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China accuses US of non-compliance with international space law

China accuses US of non-compliance with international space law

BEIJING (RIA Novosti): The actions of US space companies endanger astronauts in orbit, the US government needs to start respecting international space law and take appropriate measures, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian.
Earlier, China’s permanent representatives to the UN sent a note to the UN Secretary General, in which they said that the Chinese orbital station Tiangong had to maneuver twice this year to avoid collisions with the US company SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. The note also notes that the satellites have come too close to the station, jeopardizing the safety of the Chinese astronauts there.
“I can state with full responsibility that the satellites of the American company SpaceX twice this year found themselves at a dangerous distance from the Chinese space station – in July and October. The Chinese astronauts were at the station at that time. They had to take emergency measures to prevent a collision.” Lijian said at a briefing on Tuesday.
He also recalled that, according to the international treaty on outer space, signed in 1967, including by the United States, all countries of the world must protect the safety of astronauts, and in the event of situations that threaten their lives and health, immediately inform the UN Secretary General.
“Countries should also be held accountable for the activities of their private companies in space,” Zhao Lijian said.
According to him, the United States “at every step” declares its responsible position on everything related to activities in space, while “neglecting all international treaties and endangering the lives of astronauts.”
“This is a classic example of a policy of double standards,” Foreign Minist-ry spokesman concluded.
The Chinese Tiangong Orbital Station houses the commander of the crew, Zhai Zhigang, who became the first Chinese to go into outer space in September 2008, Wang Yaping, who became the first female astronaut aboard the Chinese orbital station, and Ye Guangfu, for whom the flight became the first in his career. The cosmonauts have been at the station since October 16.

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