Peter Dutton ‘very concerned’ by China, Russia’s space militarisation

Staff writersNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: istock

China’s aggressive plan to militarise space will undermine the warfighting abilities of Australia and other western nations, Defence Minister Peter Dutton claims.

Speaking to The Australian, Mr Dutton said China was continuing to utilise the same bully-like tactics it had used in the South and East China seas, but had this time taken it to outside the atmosphere.

Mr Dutton told the paper he was “very concerned” with how quickly China was militarising space, and the pace at which Russia was also becoming a space threat.

Camera IconDefence Minister Peter Dutton said China had taken its bully-like tactics from the ocean to space. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit: News Corp Australia

“The space race is on and assured access to space is critical to the Australian Defence Force’s warfigthing effectiveness (through) situational awareness, delivery of real-time communications and information,” Mr Dutton told the Australian.

“I think their conduct is not dissimilar to what we are seeing on water in the East China Sea, on the land border with India and in their clashes with the Philippines and with Vietnam and others.

“I don’t think anyone would be surprised by that. I think Russia and China are two countries that cause us considerable concern.”

Recent revelations from US intelligence indicate that China and Russia are developing satellites that can attack other satelites.

Earlier this month, one of Washington’s most senior space agents said the threats had been growing and expanding “every single day”.

US Space Force vice chief of space operations, General David Thompson, told the Washington Post that western powers had accepted they were at a point where “there’s a whole host of ways our space systems can be threatened”.

Australia is ramping up its investment in space capability – committing $7 billion over the next decade – and has committed to working closely with the US to keep western powers safe in space.

Mr Dutton said the investments included early warning systems and the ability to “protect our equities in space”.

Originally published as Peter Dutton ‘very concerned’ by China, Russia’s space militarisation

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