Dec 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Space Force leader: China poses "tremendous threat" to U.S. galactic domination

Screenshot via "Fox News Sunday"

Screenshot: "Fox News Sunday."

The second-in-command of U.S. Space Force warned Sunday the U.S. must adapt its approach to space development to counteract the "tremendous threat" posed by China.

Why it matters: Gen. David Thompson's remarks on "Fox News Sunday" underscore mounting concerns China may soon have the advantage in space, with the country already possessing a "full sweep of cyber capabilities."

  • Thompson, the vice chief of operations, also said China may soon have the potential to take out U.S. sensors and reach first-strike capability in space, adding "that's one of the reasons that the Space Force was created."
  • In October, China launched a hypersonic missile, which underscored concern about the country's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry, leading some to fear the prospect of a "new cold war."

Of note: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin blamed the hypersonic missile launch for further exacerbating tensions in the region during annual security talks with South Korea last week.

  • While delivering the keynote address at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, Austin said China is "increasingly focused on integrating its information, cyber and space operations."

What they're saying: "I don't think it's a foregone conclusion they will be the leader in space at the end of the decade, but they are on an incredible pace," Thompson told host Chris Wallace.

  • "We're the best in the world in space," he added. "But they're moving aggressively and quickly and we need to adapt our approach."
  • "We need to adapt ... to keep pace and outpace them."

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