US to give China satellite data
Defence Secretary Gates said Washington prepared to share 'some' information on its satellite shooting with China.
The US defence secretary has said Washington is prepared to share some information on its satellite shooting this week with China.
Robert Gates's comments came after Beijing complained that the missile strike could cause harm to outer space security and some countries.
Gates told reporters during a visit to Hawaii that the US is "prepared to share whatever appropriately we can".
China had asked the US to release data about its missile hit on the ailing spy satellite.
Liu Jianchao, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said on Thursday that Beijing was asking the US to "provide to the international community necessary information and relevant data in a timely and prompt way".
China's official Xinhua News Agency on Thursday reported the satellite's shooting without comment.
The US had criticised China for shooting down a defunct Chinese weather satellite in January 2007, giving no notice before the event.
Washington discussed its plans at length before the shooting and said it was not an anti-satellite weapons test.
Requests by US officials for more information on China's satellite shooting were ignored and none of Beijing's recent statements mentioned China's own destruction of the satellite.
Although no country has ever tried to shoot down another nation's satellite, David Mosher, a senior policy analyst at the Rand Corp think-tank, told the Associated Press that it could be an effective military tactic.
Mosher said satellites are now widely used for communications, missile launch detection and intelligence gathering.
"The country that has the most to lose if space becomes militarised is the US," he said.
"We rely on satellites so heavily, both militarily and commercially ... We don't want to go down that route."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Şubat 2008, 12:42