TOKYO – China has no further plans to carry out anti-satellite tests, the country's defense head told Japan's former defense chief, a news report said Monday.
China's initial missile test, carried out on Jan. 11 and confirmed by Beijing after two weeks of silence, destroyed a defunct Chinese weather satellite by hitting it with a warhead on a ballistic missile. Previously, only Russia and the U.S. had succeeded in shooting down anything in space.
"We do not plan further tests," former defense chief Fukushiro Nukaga quoted National Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan as saying in Beijing, according to Kyodo News agency.
Japanese Defense Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday, a national holiday.
China insists it is committed to the peaceful use of space, but Washington and Tokyo have said the test undermined efforts to keep weapons out of space.
President Bush signed an order in October tacitly asserting the U.S. right to space weapons and opposing the development of treaties or other measures restricting them.
Several countries have said they were concerned that debris created by the test could damage or interfere with the operations of other satellites in orbit.
Russia and China presented a draft outline for a treaty to prevent the deployment of weapons in space to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in June 2002. The United States objected at the time, saying the 1967 Outer Space Treaty provided sufficient guarantees against the weaponization of space.
China has indicated since the test its willingness to work with other countries on an agreement to prevent an arms race in space.