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US-China tensions

China can 'grapple' US satellites with robotic arm, commander says

Space Command chief prepares for Day One of future warfare

The robotic arm of the International Space Station: The U.S. military is concerned that a Chinese satellite with a similar arm may be used to grapple other satellites. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

NEW YORK -- The U.S. military is concerned about China's rapid development of space capabilities, especially a satellite equipped with a robotic arm that could approach an enemy satellite to disable it, U.S. Space Command commander Gen. James Dickinson told Congress Tuesday.

"Beijing actively seeks space superiority through space and space attack systems," Dickinson wrote in prepared remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee. "One notable object is the Shijian-17, a Chinese satellite with a robotic arm."

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