Beijing to trigger arms race by testing anti-satellite missiles

Taipei, Jan. 15,2013- (CNA) China's imminent test-firing of an anti-satellite missile is set to prompt an arms race with the United States and Russia, a Russian military expert has warned.

The Beijing-headquartered Global Times newspaper quoted Vasily Kashin on its website Tuesday as confirming a U.S. report that Beijing is preparing to fire an anti-satellite missile for the third time, with the apparent objective of blunting Washington's military advantage.

China test-fired its anti-satellite missile in 2007 for the first time and succeeded in destroying an inactive satellite in orbit 850,000 feet above the ground, Kashin said.

In 2012, it carried out a second test by firing another missile.

In both tests, China used KT-1 missiles, which are converted from its DF-21 anti-aircraft carrier missiles.

The KT-1 is being developed to intercept incoming missiles and destroy satellites in low orbit.

In the third test, however, China might use a more powerful missile, said Kashin.

U.S. military experts have said that China is developing a new missile, codenamed the DN-2 or KT-2. If successful, it will make China the only country in the world capable of crippling the U.S. global positioning system, which uses 30 satellites.

In light of the fact that the U.S. depends heavily on the system to train its strategic missiles on targets and to move its troops, the DN-2 will be a serious threat to the U.S. military edge, said Kashin.

Noting that Russia is also actively developing its own anti-satellite weaponry, both missiles and lasers, Kashin predicted that Beijing's test, if successful, will force the U.S. to take counteractive measures and intensify an arms race among the three.

(By Charles Kang and Maubo Chang)

Chinese anti-satellite missile test in 2007