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Thu, Nov 22, 2007

US Officials Remain Concerned About Chinese Missile Test

China's Responses Vague At Best

Over 10 months after China successfully tested an anti-satellite missile, US leaders remain concerned as the purpose of the test has yet to be explained to the international community.

As ANN reported, the emerging superpower used a ground-based ballistic missile to blow apart an aging Feng Yun 1C polar orbit weather satellite January 11. The medium-range ballistic missile was launched near China's Xichang Space Center.

The test was the first such 'satellite killer' test in more than 20 years, and the first from the Chinese.

Agence-France Presse reports the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, asked Chinese leaders about the test last month, when he visited that country... only to be met with vague assurances it was not hostile, or meant to be construed as a threat.

Mullen wasn't quite reassured.

"It speaks to a higher level of concern that many of us in the United States have about what is the strategic intent of the investment, the high tech investment the Chinese government is making with respect to its military capability in the future," Mullen said. "That test is a great example of creating a question that hasn't been answered yet."

Senior US military officials believe China will have the capability of targeting and destroying US communications satellites within three years, should the two superpowers clash in a military conflict.

FMI: www.fas.org/spp/guide/china/index.html

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