Tue, 05 Dec 2023

US looks to open line of communication with China in space

Robert Besser
28 Sep 2023, 17:21 GMT+10

WASHINGTON D.C.: In an interview with Reuters this week, U.S. commander General Chance Saltzman said the United States Space Force has had internal discussions with China about establishing a hotline to prevent crises in space.

A direct line of communication between the Space Force and its Chinese counterpart would be valuable in de-escalating tensions, but the U.S. has yet to engage with China to establish one, he added.

"What we have talked about on the U.S. side at least is opening up a line of communication to make sure that if there is a crisis, we know who we can contact," Saltzman said, adding that President Joe Biden and the State Department will decide on who will take the lead on such discussions.

Saltzman made his comments when the U.S. Space Force plans to establish a branch in Japan.

Japan and other countries in the region have been concerned about China's military ambitions in the Indo-Pacific, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the importance of space capabilities in warfare.

Japan has been especially concerned about Taiwan and Beijing's conclusions from Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Saltzman stressed that further cooperation with like-minded countries, including Japan, will be vital to monitoring and understanding activities in the space domain to deter China and counter "gray zone activities," such as jamming satellite signals.

"We have to be able to have those indications and warnings and see what they are doing and call them on the intent. Just being hypersensitive so we don't fall prey to grey zone activities," Saltzman said.

Founded in 2019, the U.S. Space Force does not have a direct line of communication with its Russian counterpart.

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