Western nations are facing a growing threat from China in the space sector, and a coordinated response is needed to counter it, space industry experts told the British Parliament on Tuesday.
“I think China is one of the biggest geopolitical issues. China is currently building strong military and civilian and more commercial space programs. It is very advanced. The threat is very advanced. Increasing from them, “Knick Smith, UK Regional Director of Rocky de Martin Space UK, said in a session of the Defense Special Committee of the People’s House.
Smith warned that Britain needed to avoid another potential “Huawei-style situation.” Britain became heavily dependent on Chinese companies’ telecommunications equipment, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially refused to ban Huawei from the UK’s 5G network. This decision was revoked in July 2020 under strong pressure from the Trump administration.
“We need to be careful not to fall into the situation we saw on Huawei, especially if the Chinese continue to invest in commerce, that is, if they are building a government-funded mega constellation of 13,000 satellites.” Smith added. Coordinated the Western response in this regard and worked closely with its allies. “
At the official opening ceremony of the British Space Command in July, Royal Air Force Chief of Staff Mike Wigston said that China and Russia’s activities in space were “reckless.. “
He said Britain saw the development of anti-satellite weapons in both countries as a “real concern” and wanted to call on the international community to do so.
In a speech to the Defense Select Committee on Tuesday, Nick Shave, chairman of the UK space industry group UKSpace, said the way to respond to these threats was “sharing with allies.”
“You build a much more comprehensive corporate response to these threats and work with your allies to put in place a strong deterrent, which is a mitigation measure against these threats,” he said.
Shave said Britain needed to maintain “a certain level of sovereignty” in the space sector in order to maintain control.
“You don’t have to build everything in the UK, but to maintain control of open space, you need to build and design the actual core part of the system in the UK, for example, to control decryption. I need a communication link to the spacecraft. The device needs to be built in the UK, “he said.
Shave also said the UK Government should appoint a “Space Minister” as a single role, as Japan did, to improve coordination between all government sectors involved in the space sector. Proposed.