The 800lb gorilla nobody's noticed:

Chinese missile destroys satellite in space

The prospect of "Star Wars" between China and the West loomed last night after Beijing used a ballistic missile to destroy a satellite in space.
The missile, which hit a 4ft-wide obsolete Chinese weather satellite 530 miles above the Earth, is thought to have been launched from the Xichang space centre in -China's Sichuan province.
It suggests that the Chinese have developed a major new capability that underscores the communist regime's desire to use its military might as well as burgeoning economic power to expand its influence.

"The US believes China's development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the spirit of co-operation that both countries aspire to in the civil space area," said Gordon Johndroe, spokes-man for the US National Security Council, yesterday. "We and other countries have expressed our concern regarding this action to the Chinese."
It is understood that Australia and Canada have also protested to China.

The ability to destroy satellites with such precision could undermine the US National Missile Defence programme, a network of rocket interceptors, computers and satellites intended to protect America and its key allies from nuclear attack. It became known as "Son of Star Wars" after President Ronald Reagan's so-called "Star Wars" programme proposed in the 1980s.

The test heightens tensions between Washington and Beijing, which increasingly see one another as long-term strategic rivals in the Pacific. China's navy is undergoing massive expansion that could threaten the independence of its neighbour Taiwan, which is backed by the US.
Taiwan was particularly alarmed at yesterday's announcement because it relies on satellites to monitor cruise missiles pointed towards it from the Chinese mainland.

China is seeking to challenge American military strength in the Far East, including its vital trade routes in the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca.
Short- and medium-range ballistic missiles have been developed with the potential to take on American aircraft carriers.

Telegraph UK

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