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19.07.2024
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China accused the United States of non-compliance with international space law

8b422c47f25f6b7f3780101f9fba04bf.e7b3df8d2521429058af50ff07f8cef7The actions of American space companies endanger astronauts in orbit, the US government needs to start respecting international space law and take appropriate measures, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

Earlier, China's permanent representatives to the UN sent a note to the UN Secretary General, in which they reported that the Chinese Tiangong orbital station had to maneuver twice this year to prevent a collision with the Starlink satellites of the American company SpaceX. The note also notes that the satellites came too close to the station, jeopardizing the safety of the Chinese astronauts there.

"I can state with all 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. Chinese cosmonauts were at the station at that time. They had to take emergency measures to prevent a collision," Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Tuesday.

He also recalled that, according to the international space treaty signed in 1967, including the United States, all countries of the world must protect the safety of astronauts, and in case of situations threatening their life and health, immediately inform the UN Secretary-General.

"Countries should also be responsible 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," concluded the representative of the Foreign Ministry.

At the Chinese Tiangong orbital station are the crew commander Zhai Zhigang, who in September 2008 became the first Chinese to go into outer space, Wang Yaping, who became the first female astronaut aboard the Chinese orbital station, as well as Ye Guangfu, for whom the flight was the first in his career. The astronauts have been at the station since October 16.