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Global Times

US surveillance satellite probe poses big security threat: experts

Global Times

By Fan Wei and Liu Xuanzun Published: Jun 30, 2022 12:37 AM

US media reported a recent event in which a pair of Chinese satellites evaded a probe attempt by a US space surveillance satellite, with Chinese experts saying on Wednesday that the US spying activities in space pose enormous security threats to many countries including China. They said the US media's hyping of Chinese satellites' defensive measures is a vile trick.

Early this year, US space surveillance satellite USA 270 maneuvered to get a closer look at Chinese satellites the Shiyan-12-01 and the Shiyan-12-02, soon after the latter reached geostationary orbit. As the US satellite closed in, the Chinese satellites took off in opposite directions, with the Shiyan-12-02 moving into position to get a sunlit view of the US surveillance satellite, US magazine SpaceNews reported in its June issue.

"This sort of geostationary orbit cat and mouse is happening with greater frequency than ever before," SpaceNews said, citing space traffic experts.

US military satellites have kept tabs on the geostationary orbit belt since the 1990s, but in the last few years, Russian and Chinese reconnaissance satellites have followed suit in ways that US government officials find disturbing, the SpaceNews report said.

In response to the report, analysts said that it is not Chinese satellites' capability to protect themselves, but the US satellite spying activities that deserve attention and criticism from the international community.

Huang Zhicheng, a Chinese expert on aerospace science and technology, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the US media's hyping of Chinese satellites' defensive measures is similar to a robber acting like a cop.

Space is a new field that is supposed to bring benefits to mankind, but the US is making it a new battlefield by militarizing and weaponizing it, Huang said.

In order to secure its own superiority in space, the US wants to establish a space-earth integrated capability that monitors other countries' satellites, and that is the true threat to space security, another Chinese space expert told the Global Times on Wednesday, requesting anonymity.

China, on the other hand, adheres to the concept of building a community of shared future for mankind and constructing an environment for all people to peacefully use space, Chinese experts said, noting that the US should join China in promoting arms control in space and boosting space traffic management.

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