China's PLA eyes 4th branch of military: Space
Chinese military experts are calling for setting up military space forces, an indication that Beijing’s military is moving ahead with plans to wage space war in a future conflict.
The Beijing Zhongguo Xinwen She, the official news service for overseas Chinese, reported recently that space, dubbed “sky” by Chinese, is now a fourth domain after land sea and air.
“The vast and boundless space has become the arena of rivalry and contention between various countries, and warning signals have emerged everywhere,” the report said. “Before long, the ‘heavenly troops’ in Chinese classical myths will become reality.”
Wang Faan, researcher in the PLA Academy of Military Science, told the news outlet that “in accordance with the development trend in the future and the changes in the international situation, while planning the building of services and arm[ed] branches, the Chinese military should consider and plan the establishment of the space force in due course.”
In January 2007, China tested an anti-satellite weapon by firing a ground-based missile that destroyed a Chinese weather satellite. The ASAT test shocked U.S. military planners because it demonstrated a strategic asymmetric warfare capability that could be used to cripple the U.S. military in a conflict.
The report said China’s military modernization efforts are aimed at producing high-technology forces. “The establishment of a space force should be planned in due course,” it declared.
The comments, appearing in an official state-run news organization, appear to contradict China’s public position of seeking to ban space weapons.