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People concerned for peace in outer space
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16:02, February 21, 2008

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In the eyes of people, infinite and boundless outer space is a mysterious and holy haven, which almost all civilizations in human history have referred to as a heaven or a "land of milk and honey" where God live. However, a piece of news has filled people with worries and suspicions, and they cannot but ask how can the heaven be turned into a hell?

China and Russia on February 12 submitted to a United Nations-sponsored disarmament conference a joint proposal for an international treaty to ban the development of weapons in outer space. The proposal submitted to the plenary session of the Conference on Disarmament held in Geneva is called the draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Use of or Threat to Use Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT).

This joint proposal, or PPWT, is designed to reach a new international legal document through negotiations, in order to avert weaponization of and arms race and defend peace and tranquility in the outer space.

The United States, however, turned down the proposal soon after it was tabled. The Bush administration immediately issued a statement denouncing the proposal and its spokesman declared that enforcing a ban on space weapons was "impossible", saying that the Bush government is in firm opposition to any treaty on banning or restricting the development of outer space.

Advancement in science and technology is pretty much like a double-blade sword, When people get into a new, unknown realm, there is a greater possibility for their own destruction at the time they acquire the force of the nature and enjoy the fortune that has been wrought to them. The UN-ratified 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) explicitly prohibits countries from basing weapons of mass destruction in space, and any bid to militarize the outer space has been regarded as an unethical conduct contemned by human civilization. So, no country has so far openly announced that it has deployed weapons of mass destruction in the outer space.

Nevertheless, four decades have elapsed after the OST came into effect, and the UN Disarmament Conference launched and re-launched special committees for the prevention of the arms race in outer space, paces for prevention of the arms race in outer space, however, were stagnant amd remain where they were. The Sino-Russian proposal, which was taken as a trying bid to break the deadlock, has met with U.S. head-on repulse.

As the world's No. 1 space power, the United States has time and again denounced others for going in for developing outer space military technologies. However, it was a sort of "Lord Ye's love – professed love of what it does not really understand, as it has blocked the Sino-Russian joint proposal to restrict the arms race in outer space. So it is not difficult for people to get at the implications of what the U.S. has blamed on other nations repeatedly -- the U.S. is exerting itself to expand and fully utilize its military advantages based on its outer space technologies instead of weakening its superiority in this regard.

The U.S. rejection of the Sino-Russian joint proposal has imbued people worldwide with worries for the future, since the U.S. has immense advantages in term of space military technologies. Then, who is to defend or guard the heaven and who is capable of doing it? This is by no means an unnecessary worry.

In this world, so many media have focused their attention on the sole superpower and so many people on earth pin too much hope on it. As a matter of fact, this globe does not belong to any power alone. Consequently, when so many countries and so much media voice their support and endorsement of the Sino-Russian joint proposal, people could feel the might of forces for guiarding the heaven.

People could also feel that the conscience of the humankind was protecting or guiding the heaven, as the Bush administration announced last Thursday or February 14 that it would try to shoot down a disabled US satellite before it entered the atmosphere and tried its best to explain it only had a non-military purpose in doing so.

There is absolutely no savior for the humankind and it is up to the humanity to defend its own paradise, and the heaven can only be defended or gurded by the people on the globe through their harmonious cooperation.

By People's Daily Online and its author is Chen Hu, an executive chief editor of the World Military Affairs Magazine in Beijing.

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