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U.S. Space Command: China’s Progress in Space is a “Breathtaking” Threat

U.S. Space Command: China’s Progress in Space is a “Breathtaking” Threat

The rapid escalation of China’s capabilities in this domain has emerged as a focal point of concern for international stakeholders. This sentiment was echoed forcefully by General Stephen Whiting, the commander of the U.S. Space Command, in his recent address to the Senate Armed Services Committee. General Whiting’s testimony painted a vivid picture of a rapidly evolving space landscape, one in which China’s military advancements proceed at a pace that can only be described as “breathtaking.”

Central to General Whiting’s concerns is the recognition of space as a crucial element of modern warfare, deeply integrated into the fabric of all-domain security activities. The implications of this integration are profound, necessitating a vigilant and forward-looking stance from the U.S. Space Command. General Whiting underscored the importance of this perspective, emphasizing the “urgency for our Command to advocate for delivery of new space capabilities and capacity to retain an enduring competitive advantage.” This statement reflects a clear-eyed understanding of the stakes involved in maintaining strategic superiority in an increasingly contested domain.

China’s ambitions in space are not limited to achieving parity with other nations; rather, they are focused on establishing dominance across the spectrum of space technology. By 2030, General Whiting warned, China aims to reach “world-class status in all but a few space technology areas.” This objective is not merely aspirational but is underpinned by a concerted effort to develop military space and counterspace capabilities that could neutralize American and allied assets at will. General Whiting’s depiction of China’s strategy reveals a multifaceted approach aimed at enhancing the precision, reach, and lethality of its terrestrial forces, thereby reshaping the strategic landscape.

The tangible manifestations of China’s growing power in space are stark. Since 2018, China has more than tripled its orbital presence, deploying over 359 systems into its satellite fleet. This expansion significantly bolsters China’s ability to monitor and potentially disrupt U.S. operations, underscoring the strategic implications of China’s space endeavors. Moreover, China’s investment in counterspace weapons programs provides it with the capability to damage or destroy U.S. space assets, a reality that General Whiting highlighted by noting the development of “space-based antisatellite weapons.”

The broader context of General Whiting’s testimony also touches on concerns regarding Russia’s potential deployment of nuclear space weapons, a development that would further complicate the security calculus in space. Despite Russia’s denials, the U.S. remains wary of the suite of counterspace weaponry being pursued by Moscow, including directed energy weapons and satellite communications jammers. General Whiting’s remarks underscore the persistence of space as a domain of strategic competition, echoing Cold War-era tensions while pointing to the novel challenges posed by contemporary technological advancements.

The urgency conveyed by General Whiting’s testimony is not merely a reflection of current realities but also a call to action. The dynamic nature of space as a domain of military and strategic competition requires a proactive and innovative approach to ensure the United States and its allies can navigate the challenges ahead. As the capabilities of potential adversaries continue to evolve, the imperative to maintain a competitive edge becomes all the more critical. General Whiting’s insights serve as a sobering reminder of the stakes involved in securing a future where space remains a domain characterized by exploration, innovation, and security for all.

As a final note, ACZ experts and contacts note that much is unstable at the top of the Chinese government. Several knowledgeable people believe that Xi and the Chinese Communist Party will collapse and China will Balkanize into separate countries, led by military generals who hate each other. Who will retain control of these very lethal asset? A U.S. ally among those generals? Or a fanatic worse than Xi?

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  1. frank Stetson

    As of mid 23, the number of satelites.

    US – 3,4 15
    China – 535
    UK – 465
    Shared – 180
    Russia – 170
    Japan – 88

    Note how multinational satelites rank fourth showing the anticipated nuetral nature, dream or hope, of space.

    Let’s review the bidding: we put up thousands of satelites, they put up satelites. In 2019, we weaponize space by creating the US Space Force. In 2021, both Russia and China tested some space weapons in response. And now the head of the USSF says we need to escalate because he feels China is escalating. We are still in the area of WMDs in Iraq, we can still pull this back and have space return to collaborative efforts, not another war zone. We could keep space pristine and show the Universe that we are a worthwhile species.

    I mean Space, the final frontier, a frontier festooned so far with collaboration, not confrontation. Let’s change all that. Nukes are currently off the table according to treaty. Maybe we should move FAST to put other stuff off the table if possible. Or proliferate the arms race once again, this time in space.

    But no matter what, let’s get some more data before we arm up based on some General.

    • Tom

      Wherever mankind goes he drags along his violence! Space should be no exception! Barry McQuire sang it best, “Ahh yah don’t believe we’re on the “Eve of Destructions!” ” :>) Great song!

      A 2011 law called the Wolf Amendment effectively bans the U.S. from working with China in space. China was happy to work with us, and wanted to be on the space station, but US paranoia prevented this, so they were not allowed to work on the International Space Station (which based on the Wolf Amendment was not so international!) .

      So they decided to go it alone. My hat’s off to them! Good show China!!!

      Did anyone happen to notice China’s space suits are displaying the USA flag colors; red, white, and blue! I would have expected their suits to be red and yellow. Good job China!!!

      Data from **

      I think the counts vary by information source. This list shows the USA is ahead but not as many overall satellites. Most of these satellites are Low Orbit which is mostly for communications.

      Country/Multinational Organization Number of Operational Satellites
      USA 2926
      China 493
      United Kingdom 450
      Russia 167
      Japan 90
      ESA 62
      Multinational 61
      India 58
      Canada 52
      Germany 44

      A breakdown shows communications are a big chunk of these satellites. I am not sure where military satellites come in but they are probably in these numbers somewhere.

      Mission Number of Satellites
      Communications 3135
      Earth Observation 1052
      Technology Development 383
      Navigation 154
      Space Science 108

      • Tom

        I think those directed energy weapons are pretty cool. Anyone know where I can get me one?

        • frank stetson

          Space, the final frontier. Also, mankinds only hope of survival as we kill our planet and each other on it.

          The only way to assure mankind’s continued existence is to colonize somewhere else that’s not only clean and pristine, but where we can see the missiles coming from space and stop them. Then we can destroy the Earth and still exist.

  2. Darren

    China is a knock off country. If we are not working with China I would speculate it has something to do with OUR country’s advance technology’s and the fact maybe we would like to keep it that way for the time being.
    I agree the space is NO place for man kinds petty ness and typical human behavior, bit I would assume Aliens all ready know this.
    That would explain about another thousand questions.

  3. nofreelunch

    Problem with the USA, they want to keep everything hush, hush, and nothing to see here. This has gone on for yeears. I grew up in roswell, I know how they lie. I also know that russia was providing us with flights to the space station, as they seemed more reliable than the US versions. Russia was also our partner in UFO investigations. Fact is, no matter what country, we are FAR behind what is flying around and covered up by our own gov. In 1956m iyr car was fikkiwed bt a truabgke UFO, going our speed for several mile as we drove a back sesert road to Gallup. I watched and felt no fear, just connection. Yet our government and even Germany had nothing for what happened next. After several miles it soundlessly went straight up, and out of sight withing a second! These are the folks who control the skies, and no matter what happens in China, the USA or anywehre, they are behone our technologies. you think they just stand still while we progaress? Years later, in another part of US, we have pulsating orbs and triangles since 2022, several times a week. One night I raised my hand in greeting, and instanly as I said “welcoeme”, one triangle flashed their lights very bright, then back to normal. The are here several times a week.. They can do things China nor the US are even close to doing. Look up Eisenhower, and Duce, NM, where he via a ttreaty bad an alien base set up under ground, on Apache land, they see this all the time.Politicians beat their chests, while aliens fly amazing maneuvers.

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