WASHINGTON – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman warned on Sunday against fostering an arms race in space after China was reported to have conducted an anti-satellite weapons test.
Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., said the test was provocative, but that the United States had ways to combat the threat posed by it.
"I don't think we should be overly worried about this at this point," Biden said. "We have ways to deal with that ability."
The U.S. said China conducted the test earlier this month in which an old Chinese weather satellite was destroyed by a missile.
Biden, who is running for president in 2008, said President Bush's policy on weapons in space need to be reviewed.
"One of the things we have to talk about is whether or not the, sort of, ideological base notion about how we deal with space and weapons in space and the use of weapons from space is something that is a path we should continue to follow," he said.
In October, Bush signed an order asserting the United States' right to deny adversaries access to space for hostile purposes. As part of the first revision of U.S. space policy in nearly 10 years, the update said the U.S. would oppose the development of treaties or other restrictions that seek to prohibit or limit America's access to or use of space.
"This is not the direction we want to go, in escalating competition in space. And we should be talking about it," Biden said.
Analysts said China's weather satellites would travel at about the same altitude as U.S. spy satellites, so the test represented an indirect threat to American defense systems.
The Chinese foreign ministry has denied knowledge of the test.
Biden appeared on "FOX News Sunday."