Kyl criticizes White House on China ASAT test

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), speaking yesterday at the Heritage Foundation, criticized the Bush Administration for its “muted response” to the Chinese ASAT test earlier this month. “Key policy makers seem oblivious to the nature and the urgency of the threat,” the AP quoted Kyl as saying. Kyl blamed the response in large part on the “complicated relationship” the US has with China, citing trade and nuclear nonproliferation issues, which “inhibits our government from being as forthright as I think we should be” in criticizing the test.

A Space News article about the speech (subscription required) ended with word that Kyl brought up the specter of export controls in the speech, saying that Congress should hold hearings to determine if the Chinese ASAT test used any US technology. “If further export controls are needed to slow China’s ASAT development, then they should be considered,” he said.

(The speech itself was broadcast on C-SPAN and is available online from this list, although I have not had the opportunity to watch it myself yet.)

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