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    FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017 file photo, an American flag is flown next to the Chinese national emblem during a welcome ceremony for visiting U.S. President Donald Trump outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

    US Actions Can Trigger Space Arms Race - Beijing

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - The Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Lu Kang, voiced the belief on Wednesday that Washington's actions could lead to militarisation of space and even trigger an arms race in space.

    "The United States has already declared open space a combat zone, the United States has announced that it will create independent space forces, the United States has plans to deploy anti-missile systems in space. Moreover, the United States has long been advocating holding military drills in space. All this can lead to militarisation of space, and it can also trigger an arms race in space," Lu said at a briefing.

    READ MORE: US to Move Fast on Hypersonic Weapons Like China, Russia — Stratcom Chief

    He stressed that the United States had to abandon this policy if it was really concerned over space security.

    "There have really been some changes in the space sphere recently that raise concerns not only in China, but across the global community as well, including in Russia," Lu added.

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesman called on the United States to cooperate with China, Russia and other members of the global community in order to prevent space militarization and to promote its peaceful use.

    His comment came one day after US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that the United States would make steps to protect space from alleged threat coming from Russia and China. Shanahan stressed in his address at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs that China continued to develop its intelligence and surveillance capabilities, while it was also preparing to field a ground-based laser system for low-orbit sensors destruction. He also accused China of preparing to conduct cyberattacks against US space systems and said that Beijing was developing new hypersonic weapon.

    US President Donald Trump signed in February a directive to establish a new Air Force branch, the US Space Force, which would focus on global surveillance, missile targeting and countering Chinese and Russian hypersonic weapons, among other priorities.

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    militarization, arms race, China, United States
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