For years now, China and the United States have been competing to become the world's dominant power. The two countries have been challenging each other in the arena of economic progress, military size and even the control of major sea routes in Southeast Asia.
China, however, is taking this battle for greatness to new heights, literally. The rising power is developing space weapons to jam and even destroy American satellites, a draft US congressional report revealed.
The forthcoming report by the congressional US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, obtained by The Washington Times, reveals details of China's so-called counter-space programme, which directly targets US space operations.
"China is pursuing a broad and robust array of counterspace capabilities, which includes direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles, co-orbital anti-satellite systems, computer network operations, ground-based satellite jammers and directed energy weapons," the draft report stated.
For instance, China recently tested the DN-2 and SC-19, two direct-ascent missiles that can hit satellites even on high orbits.
"These systems consist of a satellite armed with a weapon such as an explosive charge, fragmentation device, kinetic energy weapon, laser, radio frequency weapon, jammer or robotic arm," the document read.
The DN-2, in particular, is believed to be capable of annihilating US Global Positioning Satellites, which can cause serious damage on America's intelligence gathering.
China may deploy this missile as early as 2020, according to the draft congressional report.
The Asian powerhouse, however, is not stopping with just these weapons. China's military planners are also cooking up ways to attack the US through kinetic, electronic and cyber means to make sure that satellites and the ground support structures will be disable in case a conflict breaks out.
The draft congressional report said China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) believes these space weapons and attack plans are more effective in deterring adversaries than nuclear arms.
"The PLA assesses US satellites are critical to the United States' ability to sustain combat operations globally," the report stated. "PLA analysis of US military operations states that 'destroying or capturing satellites and other sensors will deprive an opponent of initiative on the battlefield and [make it difficult] for them to bring their precision-guided weapons into full play.'"