Zhou Bo Interviewed by ARTE on Documentary ‘Space Wars’

  • In order to maintain its military hegemony, the US announced the establishment of its Space Force in 2019, claiming that space has become a new battlefield for the great powers. Some US politicians and media outlets have continued to speculate on the so-called “space threats” of China and Russia. There is a wide divergence of positions on how to ensure space security, with China and Russia on one side and the US and Europe on the other: the former hope that countries will take a step forward along the Outer Space Treaty in 1967 and refrain from stationing any weapons in outer space to avoid an arms race, while the latter believe that the militarization of space is inevitable and what matters is to build “responsible behaviors.”

    In this context, ARTE, a Franco-German puclic broadcaster, recently launched a documentary entitled “Space Wars,” in which Senior Colonel ZHOU Bo (retired), a senior fellow at the Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS) of Tsinghua University and a China Forum expert, was invited to share his insights. 

    The outer space has become increasingly important for the future of all countries, including China, one of the world’s major space powers, Zhou said. The most important thing is, as China has advocated in its fifth white paper on space programs, to ensure the use of outer space for peaceful purposes and to prevent an arms race in outer space —in other words, to prevent the weaponization of outer space. Just as it has dominated the technology, economic, and military arenas, the US wants to maintain its superority in space, which will be quite challenging, Zhou noted. In space, an attack on the satellites of one country is an attack on all countries, because the sheer amount of debris from such an attack would be scattered throughout orbits, posing a threat to the satellite security of other countries as well as the attacker itself. “There will be no winners in a space war,” he said.

    Launched in 1992, ARTE (Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne) is a Franco-German public service channel based in Strasbourg, France and Baden-Baden, Germany.

    The documentary is distributed worldwide through the ARTE platform and online video platforms such as Vimeo. The full documentary is available here: 


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