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    Russia, China against deployment of weapons in space

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    Russia and China want an international agreement to be drafted banning the deployment of weapons in space, the countries' leaders said on Friday in a joint declaration after talks in Beijing.

    BEIJING, May 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and China want an international agreement to be drafted banning the deployment of weapons in space, the countries' leaders said on Friday in a joint declaration after talks in Beijing.

    "The sides are in favor of the peaceful use of space, but are against the deployment of weapons in space or a space arms race," the declaration said.

    In February Russia and China presented at a United Nations conference in Geneva a joint draft of a new international treaty to prevent an arms race in space. The document relates to all weapons, not only nuclear.

    The draft proposed by Moscow and Beijing bans the deployment of any arms in space, as well as the use of force against satellites. It also relates to space property, overall security, and arms control.

    The Russian and Chinese proposals have been approved by most partners except the United States, which is currently developing a new generation of a national missile defense that is widely seen as a revival of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program drawn up in the 1980s, nicknamed 'Star Wars'.

    Under the SDI, ground and space-based forces were to protect the U.S. from a nuclear missile attack.

    The Russian-Chinese declaration also touched on nuclear non-proliferation, saying that these issues must be addressed using political and diplomatic methods.

    "The parties believe that problems relating to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and means of their delivery must be resolved through political and diplomatic methods within the bounds of international law and in the interest of strengthening international security," the declaration said.

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