This is yet another demonstration that hegemony generates its own antagonistic antibodies.
Diplomats: Proposed Russia-China Space Deal To Counter US Missile Shield
EUP20080212102021 Paris AFP (North European Service) in English 1712 GMT 12 Feb 08
["Russia-China Space Deal To Counter US Shield Move: Diplomats" -- AFP headline]
GENEVA, Feb 12, 2008 (AFP) -- Russian and Chinese ambitions for a new treaty banning weapons in space are aimed at countering US plans to construct a missile defence shield, diplomats said Tuesday [ 12 February].
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the plans in a speech to the Conference on Disarmament meeting in Geneva.
The new treaty would prohibit the deployment of weapons of any kind in space, and the use or threat of force against space objects, he said.
"Without preventing an arms race in space, international security will be wanting," Lavrov told the conference.
Washington's plans for satellite and missile defence remain shrouded in secrecy but have sparked fears of an arms race with both Russia and China.
Concerns over a new arms race in space have been growing since China tested an anti-satellite missile in January last year.
Washington is currently negotiating with Warsaw and Prague on the possible installation of 10 interceptor missile sites in Poland by 2012 and associated radar stations in the Czech Republic.
"There is a link between the US missile shield and the treaty. The Russians can see that the American project is getting off the ground, and they're worried," a European diplomat told AFP.
The US says the sites are needed as part of a gradually-developing shield to ward off potential attacks by what it calls "rogue states," notably Iran.
But Russia warned that an encroaching US military presence in what it considers its strategic backyard risked ratcheting up tensions.
"Our position is based on facts. Iran will not possess in the long term such missiles. Such measures take aim at a non-existent threat," Lavrov told a press briefing after his speech.
The US pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001, giving it leeway to develop its new "shield" project.
The ABM Treaty was signed at the height of the Cold War, in Moscow in 1972.
"We cannot but feel concerned over a situation where... there are increasing efforts by the United States to deploy its global ABM system," Lavrov said.
"The desire to acquire an anti-missile 'shield' while dismantling the 'sheath' where the nuclear 'sword' is kept is extremely dangerous," he warned.
Moscow fears the combined effects of the missile defence shield and growing US anti-satellite missile projects could spark a new arms race and threaten the global balance of power.
"Russia's security should be ensured by a more just and genuinely democratic architecture of international relations," Lavrov said.
"Unfortunately, the world that shook off the 'Cold War', has so far failed to attain a new equilibrium. The conflict potential, including in the areas close to the Russian frontiers, is very high," he added.