The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has published an annual report analysing potential threats. The document states that Beijing’s new space weaponry would rival, if not exceed, current US machinery in forthcoming years.
According to the report, China “has counterspace weapons capabilities” that will enable it “to gain the military, economic, and prestige benefits that Washington has accrued from space leadership.”
The paper added: “Beijing continues to train its military space elements and field new destructive and non-destructive ground and space-based anti-satellite weapons.
“China has already fielded ground-based ASAT missiles intended to destroy satellites in LEO and ground-based ASAT lasers probably intended to blind or damage sensitive space-based optical sensors on LEO satellites.”
The report also stated China will organise investigative missions to the moon to set up a robotic research station.
Beijing will “continue its whole-of-government efforts to spread China’s influence, undercut that of the United States, drive wedges between Washington and its allies and partners, and foster new international norms that favour the authoritarian Chinese system.”
“Chinese leaders probably will, however, seek tactical opportunities to reduce tensions with Washington when such opportunities suit their interests,” it said.
“China will maintain its major innovation and industrial policies because Chinese leaders see this strategy as necessary to reduce dependence on foreign technologies, enable military advances, and sustain economic growth and thus ensure the CCP’s survival.”
The document also warned China intends to “at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile.”
It added: “China is building a larger and increasingly capable nuclear missile force that is more survivable, more diverse, and on higher alert than in the past.”
The report comes amid growing tensions between the two countries, with China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian having recently warned the US “not to play with fire on the Taiwan issue”.
The warning was a response to the US’ updated guidelines with Taiwan which encourages cooperation between the two nations.
Mr Zhao added: “Immediately stop any form of US-Taiwan official contacts, cautiously and appropriately handle the matter, and not send wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces so as not to subversively influence and damage Sino-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
Washington’s new guidelines enable US officials to meet with counterparts from Taiwan more freely.
South China Sea: US ready for war as Navy shadows Beijing carrier [VIDEO]
South China Sea: China’s hidden fleet – the navy it says doesn’t exist [INSIGHT]
Beijing scrambles military jets over Taiwan in South China Sea row [ANALYSIS]