Tuesday 7 February 2023
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PoliticsWorldUSSF unnerves China: A contest of dominating space

USSF unnerves China: A contest of dominating space

The Chinese Foreign Ministry described the USSF as a serious violation of the international consensus on the peaceful use of space

China, emerging as a force in space, has called the newly formed the United States Space Force (USSF) a “direct threat to and security in space”. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters on Monday that China was deeply concerned and strongly opposed it. “The US’s activities are a serious violation of the international consensus on the peaceful use of space, harming global strategic balance and stability and posing a direct threat to peace and security in space,” Geng said.

China’s space programme has progressed in leaps and bounds in the last decade. Last February, the Pentagon said in a report that China and Russia had begun major efforts to develop that would allow them to destroy the US and its allies’ satellites in situations of conflict or create disturbances in them.

In 2007, China had launched a missile attack on its own dysfunctional satellite, resulting in the spread of a lot of debris in space. Geng had called these concerns baseless allegations.

China has said that it has always opposed the armament of space and believes that international treaties on arms control in space need to be discussed.

US Defence Minister Mark Asper said on Friday, “Our dependence on space capabilities has grown very fast and today outer space has transformed itself into a war zone.” He said it was now the mission of the US Space Force to maintain the American domination in that area.

In the recent past, the US has accused China of stealing American intellectual properties to emerge as a military power.

What USSF is all about

The US had recently formed a full-blown USSF under the Ministry of Defence. The USSF will be the sixth official force of the US Army. Other forces include its Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

The USSF is the space operations service branch of the US Armed Forces. It is one of the eight US uniformed services. It is the sixth branch of the US military and the first new armed service since the establishment of the independent US Air Force in 1947.

The USSF is organised as a military service branch within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments within the Department of Defence.

The secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the secretary of defence, and is appointed by the president with Senate confirmation, heads the Space Force through the Department of the Air Force.

The highest-ranking military officer in the USSF will be the Chief of Space Operations, who will supervision over Space Force units and serve as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Certain USSF components will be assigned, as directed by the secretary of defence and secretary of the Air Force, to unified combatant commands. Combatant commanders will be delegated operational authority of the forces assigned to them, while the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Space Operations will retain administrative authority over their members.

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