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Arms race in space strongly opposed

By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-20 10:17

China opposes any arms race in space, a government spokesman said following United States President Donald Trump's announcement on Monday that he is directing the Pentagon to establish a "space force".

Space is shared by all mankind, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday, adding that China consistently upholds peaceful utilization of space.

"China is against weaponizing outer space or an arms race there, let alone making outer space a battlefield," Geng said at a daily news conference.

"We hope all parties will work together to effectively maintain lasting peace in outer space," he said.

Trump said on Monday that he is "directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a space force as the sixth branch of the armed forces".

"We must have American dominance in space," Trump said, according to a transcript issued on the White House website.

Trump had mentioned his intention of building a "space force" earlier this year. In December, he signed a directive for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration to return astronauts to the moon before an eventual mission to Mars.

In December, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China is pleased to see scientific and technological progress in exploring and peacefully using space, while it holds a clear and consistent position on preventing the weaponization of space.

China had already expressed in the disarmament talks in Geneva its hope that all parties in the international community would agree to commit to the early conclusion of a treaty to prevent weaponizing space, Lu said.

Zhou Jin contributed to this story.

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