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The U.S. State department is claiming that China completed a “non-destructive” anti-satellite test last week.
The State department also demanded that China refrain from further such actions.
China in turn said that the test was for a a ballistic missile defense system. According to these Chinese reports, the test was of a land-based missile designed to intercept an incoming rocket, much like Israel’s Iron Dome and the U.S. SDI systems. Such a system, however, is in many ways indistinguishable from an anti-sat system. In fact, the U.S. military proved that by firing a missile that successfully destroyed an orbiting satellite several years ago.
In the case of last week’s Chinese test, the interceptor did not apparently impact anything but instead demonstrated its ability to hit a prearranged simulated point in space.