US and China have opened a direct link or 'hotline' to discuss space-related activities. The hotline, which is meant to bring control and coordination between the two nations, should help in dealing with concerns over growing militarisation in space.
The hotline will prevent misunderstanding and miscommunication and keep both the countries informed about "potential collisions, approaches, or tests". It is an attempt to share information and avoid any crisis that might occur in the outer space.
Before the hotline was established "we had to send notifications to the Chinese via their ministry of foreign affairs. The chain would go from JSpOC [Joint Space Operations Center] to the Pentagon, to the State Department, to the US Embassy in Beijing, and then on to a contact there," says US assistant secretary of state, reports The Verge.
China, in 2007, had blown up an ailing Chinese weather satellite in a bid to try out its anti-satellite weapon, a technology that was previously available only to the US and Soviet Union, reports New York Times.
Growing militarisation in the outer space has been a concern for countries as destroying satellites would hamper communication and location services, leading to issues in intelligence gathering.
Earlier, the US had established a similar line of communication with Russia -- called "red telephone" -- since the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Verge reported.