By Tim Ross, Holly Watt and Christopher Hope9:00PM GMT 02 Feb 2011100
The two nuclear superpowers both shot down their own satellites using sophisticated missiles in separate show of strength, the files suggest.
The American Government was so incensed by Chinese actions in space that it privately warned Beijing it would face military action if it did not desist. The Chinese carried out further tests as recently as last year, however, leading to further protests from Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, secret documents show.
Beijing justified its actions by accusing the Americans of developing an “offensive” laser weapon system that would have the capability of destroying missiles before they left enemy territory....
The “star wars” arms race was began in January 2007 when China shocked the White House by shooting down one of its weather satellite 530 miles above the Earth.
The strike, which resulted in thousands of pieces of debris orbiting the earth, raised fears that the Chinese had the power to cause chaos by destroying US military and civilian satellites.
In February 2008, America launched its own “test” strike to destroy a malfunctioning American satellite
, which demonstrated to the Chinese it also had the capability to strike in space.