russian and Chinese anti-satellite weapons, including electronic warfare systems, directed-energy weapons and "kinetic" anti-satellite missiles.
The Pentagon lists India as one of the nine countries and one worldwide organisation which can independently launch spacecraft: China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, North Korea, South Korea, the United States, and the European Space Agency (from French Guiana). "These capabilities provide their militaries with the ability to command and control their forces worldwide, and with enhanced situational awareness enabling them to monitor, track and target US and allied forces". And in October, Vice President Mike Pence told the National Space Council that the administration plans to launch the United States Space Force, the nation's sixth military branch, by 2020.
The report warns that China has an operational missile, . capable of destroying satellites in low-Earth orbit.
Russian Federation and China are racing to advance their space-based military capabilities and could soon prevent the United States and its allies from using outer space freely. "Additionally, there is a wave of exciting commercial technologies and investments in space that are expanding the potential opportunities, the benefits we can all enjoy".
Eight days later, the US shot down a failed spy satellite with a ballistic missile, something China had done the year before. "'The future of war" USA and China have seen relations deteriorate grow across a range of fronts in the past year, from trade tensions with the Trump administration to diplomatic and military disputes. They are developing systems that pose a threat to freedom of action in space.
"As the number of satellites grows, so does the threats posed by space debris", the official said.
Space is the enabling domain for many capabilities, from hand-held devices to precision navigation.
"Space is fundamental to US prosperity", the Pentagon official said.