China calls for banning weapons in space

Updated: 2008-02-13 17:10

Beijing has said it wants positive progress this year on a proposal it has prepared, together with Russia, for a new treaty banning all types of weapons in space.

The draft treaty, unveiled on Tuesday at a Conference on Disarmament meeting in Geneva would prohibit the deployment of weapons of any kind in space, or the use or threat of force against space objects.

"China hopes the Conference on Disarmament will enter into substantial discussion on the draft as soon as possible in order to reach a common consensus," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in a statement.

"Towards this aim, China is willing to work with all member nations of the Conference. We hope that with the common efforts of the member nations, the Conference will be able to make positive progress this year."

Yang's statement, delivered in written form in Geneva, was quoted in a news release on the Chinese foreign ministry's website, on Tuesday.

Washington's plans for satellite and missile defense system remain shrouded in secrecy but have sparked fears of an arms race with both Russia and China.

The White House quickly rejected the draft plans by Russia and China, warning that ensuring compliance in any new peace treaty would be "impossible".

"The United States opposes the development of new legal regimes or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit access to or use of space," said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

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