scorecardChina calls Trump's Space Force a 'threat to peace' though it has its own military space branch
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China calls Trump's Space Force a 'threat to peace' though it has its own military space branch

China calls Trump's Space Force a 'threat to peace' though it has its own military space branch
LifeScience2 min read
  • China’s foreign ministry has called out Trump’s Space Force as a ‘direct threat to peace’.
  • But the country has its own space force — the Strategic Support Force (SSF) — that even has added cyber capabilities.
  • According to experts, the SSF could be more dangerous than the Space Force since it ‘forecasts the synergistic nature of future conflict’.
US President Donald Trump may be glad that the Space Force is finally real but not everyone is on the same page. China is calling Trump’s new branch of the military as a ‘direct threat to peace’.

"China is deeply concerned about and firmly opposed to this," the country’s foreign ministry spokesman Greg Shuang told reporters.

It’s understandable that China would take such a stance since Trump wasn’t exactly subtle about it. One of the primary objectives of the Space Force was to counter China’s growing presence beyond Earth’s borders.

But China was the first one to hit. The country formed its own Space Force-like agency back in 2015. Only, it’s called the ‘People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force’ (SSF).

Though the name may be taxing, it serves the same function as the Space Force — it handles everything to do with space, cyber, and electronic warfare.

China’s SSF may be more dangerous than Trump’s Space Force

One could argue that the SSF isn’t exclusively focused on space, which dilutes its objective. But that isn’t true for two reasons. One, space is SSF’s main target.

"Of the known missions of the SSF, the space mission has been the best defined in the year since its creation," according to the Jamestown Foundation, a global research and analysis organisation.

Second of all, combining cyber, electronic and space under one umbrella could be even more dangerous because it’s the cyber capabilities that have the real firepower. They’re able to take PLA’s informational warfare capabilities and combine it with cyberattacks, defence and psychological warfare.

Putting them together "forecasts the synergistic nature of future conflict" as per a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

The part that China played

In the eyes of the US, China isn’t innocent in all of this. One of the reasons for the Space Force cited by Vice President Mike Pence during his pitch was China’s anti-satellite test in 2007. He claimed that the incident was a "highly provocative demonstration of China’s capability to militarise space". Albeit, the US already had its own satellite killing missiles at the time.

And the two have been using each other as an excuse for years.

When China was planning to go to the Moon, the head of the program Ye Peijian said, "If we don’t go there now even though we’re capable of doing so, then we will be blamed by descendants. If others go there, then they will take over, and you won’t be able to go even if you want to. This is reason enough."

Many experts side with the US since China is already locking down islands in the South China Sea violating international law. They believe it’s trying to do the same in outer space.

See also:
US Space Force explained in 7 simple questions and answers

Elon Musk welcomes Space Force with 2 words on Twitter: 'Starfleet begins'

Trump just got a step closer to creating a US Space Force. Mark Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut and Senate hopeful, said it's 'a dumb idea.'