US: China denies any intent to militarize space

Chinese Foreign Ministry officials have told a visiting US diplomat that the recent test of an anti-satellite weapon should not be regarded by any country as a threat nor does it signal the beginning of a race to militarize space, the State Department said Monday. Assistant Secretary of Christopher Hill raised the issue with Chinese officials over the weekend in Beijing. China has not made a public announcement of the January 11 test, but officials acknowledged it during their meeting with Hill, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. Hill, who heads the State Department's East Asia bureau, told the Chinese they should be more transparent about their military activities and their defense budget. These issues have been a long-running concern of the United States, and McCormack said the Chinese have taken only "baby steps" thus far toward more openness.