The second-in-command of U.S. Space Force warned Sunday the U.S. must adapt its approach to space development to counteract the "tremendous threat" posed by China.
Why it matters: Gen. David Thompson's remarks on "Fox News Sunday" underscore mounting concerns China may soon have the advantage in space, with the country already possessing a "full sweep of cyber capabilities."
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Thompson, the vice chief of operations, also said China may soon have the potential to take out U.S. sensors and reach first-strike capability in space, adding "that's one of the reasons that the Space Force was created."
In October, China launched a hypersonic missile, which underscored concern about the country's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry, leading some to fear the prospect of a "new cold war."
Of note: Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin blamed the hypersonic missile launch for further exacerbating tensions in the region during annual security talks with South Korea last week.
While delivering the keynote address at the Reagan National Defense Forum on Saturday, Austin said China is "increasingly focused on integrating its information, cyber and space operations."
What they're saying: "I don't think it's a foregone conclusion they will be the leader in space at the end of the decade, but they are on an incredible pace," Thompson told host Chris Wallace.
"We're the best in the world in space," he added. "But they're moving aggressively and quickly and we need to adapt our approach."
"We need to adapt ... to keep pace and outpace them."
Go deeper: Biden will keep the Space Force
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