What’s China Doing in Space?

In a development that could have implications for the safety and security of US space assets, China has reportedly conducted a test in space recently involving two of its satellites rendezvousing and operating in proximity to one another. The Washington Times reported Thursday that such testing could boost Beijing’s anti-satellite capabilities since orbital maneuvers like these could be applied to capture or destroy another’s satellite. US officials have expressed concern in the past over Chinese intentions in space, especially since China blew up one of its own satellites in January 2007 with a ground-launched missile, irresponsibly spreading thousands of debris pieces in orbit. The most recent report to Congress on Chinese military developments—issued in August—states that China continues to pursue “a multi-dimensional program to limit or prevent the use of space-bases assets by potential adversaries during times of crisis of conflict.”