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JSPES, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Winter 2002 )
pp. 393-408

The Current Status of China's Military Space Program

James H. Hughes

This article analyses China's current military space program. Many of China's space programs are deemed to be civilian, but have dual use, especially with regard to military capabilities. The relevance of China's space assets to the military sphere is analyzed. China's distinctive path to space development that includes the military is highlighted with its international cooperation. Collaborating countries include the former Soviet Union, now Russia along with its republics, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Brazil. China's military space development relies heavily on cooperation with other countries, and in particular on the United States. When the latter became public knowledge, it caused a political dispute which led to a Congressional investigation, especially in connection with space launch market cooperation. China's prime interest at this time is in developing anti-satellite weapons as a leveler against a potential adversary's space assets.