Washington: Facing challenges from countries like China, the US sees greater co-operation with India on space security issues, a senior American official has said.

“We are seeking greater engagement with India, which is an established spacefaring nation, and we see a strong role for greater US-India cooperation on space security issues,” said Frank Rose, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance.

Rose was speaking at the 3rd International Symposium on Sustainable Space Development and Utilisation for Humankind in Tokyo last week.

“As President (Barack) Obama said in 2010, the relationship between India and the US will be one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,” he said according to the transcripts of the speech released here yesterday.

“We see a strong role for Indian leadership in regional and multilateral space fora given India’s space capabilities and its strong ties to other regional space actors and emerging spacefaring nations,” he said.

For these reasons, in 2011 we launched the first US-India space security discussions as part of an effort to ensure that our two governments exchange views on this increasingly important domain, he said.

“The 2013 US-India Strategic Dialogue Joint Statement called for a Space Security Dialogue between our two nations, and we look forward to having this dialogue in the near future,” Rose said.

In his address, Rose said as a leading space faring nation, China will play a key role in space security issues, and the US will continue to engage China on space security through bilateral and multilateral channels.

“The United States and China have a mutual interest in maintaining the long-term sustainability and security of the space environment, including the adoption of measures to limit the creation of long-lived space debris,” he said.

“It is important to routinely discuss space security issues in order to reduce the chance for misperceptions and miscalculations. One way we have pursued these interests is by working to provide our Chinese counterparts with timely close approach notifications,” he added.

“However, as US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper noted in testimony before the US Congress, the United States remains concerned about Chinese counterspace activities,” he noted.

China has satellite jamming capabilities and is pursuing antisatellite systems.

This is a development that the US and its allies will continue to watch closely, he said, calling on China to be more transparent about its intentions and activities in space.

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