Beijing, 30 December 2021 (TDI): The Permanent Mission of China lodged a formal complaint against the US for close encounters with its Space Station. Reportedly, two Starlink Satellites belonging to SpaceX USA came very close to the Chinese Tiangong Space Station, endangering it.

Tiangong Space Station actively conducted emergent evasive maneuvers for the safety and lives of the onboard Chinese astronauts. The close encounters occurred on July 1 & Oct 21.

In that regard, China formally urged the UN Secretary-General “to advise the corresponding State party to adhere to Outer Space Treaty article VI and bear international responsibility for both governmental & non-governmental space activities.”

Remarks of Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry

The Spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian expressed China’s stance on the close encounters, in a press conference. He stated that the 1967 Outer Space Treaty clearly outlines that State Parties should “bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space” even those conducted by their private companies.

He criticized the US for its efforts to understate the fact that the safety of the China Space Station and the astronauts were under threat, by trying to falsely target China. This is being done with the intent of deflecting international attention and distorting facts.

China adheres to the vision of advancing the welfare of all humanity and is committed to peaceful uses of outer space. The Satellites of SpaceX threatened the well-being of the Chinese astronauts.

Zhao Lijian underscored that all countries should respect and maintain the international order in space based on international law. They should embrace a responsible attitude to safeguard the security of in-orbit astronauts as well as the secure and steady operation of space facilities. China is willing to maintain contact and collaboration with all countries over this.