Ricketts Warns CCP’s Space Ambitions Threaten Satellite Technology & Nebraska Agriculture: “Equipment Would Be Useless”
June 13, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) warned the Chinese Communist Party’s space ambitions threaten necessary aspects of our daily life, including agriculture in Nebraska. According to a DNI 2023 Threat Assessment Ricketts quoted at the hearing, “China is steadily progressing towards its goal of becoming a world-class space leader with the intent to match or surpass the United States by 2045.”
“One of the fears with this spaceport outside the People’s Republic of China is they will use that to sidestep or outright reject international space rules,” said Ricketts in the hearing. “This matter is incredibly important to all of us. From using ATMs to harvesting our food, we all rely on satellite technology. In my home state of Nebraska, for example, we rely heavily on satellite technology to run our harvesting machines, tractors, and so forth. In fact, one farmer told one of my staff members that if it wasn’t for satellite technology, he was worried that his equipment would be useless.”
Ricketts’ comments came during a Committee on Foreign Relations hearing exchange with Ambassador Cynthia Kierscht, nominee to be Ambassador to Djibouti, about the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’s planned spaceport in the East African nation of Djibouti. In 2017, Djibouti became the first country to host an overseas PRC military base. Earlier this year, a Chinese company signed a $1 billion agreement with the government of Djibouti to build and operate a spaceport, which will make Djibouti the first overseas country to host a Chinese launch facility.
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