Washington Report, 2007-03
Publication Date: March 2007
Author(s): U.S. Asia Pacific Council
On January 11, the Chinese military used a groundbased ballistic missile to destroy one of its aging satellites. Washington and other governments expressed concern that China's test violated a spirit of cooperation concerning use of space. Some experts suggested that the test not only demonstrated the vulnerability of any satellite launched by the United States or other nations, but also signaled China's intention to precipitate a space arms race. Admiral Dennis C. Blair, who served as Commander in Chief Pacific (CINCPAC) from 1999 to 2002, does not share that extreme view. He regards China's pursuit of space capabilities as part of a broader effort to modernize its military. Admiral Blair also examines how developments in East Asian missile defense serve to undermine the potential threat posed by North Korea—notwithstanding recent progress in talks aimed at ending its nuclear program.
Washington Report is a bimonthly newsletter that provides an "inside-the-Beltway" perspective on developments in U.S.-Asia Pacific relations. The centerpiece of the report is an interview with a leading authority on an economic, political, and/or strategic issues of importance to transpacific relations.