US in no position to mention ‘responsible behavior’ in space as Pentagon doc a grave threat to peace, security: Chinese FM
Published: Sep 07, 2022 09:58 PM
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The US is in no position to talk about formulating so-called code for responsible behavior in outer space, given the fact that for a long time, the US has openly regarded outer space as a combat domain, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Wednesday.

Mao made the remarks during a routine press conference on Wednesday, in responding to inquiries concerning the freshly released US new "Space Policy" that recognizes outer space "as a priority domain of national military power."

The US defense department document states that it will "protect and defend the use of space for US national security purposes, the US economy, and allies and partners of the US."

The updated policy formally adopts a list of "tenets of responsible behavior in space" issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a July 2021 memo, the spacenews.con reported.

The five tenets call for the US military to: Operate in, from, to and through outer space with due regard to others and in a professional manner; limit the generation of long-lived debris; avoid the creation of harmful interference; maintain safe separation and safe trajectory; and communicate and make notifications to enhance the safety and stability of the domain.

However, Mao pointed out that the US has established the space force and the US space command, developed space-based assault weaponry, carried out military drills and military technology experiment in space, as well as strengthened military cooperation with alliances, which increased the risks of military misjudgment and those for conflicts. 

The US has also rejected the military control initiative in outer space proposed by China and Russia, hindered the negotiation of legal documents regulating the matter. In 2017, due to the unilateral opposition of the US, the United Nation experts panel failed to reach consensus on a report to prevent a space arms race, Mao said. 

The new Pentagon US Space Policy that recognizes space "as a priority domain of national military power" is a grave threat to the peace and security of outer space, and is trampling on the international consensus of peaceful use of outer space, Mao said, noting that it fully showcases the US' ambition to expand its military in outer space and seeking for dominance in outer space. 

Mao urged the US should respect the common concerns of the international community and immediately stop behaviors that impair the outer space security, take on its due responsibility and stop obstructing the negotiation on the legal document regulating arms control in space.