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US Senator Biden Warns Against Space-Based Arms Race With China January 21, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee warned against fostering an arms race in space after China was reported to have conducted an anti-satellite weapons test.

Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden called the test provocative, but said the U.S. had ways to combat the threat posed by the Chinese test.

“I don’t think we should be overly worried about this at this point,” Biden said. “We have ways to deal with that ability,” Biden said Sunday.

The U.S. said China conducted the test earlier this month in which an old Chinese weather satellite was destroyed by a missile.

Biden, who is running for president, said that President George W. Bush’s policy on weapons in space need to be reviewed.

“One of the things we have to talk about is whether or not the…ideological base notion about how we deal with space and weapons in space and the use of weapons from space is something that is a path we should continue to follow,” he said.

In October, Bush signed an order asserting the U.S.’s right to deny adversaries access to space for hostile purposes. As part of the first revision of U.S. space policy in nearly 10 years, the policy also said the U.S. would oppose the development of treaties or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit U.S. access to or use of space.

“This is not the direction we want to go, in escalating competition in space. And we should be talking about it,” Biden said.

Analysts said China’s weather satellites would travel at about the same altitude as U.S. spy satellites, so the test represented an indirect threat to U.S. defense systems.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied knowledge of the test.

Biden was speaking on “Fox News Sunday.”

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