HASC Subcommittees Schedule Hearing on China's Counterspace Program

HASC Subcommittees Schedule Hearing on China's Counterspace Program

Two House Armed Services Committee (HASC) subcommittees will hold a joint hearing next week on China’s counterspace program. 

The HASC subcommittees on Strategic Forces and on Seapower and Projection Forces will hold a hearing on “The People’s Republic of China’s Counterspace Program and the Implications for U.S. National Security.”  It is on January 28 at 3:30 pm ET in 2118 Rayburn House Office Building.  Witnesses are:

  • Robert Butterworth, Aries Analytics
  • Michael Krepon, The Stimson Center
  • Ashley Tellis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), co-authored a letter with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) last month to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asking a series of questions about China’s space program and whether the United States was losing its space leadership.  Clapper was asked to respond to five questions, two of which were directly about China’s counterspace program.  The five questions are:

  • Has China today tested or deployed counter space capability in outer space, and will China deploy counter space capabilities by the end of this decade?
  • What technologies demonstrated by China’s robotic moon landing, and other space systems, have applications for China’s counter space and ballistic missile programs?
  • What technologies demonstrated by China’s robotic moon landing, and other space systems, have been acquired, legally or otherwise, from the United States?
  • What are the impacts from civil space cooperation between the United States and China on China’s military space program?
  • It was reported that, in 2010, the Administration lowered the intelligence collection priority status of the People’s Republic of China.  Does that lower status still apply? What is the priority of China’s space program for the intelligence community?

No time frame was stipulated for when Clapper must respond to the questions.  The Rogers-Wolf letter said only that the answers would “inform fiscal year 2015 legislation our two subcommittees may consider.”  Wolf chairs the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee and is the primary author of language prohibiting NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from engaging in bilateral interactions with China regarding civil space cooperation unless certain conditions are met.

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