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China Is So Furious with Elon Musk's 'Outer Space Behavior' That It Just Complained to the UN

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Tensions continue to rise between the U.S. and China — this time in space — and in this case, Elon Musk appears to be the source.

China has complained to the United Nations about two satellites that its own space station nearly collided with, Bloomberg reported.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that two satellites from SpaceX, the U.S. company founded by Elon Musk, came close to the Chinese station in July and October. Zhao said this forced astronauts to take evasive action.

“For safety reasons, the China Space Station implemented preventive collision avoidance control,” Beijing said, according to BBC.

Then Beijing criticized the U.S. for being irresponsible.

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“The U.S., while talking about the concept of responsible outer space behavior, is in practice ignoring its obligations under the treaty,” Zhao said, Bloomberg reported.

China reported to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Dec. 3 and said that the U.S. was not complying with its obligations outlined in the Outer Space Treaty.

The treaty outlines that space is free for all exploration and that “states” (nations) will be “responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities” and “liable for damage caused by their space objects.”

Musk’s SpaceX operates a satellite internet network called Starlink and has already launched almost 1,900 satellites, with plans to send thousands more to space, BBC reported.

After China’s official complaint to the UN, Chinese social media then spoke out against Musk and the U.S.

Is space the next area where international relations will escalate?

Chinese microblogging platform Weibo filled with comments about how Starlink satellites were “just a pile of space junk” and “American space warfare weapons,” Sky News reported.

Another Weibo comment said, “Musk is a new ‘weapon’ created by the US government and military,” according to BBC.

This is one more step in the rising tensions between the U.S. and China.

Earlier in the month, Bloomberg reported that one of China’s top scientists commented that they would be able to send astronauts to the moon by 2030.

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But this announcement came shortly after the Biden administration stated that the U.S. was following a similar timeline for a possible lunar exploration, which some foresee could pit China and the U.S. against each other, according to Bloomberg’s reporting.

In regards to China’s complaint about SpaceX’s satellites, however, there has been no comment from Musk or the U.S.

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Abby Liebing is a Hillsdale College graduate with a degree in history. She has written for various outlets and enjoys covering foreign policy issues and culture.
Abby Liebing is a Hillsdale College graduate with a degree in history. She has written for various outlets and enjoys covering foreign policy issues and culture.




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