India’s space tech at a primary stage, ours better: Chinese media

Chinese state media and experts, however, say India’s space technology is at a stage where China was a decade ago, suggesting that New Delhi should be cautious before assuming that the new capability can “…counter China’s space power and intimidate Pakistan.”
Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile being launched by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ engaging an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha, Wednesday, March 27, 2019.(PTI)
Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile being launched by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ engaging an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode from Abdul Kalam Island, Odisha, Wednesday, March 27, 2019.(PTI)
Published on Mar 29, 2019 11:58 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Beijing | BySutirtho Patranobis

The Indian government’s anti-satellite missile test last week was a message to neighbourhood adversaries China and Pakistan about its new prowess in space and also an attempt to build a robust image domestically for the poll-bound regime.

Chinese state media and experts, however, say India’s space technology is at a stage where China was a decade ago, suggesting that New Delhi should be cautious before assuming that the new capability can “…counter China’s space power and intimidate Pakistan.”

Following the test, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said that New Delhi wasn’t engaging in an arms race, but made the point that “with this test, India joins an exclusive group of space-faring nations consisting of USA, Russia, and China.”

An editorial published on Friday in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times was direct. “Indian people believe China and Pakistan will be afraid as long as India achieves military progress as if the new deterrent should be immediately used in India’s relations with the two countries. Such an opinion is naive and dangerous. India should understand that it will trail China in military and comprehensive strength for a long time,” the editorial said.

For retired PLA colony and military analyst, Yue Gang, India is at the level of a “primary school” in developing space technology while China is at “university level”. “The capabilities India now possesses China had 12 years ago. Indian satellites were in low orbit of more than 300 kilometers but in 2007 our satellites were in middle orbit of about 800 kilometers. And in the 12-year-period, we have achieved more.”

Zhang Baohui, director of the Centre for Asian-Pacific Studies at Hong Kong’s Lingnan University, said China’s capabilities in space are more advanced but India is rapidly improving its weapon technology. “The test is an important Indian technological breakthrough,” he said.

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