US Accused by China of Militarizing Space in Response to Navy Aircraft’s Transit of Taiwan Strait

by Madison Thomas
Space Militarization

China has leveled an accusation at the United States for the militarization of space. This comes on the heels of China’s protest over a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft’s journey through the Taiwan Strait, during a period of halted military contacts.

On Friday, Col. Tan Kefei, spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry, suggested that the formation of the U.S. Space Force in 2019, among other activities, has significantly compromised space security and global strategic equilibrium. “The U.S. has been ramping up the militarization of space in recent years,” Tan remarked, asserting that China remains committed to the peaceful utilization of space and staunchly opposes its weaponization, transformation into a battleground, or any form of space-based arms race.

Tan’s comments were presented as a response to the concerns voiced by U.S. Space Force leaders regarding China’s growing capabilities in space, which he dismissed as “classic cognitive dissonance”. Among China’s achievements in space are its own space station in orbit and plans for manned moon missions. However, in 2007, it was met with global disapproval when it used a missile to demolish one of its own obsolete weather satellites, leading to a debris field that still poses a threat to other orbiting objects.

Despite the presence of high-ranking U.S. officials in Beijing, such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, diplomatic relations remain strained. China has steadfastly denied any attempt to reinitiate contact between the two countries’ militaries, possibly in retaliation for U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and sanctions on Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu.

China persistently asserts authority over the Taiwan Strait, which, although recognized as international waters and airspace and crucial to global trade, separates the mainland from the independent democratic island of Taiwan.

The United States ally, Taiwan, is viewed by China as part of its own territory, with intentions to reclaim it by force if necessary. China frequently employs its aircraft and naval vessels to disturb Taiwan’s military and try to unsettle its population of 23 million.

On Thursday, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, responsible for the area facing Taiwan, announced it had dispatched jets to “continually track and manage the U.S. plane according to legal protocols.”

Theater spokesperson Col. Shi Yi stated on social media that “theater troops are perpetually vigilant and will staunchly defend national sovereignty, security, regional peace, and stability.”

The U.S. 7th Fleet confirmed the Navy P-8A Poseidon’s transit of the Taiwan Strait in international airspace on Thursday.

In a statement on its website, the Fleet asserted, “By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States endorses the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations.”

“The United States military’s movement through the Taiwan Strait reinforces its commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails and operates wherever international law permits.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Space Militarization

What is China accusing the US of?

China is accusing the United States of militarizing space, a claim made in response to the US Navy’s P-8A Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft transit through the Taiwan Strait.

Who voiced China’s concerns about the US’s actions in space?

Col. Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for the Chinese Defense Ministry, voiced China’s concerns about the US’s actions, specifically mentioning the establishment of the US Space Force in 2019 as a move that negatively impacts space security and global strategic stability.

How does China view the Taiwan Strait?

China asserts proprietary control over the Taiwan Strait, even though it’s recognized as international waters and airspace. The strait separates the Chinese mainland from the self-governing democratic island of Taiwan.

How has the US responded to China’s protest over the Taiwan Strait transit?

The U.S. 7th Fleet confirmed the Navy P-8A Poseidon’s transit of the Taiwan Strait in international airspace and stated that by doing so, the US upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations.

What is China’s stance on the militarization of space?

China strongly opposes the militarization and weaponization of space, as well as any form of space-based arms race. China maintains that it adheres to the peaceful use of space.

More about Space Militarization

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Defender101 July 15, 2023 - 12:01 am

we have to protect Taiwan, they’re our allies! If that means we have to send our planes there, so be it. the world isn’t as simple as it seems…

PeaceDove July 15, 2023 - 1:27 am

why cant we all just get along? its space, meant to be explored not weaponized. this is just sad.

Chinatown July 15, 2023 - 3:21 am

I think China’s got a point… The US Space Force seems more military than exploratory. But still it’s a complex issue.

JamesMorris89 July 15, 2023 - 1:35 pm

Cant believe whats goin on! the us is just defending its allies. nothin wrong with that, China needs to back off.

SpaceLover2000 July 15, 2023 - 3:43 pm

Look, I’m all for space exploration, but the militarization of it? thats a whole other issue. We got enough problems down here already.


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