China Denounces Reported US-SpaceX Spy Satellite Deal

    China Denounces Reported US-SpaceX Spy Satellite Deal
    Image copyright: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/Contributor/GC Images via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • On Sunday, the Chinese military and state-run media separately criticized the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a US intelligence agency, for contracting with Elon Musk's SpaceX to build hundreds of spy satellites.

    • An account called Junzhengping, run by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), made a post on Weibo to 1.1M followers accusing the US of "shamelessness and double standards" for claiming PRC tech firms are a threat to US security when the US is building up its spying apparatus.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    This deal is more proof the US intends to instigate a space war, as China will have no choice but to counter the proliferation of these satellites by moving facilities underground and developing similar technology. The world should be concerned that the US will not just use these satellites for military spying but will also use them to target civilian populations.

    Anti-China narrative

    China's rhetoric is disingenuous if it thinks the world doesn't know it too is working on its own spy satellite constellation. In fact, the US and all of its rivals are looking to modernize its intelligence collecting technology and use low-orbit spacecraft that can gather information faster and for longer periods of time.

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