JPL/Victor Tangermann
All Batteries Fire

25 Governments Are Meeting Right Now to Prevent a Space Arms Race

The U.S. just accused China and Russia of developing anti-satellite weaponry.

Counterfeit Treaty

Representatives from 25 countries around the world are currently meeting in Geneva, Switzerland to formulate international laws to prevent space-based conflict.

But the meetings, which will continue through March 28, hit a roadblock when the U.S. representative accused China and Russia of undermining the entire process by developing anti-satellite weaponry, according to France 24 — a bad omen for the militarization of space.

Aggressive Negotiations

“How can we believe [Russia is] serious about preventing an arms race in outer space when they are the ones that are developing ground-launched anti-satellite weapons?” U.S. assistant secretary of state Yleem Poblete said during the meetings. She also said that Russia was trying to build lasers capable of disabling satellites.

These tensions and accusations, which Poblete also levied against China, may cause serious problems because the international effort will only publish a report with new international rules if all 25 nations unanimously agree to them.

“It is difficult to determine the truthfulness of China’s concern about the prevention of an arms race in space,” Poblete said.

Lack of Faith

For all of Poblete’s accusations, the U.S. is working just as hard as Russia and China to develop militarized space technology — including orbital laser weapons plucked straight out of science fiction.

While disarming countries’ space programs and making sure that civilian satellites are protected during any future conflicts is a reasonable and seemingly simple goal, it may be the case that Russia, China, and the U.S. are more concerned with getting a leg up on one another to truly pursue disarmament.

READ MORE: US accuses Russia, China of undermining space peace push [France 24]

More on space law: These Four Universities Are Trying to Figure Out Space Law

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