Wednesday, February 13, 2008

US rejects Sino-Russian space weapons treaty

Russia and China have put forward a new treaty to curtail the use of weapons in space, but the US has rejected the proposal saying it opposed any treaty that sought “to prohibit or limit access to or use of space.” The Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, was adamant that such a treaty was needed. “Weapons deployment in space by one state will inevitably result in a chain reaction,” Mr. Lavrov warned. “And this in turn is fraught with a new spiral in the arms race, both in space and on the earth.” Reporting of this proposal was not high on the agenda for western news broadcasters which today concentrated on Steven Spielberg’s withdrawal as artistic advisor to the Beijing Olympics. It did however feature on the International output of China’s state broadcaster, CCTV-9. The United States may be skeptical of China’s intentions especially after recent revelations of increased spying in the US by Chinese nationals. China’s testing of a space weapon in 2007 may also have had some influence on the US decision not to put their name on the treaty [NY Times / Xinhua / BBC].

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