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China may be gearing up to perform a controversial anti-satellite test this month, perhaps in the next week or two, some experts say. For several months, rumors have been circulating within the United States defense and intelligence communities that a Chinese anti-satellite test is imminent, says Gregory Kulacki of the Union of Concerned Scientists. It could even be conducted on Jan. 11, the date on which China performed ASAT operations in both 2007 and 2010.
"Given these high-level administration concerns, and past Chinese practice, there seems to be a strong possibility China will conduct an ASAT test within the next few weeks," Kulacki wrote in a blog post Jan. 4. "What kind of test and what the target might be is unclear."
Kulacki urges the Obama Administration to attempt to dissuade China from conducting any more destructive ASAT tests. Both the United States and the Soviet Union abandoned such tests as their space programs matured, he notes. "Hopefully, China will eventually come to a similar conclusion," Kulacki wrote. "Beginning a meaningful bilateral dialogue on space security between the United States and China could hasten the day."