Friday, January 19, 2007
China's defence ministry refused to confirm Friday it conducted
a test in space of a satellite-killing weapon, following US claims
that the controversial event occurred last week.
"We are not aware of that test. Usually the media writes
stories on hearsay evidence, we don't have time to verify such
stories," a spokesman with the ministry's foreign affairs
department told AFP, refusing to comment further.
A senior White House official, requesting anonymity, confirmed
on Thursday a report in Aviation Week magazine that US spy agencies
had concluded that China conducted a successful test of a satellite-killing
weapon on January 11.
The test reportedly knocked out an ageing Chinese weather satellite
with a "kinetic kill vehicle" launched on board a ballistic
The impact occurred at more than 500 miles (800 kilometers) above
The White House said on Thursday that the United States, Australia
and Canada had expressed concern to China over the test.
"The United States believes China's development and testing
of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of cooperation
that both countries aspire to in the civil space area," said
national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe.
"We and other countries have expressed our concern to the
Chinese," Johndroe said.
An Australia's foreign ministry spokeswoman said Friday that
China's ambassador in Canberra had been summoned to explain the
China's foreign ministry did immediately reply on Friday to requests
for comment on the issue.