“By the end of October 2014, China had launched 16 spacecraft, either domestically or via a commercial space launch provider. These spacecraft mostly expanded China’s SATCOM and ISR capabilities, while a few others tested new space technologies,” said the report detailing potential threats from China, which the US DoD released Friday.
Among the latest achievements by China the report mentions the first-ever launch of a satellite capable of sub-meter resolution
imaging, the Chang’e-5 lunar mission and the completion of a new space launch facility on Hainan Island.
While acquiring new space assets of its own, China is developing “a variety of capabilities designed to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by adversaries during a crisis or conflict, including the development of directed-energy weapons and satellite jammers,” the report said. Of particular interest for the US military was the July 23, 2014 launch, which the Pentagon says was a follow-up of the 2007 destruction of an in-orbit defunct weather satellite.