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No 'serfdom' in space: China

October 28, 2004 20:47 IST
The Chinese media criticised the US Thursday for threatening the European Union's Galileo satellite navigation programme, saying that the international community will not accept "serfdom" in space by relying solely on American space navigation technology.

"It explicitly demonstrates, once again, the urgency for the rest of the world to have an independent satellite-based positioning and timing infrastructure to ruffle the dominance of the US amidst mounting worries about its post September 11 hegemony in the name of anti-terror," China Daily said in its editorial.

Quoting a report in Business Week magazine, the paper said Washington has threatened to attack Galileo if it is used by alleged adversaries such as terrorists.

"This is nothing but US monopoly and it sharply counters the spirit of peaceful use of outer space and closer international space cooperation," it said.

On Wednesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry had rejected the Business Week

claim that Beijing had joined the Galileo project for military purposes as "absurd and ridiculous."

"Being an impressive technological achievement and a hugely practical tool, Galileo is a political statement of European technological independence from the US," the Chinese paper said, pointing out that the EU project promises to be provide a more reliable and accurate service.

Unlike the US system, which is run by and primarily for the US military, Galileo is designed to deliver real-time positioning accuracy down to the metre range - unprecedented for a publicly available system. The project aims to have the first of 30 satellites in space in 2006 and the whole system operating two years later.

'Space is so vast and any earthly ambition to monopolize it would make no sense,' the editorial said.

'The Pentagon should be fully mindful that the world will never accept "serfdom" in space by relying solely on US GPS(Global Positioning System).'


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