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China's military making strides in space: US general

China's military has made dramatic progress in space over the past decade and the goals of its program remain unclear, a top American general said on Tuesday.

Citing Beijing's advances in space, General Kevin Chilton, head of US Strategic Command, said it was crucial to cultivate US-China military relations to better understand China's intentions.

"With regard to China's capabilities, I think anyone who's familiar with this business -- and particularly our history in this business over the years -- would have to be absolutely amazed a·maze  
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es

v.tr.
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.

2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.

v.intr.
 at the advancement that China has made in such a short period of time, whether that be in their unmanned program or the manned program," Chilton told reporters in a teleconference, referring to Beijing's space program.

"They have rapidly advanced over the last ten years," he said from Omaha, Nebraska “Omaha” redirects here. For other uses, see Omaha (disambiguation).
Omaha is the largest city in the State of Nebraska, United States. It is the county seat of Douglas County.GR6 As of the 2000 census, the city had a population of 390,007.
.

"Where they're heading I think is one of those things that a lot of people would like to understand better, what their goals and objectives are. But they certainly are on a fast track to improve their capabilities," he said.

Chilton's comments came after a top Chinese air force Two modern air forces have been known in English as the Chinese Air Force:
  • Republic of China Air Force
  • People's Liberation Army Air Force
  • Early combat history of China's air arm
 commander, Xu Qiliang, called the militarization mil·i·ta·rize  
tr.v. mil·i·ta·rized, mil·i·ta·riz·ing, mil·i·ta·riz·es
1. To equip or train for war.

2. To imbue with militarism.

3. To adopt for use by or in the military.
 of space a "historical inevitability" and said that the country's military was developing offensive and defensive operations in space.

The Chinese commander's remarks, reported by state media on Monday, marked an apparent shift in Beijing's opposition to weaponizing outer space.

Chilton acknowledged that space had become an arena for military rivalry, with an increasing number of countries pursuing space-based weaponry -- including Iran and North Korea.

"Clearly, I think what we've all come to understand is that space is a contested domain. It used to be looked at like a sanctuary. And clearly that's not the case today," the air force general said.

Asked about the Chinese commander's remarks, Chilton said that Beijing's space program "is an area that we'll want to explore and understand exactly what China's intentions are here, and why they might want to go in that direction and what grounds might accommodate a different direction."

Chilton said a visit last week to Strategic Command headquarters by General Xu Caihou Xu Caihou 徐才厚 (b. 1943) is one of three vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. , China's second-ranking military officer, marked a promising step in efforts to promote more dialogue with Beijing.

"I think maybe through dialogue we can better understand what their broader objectives are. I think that's one of the most encouraging things about the visit we had last week," he said.

Calling it "an initial introductory visit," Chilton said the military was "looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 opportunities to begin follow-on dialogue" with the Chinese military The Chinese Military could refer to two things:
  • Military of the People's Republic of China
  • Military of the Republic of China
 and that Strategic Command was ready to contribute its expertise in discussions on space and nuclear deterrence Noun 1. nuclear deterrence - the military doctrine that an enemy will be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as he can be destroyed as a consequence; "when two nations both resort to nuclear deterrence the consequence could be mutual destruction" .
Copyright 2009 AFP American Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Author:AFP
Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Nov 3, 2009
Words:440
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