China, Pakistan caution against arms race in space
China and Pakistan responded to India’s test of an Anti Satellite (ASAT) missile weapon on Wednesday by calling for measures to prevent any arms race in outer space.Updated: Mar 27, 2019 23:37 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
China and Pakistan responded to India’s test of an Anti Satellite (ASAT) missile weapon on Wednesday by calling for measures to prevent any arms race in outer space.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India had successfully tested an ASAT missile to shoot down a Low Earth Orbit Indian satellite, located 300 km in outer space, making India the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China to have done so.
“Today, India has become the fourth country to acquire this status as a space power. There can be no bigger moment of pride for every Indian than this,” he said. “India has no intention to threaten anyone. This is an effort to secure a fast growing India,” he said, adding that defending and securing valuable space assets is equally important.
In a brief response, China’s foreign ministry said: “We are aware of relevant reports and we hope that all countries will earnestly safeguard lasting peace and tranquillity in outer space.”
Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said “every nation has the responsibility to avoid actions which can lead to the militarisation of this arena”.
The Pakistani spokesman also took a dig at the Indian government’s announcement of the development of an anti-satellite weapon by saying: “Boasting of such capabilities is reminiscent of Don Quixote’s tilting against windmills.”
A 10-point FAQ sheet circulated by the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that India is a signatory to the principal international treaty on space, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty among others, which “prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons.”
“India believes that Outer space is the common heritage of humankind and it is the responsibility of all space-faring nations to preserve and promote the benefits flowing from advances made in space technology and its applications for all,” the MEA said.
First Published: Mar 27, 2019 23:37 IST