China accuses US of militarizing space following protest over Navy plane’s Taiwan Strait transit

Jul 14, 2023, 2:49 AM | Updated: 4:50 am

BEIJING (AP) — Amid a freeze in military-to-military contacts, China is accusing the United States of militarizing Taiwan Strait.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Col. Tan Kefei said on Friday that U.S. actions, including the establishment of the Space Force in 2019 as the newest branch of the military, have “had a great negative impact on space security and global strategic stability.”

“In recent years, the United States has accelerated the militarization of space,” Tan said. “I would like to reiterate here that China adheres to the peaceful use of space, firmly opposes the weaponization and the making of space into a battlefield, and opposes any form of arms race in space.”

The ministry said that Tan was responding to recent concerns expressed by Space Force leaders over a crewed lunar mission. In 2007, it faced international condemnation after using a missile to blow up one of its defunct weather satellites, leaving a field of debris that continues to threaten other objects in orbit.

While the U.S. has sent officials to Beijing including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, ties remain at a historic low. China has pointedly refused to reestablish contact between the two militaries, possibly as a protest against U.S. sales of defensive weaponry to Taiwan and sanctions against Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu.

Although it is recognized as international waters and airspace and functions as a crucial route for international trade, China continues to claim a proprietary role over the Taiwan Strait that separates the mainland from the self-governing island democracy.

China regards close U.S. ally Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary, and regularly sends planes and warships to harass the island’s military and seeks to intimidate its 23 million citizens.

On Thursday, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army — whose area of operations faces Taiwan — said it had scrambled fighters to “follow and monitor the U.S. plane throughout the process and dealt with it in accordance with laws and regulations.”

Theater spokesperson Col. Shi Yi was quoted as saying on social media, “theater troops maintain a high level of alert at all times and will resolutely defend national sovereignty and security along with regional peace and stability.”

The U.S. 7th Fleet said a Navy P-8A Poseidon transited the Taiwan Strait in international airspace on Thursday.

“By operating within the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law, the United States upholds the navigational rights and freedoms of all nations,” the fleet said on its website.

“The aircraft’s transit of the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”


FILE - Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., briefs reporters following a closed-door Repu...

Associated Press

With House Republicans in turmoil, colleagues implore GOP holdouts not to shut down government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Working furiously to take control of a House in disarray, allies of Speaker Kevin McCarthy implored their Republican colleagues Saturday to drop their hardline tactics and work together to approve a conservative spending plan to prevent a federal shutdown. In public overtures and private calls, Republican lieutenants of the embattled speaker pleaded […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

California bill to have humans drivers ride in autonomous trucks is vetoed by governor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill to require human drivers on board self-driving trucks, a measure that union leaders and truck drivers said would save hundreds of thousands of jobs in the state. The legislation vetoed Friday night would have banned self-driving trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds (4,536 […]

5 hours ago

FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Friday, Sept. 2...

Associated Press

Speaker McCarthy gives in to hard-line conservatives in hopes of solving government funding impasse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Staring down a fast-approaching government shutdown that threatens to disrupt life for millions of Americans, Speaker Kevin McCarthy has turned to a strategy that so far has preserved his tenuous hold on House leadership but also marked it by chaos: giving hard-right lawmakers what they want. In his eight months running the […]

5 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden addresses the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at Uni...

Associated Press

Biden faces foreign policy trouble spots as he aims to highlight his experience on the global stage

WASHINGTON (AP) — This probably wasn’t how President Joe Biden envisioned his big foreign policy week ending. Biden spent much of the time trying to make the case to world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly as well as to Democratic donors and voters that his decades of foreign policy experience and demonstrated moral clarity […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Ukraine targets a key Crimean city a day after striking Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine on Saturday morning launched another missile attack on Sevastopol on the occupied Crimean Peninsula, a Russian-installed official said, a day after an attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet that left a serviceman missing and the main building smoldering. Sevastopol was put under an air raid alert for […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Niger’s junta accuses United Nations chief of blocking its participation at General Assembly

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The military government that seized power in Niger has accused United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of “obstructing” the West African nation’s full participation at the U.N.’s annual meeting of world leaders in order to appease France, Niger’s former colonizer, and its allies. The decision to not allow the junta’s envoy to […]

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

China accuses US of militarizing space following protest over Navy plane’s Taiwan Strait transit