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China's space ambitions target satellites, a US vulnerability

American military's reliance on Earth orbit creates Achilles' heel

China's push into space is fueled by Beijing's goal to catch up to the U.S. (Nikkei montage/Reuters/AP)

TOKYO -- When China landed a probe on Mars this month, President Xi Jinping hailed the success of the mission as well as the status of Beijing's burgeoning space program.

"The landing left a Chinese mark on Mars for the first time," he said, per Xinhua News Agency. "It is another landmark progress in China's space industry development."

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