BEIJING - China said Thursday it is ready to work with other countries on an
agreement to prevent an arms race in space amid an international uproar over its
firing of an anti-satellite missile.
"Since other countries care about this question and are opposed to
weaponization of space and an arms race in space, then let us join hands to
realize this goal," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu when asked to
respond to criticism of the test by the United States and Japan.
In recent years, China and Russia have called for an international space
treaty but encountered strong opposition from the United States.
The Jan. 11 missile test, confirmed by Beijing after two weeks of silence,
destroyed a defunct Chinese weather satellite by hitting it with a warhead on a
ballistic missile. It made China only the third country after Russia and the US
to shoot down anything in space.
China insists it is committed to the peaceful use of space but Washington and
Tokyo have said the test undermined efforts to keep weapons out of space.
President Bush signed an order in October tacitly asserting the US right to
space weapons and opposing the development of treaties or other measures
Several countries have said they were concerned that debris created by the
test could damage or interfere with the operations of other satellites in orbit.
Jiang did not respond to a question about how much debris was generated by the
Russia and China presented a draft outline for a treaty to prevent the
deployment of weapons in space to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in
The United States objected at the time, saying the 1967 Outer Space Treaty
provided sufficient guarantees against the weaponization of