Beijing: Pakistan-China partnership over intelligence-sharing may set to exploit the private firm like Singapore-based Space Chain, said a new study.
According to Geopolitica.info, China sold its first optical remote sensing satellite to Pakistan in 2018 for civilian purposes, although it seems to have quite substantial military applications as well.
Now as Pakistan aims to expand its space development, PRSS-02 (an Earth Observation Satellite) which the country is in the process of buying will only add teeth to Pakistan’s space capabilities, which China is set to exploit through commercial fronts like Spacechain.
The Chinese plan is to share the PRSS-02 data through the Shanghai Academy, but in order to enable this cooperation China has asked Pakistan to engage the Singapore-based M/s Space Chain, a “community-based space platform that intends to build an open and neutral infrastructure for the New Space Economy by integrating space and blockchain technologies”, according to its website, Geopolitica.info reported.
It is hard to believe that the Shanghai Academy’s plan to share critical data accessed from other satellites using the Singapore firm comes without direct supervision from the Chinese State, said Geopolitica.info.
It comes as no surprise that China is secretly nudging Pakistan towards acquiring soon a sharper outer space military capability. Something that could also translate into intelligence sharing.
It is no secret that China is Pakistan’s great economic hope and most trusted military partner, well beyond the converging, regional interests that the two countries have in common, the study added.
Pakistan-China cooperation in space technology has been ongoing since 2018, when China agreed to train Pakistani astronauts and assist the country in space science and exploration. In 2021 Pakistan has decided to increase its budget for the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Organisation (Suparco), the most important organisation engaged in space technology and exploration as well as a part of the National Command Authority, which ultimately controls the nuclear command.
According to the available information about the deal, PRSS-02 will share the ground-facility resources of the existing PRSS-01, launched in 2018 from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Centre. Two S-Band control stations are working in Karachi and Islamabad, while one fixed and one mobile data receiving stations in X band operate from Islamabad and Karachi respectively, according to Geopolitica.info.