September witnessed only the latest clandestine launch of a secretive spacecraft by China. Coupled with this, the Chinese Space Program will next month blast its robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission, dubbed Chang’e 5, to the Moon.
And this is only the beginning of an increasingly-confident attempt to dominate space and impose authoritarian control over the world, a future warfare and military technology expert has warned.
The Chinese have made it very clear they intend to be a comprehensive space power, certainly by 2049
Dr Malcolm Davis
Dr Malcolm Davis, Senior Analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, believes China has a good chance of ruling space, with significant geopolitical ramifications.
He told Express.co.uk: “The Chinese have made it very clear they intend to be a comprehensive space power, certainly by 2049. That is in their official statements.
“I think they’re probably moving faster than that to try and achieve that goal.
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“So we’ll see how they go about that. It’s not just the military side of things there, it’s also the civil and commercial side of things.
“It’s their ability to get a presence in cislunar space and on the lunar surface to be able to exploit lunar resources.
“And I think that’s what the Americans are worried about, when you look at how the Americans are responding with the US Space Force, their responses is in-part driven by concerns the Chinese will have a presence up in cislunar space to dominate that area, and deny it to the US.
“So I do think the Chinese are thinking in terms of being a comprehensive space power.
“And certainly they’re aiming to do that and to displace the US as the leading space power before 2049.”
The expert believes this “concerning” possibility is credible due to their remarkable progress in cutting-edge space technology.
He said: “The Chinese are actively developing counter-space capabilities, anti-satellite weapons, they’re developing a full suite of capabilities for both hard-kill and soft-kill systems that are ground-based, such as laser dazzling, and cyber attack and jamming systems that are directly ascent based-systems.
“[These include] hit-to-kill and anti-satellite weapons, and also co-orbital capabilities that can manoeuvre close to a satellite, and they’d use a soft-kill capability to disable or damage satellites.
“So when you take into account the complete range of counter-space capabilities the Chinese are developing, the stuff that’s going on behind the scenes you don’t see, beyond the public face of scientific missions, like Chang’e 5 and so forth, I think it is quite worrying.
“The systems are already here – it’s not ‘they’re going to be here in a few decades’.”
And Dr Davis, an expert in space security, strategy and capability development placing so much power to the Chinese is of grave concern.
He said: “In the Cold War, I think we would have been very concerned had the Soviet Union tried to achieve the same thing.
“And the justification for our concern is the nature of their political system and their foreign and defence policy agenda.
“With China, their approach is one of authoritarian control. They seek to impose their will on others.
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“I don’t think the Chinese have been coy about this, when you listen to what President Xi Jinping talks about in terms of his approach to development, it’s very much an authoritarian vision, rather than a democratic vision.
“And they certainly do seek to end up as a global leadership in many areas, including in space, and input and basically bring about the Chinese international order that would dominate the 21st century.
“So really, when we talk about the China dream, as President Xi Jinping has been promoting, is about the rejuvenation of China as a new Middle Kingdom for the 21st century that would then lead a global order based on Chinese principles.
“And part of that is for states to accept Chinese interests and accommodate them in the same way that states and in the dynastic period of China accommodated the rise of a domestic China Chinese hegemony.
“So I do you think we should be concerned about this, because the end of state of that process is a world dominated not by the western liberal democracies, but by authoritarian dictatorships.”
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