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Why China’s military regards Elon Musk as an existential threat

'Some experts said if SpaceX installs a few root servers in the space, it can make Starlink the second independent global Internet.'
FPI / May 12, 2022

By Richard Fisher

On May 5, China’s People Liberation Army Daily (PLAD), which runs the website China Military Online, published a detailed attack on Elon Musk’s growing Starlink constellation.

This follows nearly a year of occasional protests after the now 2,200 satellite constellation threatened China’s new manned space station in mid-2021.

According to the report, Starlink’s offenses also include that a future unmanned fighter jet “fitted with a Starlink device can serve as a tactical relay platform to transmit data to fighter jets, which means an operator can command a large number of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] to carry out tasks at the same time.”

Related: Elon Musk’s Starlink, now a strategic asset for Ukraine, could be same for Taiwan, March 22, 2022

In addition, PLAD thinks Starlink is too large, noting that Low Earth Orbit (LEO) “is able to accommodate about 50,000 satellites, over 80% of which would be taken by Starlink if the program were to launch 42,000 satellites as it has planned. SpaceX is undertaking an enclosure movement in space to take a vantage position and monopolize strategic resources.”

Another offense noted by the PLAD is that Starlink could become a separate spaceborne Internet.

“Defying restrictions in geography and landform, it provides wireless broadband Internet access services – as good as on the ground – to targets in air, on the far sea, on high mountains, and in the desert or remote areas, with the possibility of remaking the global Internet landscape.”

PLAD further notes, “Some experts said if SpaceX installs a few root servers in the space, it can make Starlink the second independent global Internet, which will pose a serious challenge to all countries in defending their cyberspace sovereignty and protecting their information security.”

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FPI, Free Press International
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