General: China Trying to Become the Most Dominant Force in Space

By Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.
October 21, 2021 Updated: October 21, 2021

A Space Force general warned that China’s communist regime might become the most dominant force in space if the United States doesn’t accelerate its pace to field critical new technologies in the warfighting domain.

Vice chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson told the Washington Times this week that China has already developed a “tremendous and exquisite capability to look from space to see, hear, track and defend.”

Most important, Beijing is approaching the ability to field new space systems in about half the time it takes the United States to do the same, Thompson suggested.

“Not only do they have the ability to adopt new technology and updated capabilities much more quickly, if they’re almost as good as we are today—and they are almost as good as we are—they can cycle these things in very quickly [and] they become better than we are,” Thompson said.

Last week, China successfully sent a spaceship to its space station, “starting the country’s longest-ever crewed mission for space station construction,” according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Three astronauts, including one female astronaut, are supposed to stay in the space station for six months.

Between June 17 and Sept. 17, another three Chinese astronauts stayed in the space station for three months.

So far Beijing has conducted five space launch missions this year.

China’s communist regime “has devoted significant resources to growing all aspects of its space program, from military space applications to civil applications,” reads the Pentagon’s latest annual report (pdf) to Congress.

As early as 2007, China launched a ballistic missile, that destroyed a non-operational Chinese weather satellite.

In September, Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of Space Operations, said China has deployed satellites with a robotic arm that could be used to “grab” other satellites.

The Financial Times reported that China tested its hypersonic missile recently. U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood called it a technology “we just don’t know how we can defend.”

“It’s very critical that we accelerate, not just to keep pace, but to stay ahead of the threat of the capabilities the Chinese are provided,” Thompson said.

Epoch Times Photo
Gen. David Thompson (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

The good thing is, Thompson pointed out, that the Space Force has “put some processes and organizations in place to do that, and they’re demonstrating, early-on, the ability to do so.”

The next conflict between China’s regime and the United States may start in space, Thompson said.

“We absolutely believe that the Chinese thinking would be if it’s coming to crisis and conflict, they’re going to start this conflict in space,” the general said.

Last month, some Democrats in Congress introduced a bill called the “No Militarization of Space Act,” in an attempt to abolish the Space Force, which was established under the Trump administration.

“Since its creation under the former Trump administration, the Space Force has threatened longstanding peace and flagrantly wasted billions of taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), the bill’s sponsor, said in a statement.

Li Hai
Li Hai is a New York-based reporter for The Epoch Times.