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January 4, 2011 / Rick Martin

New cables on China’s 2007 anti-satellite missile test

Norwegian paper Aftenposen has released two cables relating to the 2007 Chinese anti-satellite missile test (Wikipedia entry on the incident here):

There is one potential inaccuracy to watch out for in coverage of this leaked cable. The first report that I saw of this was on, where the headline unfortunately/incorrectly states ‘Wikileaks: China shot down American satellite.’ The satellite was China’s own, so lets hope no one is so sloppy as to run with that one.

As for the cables themselves, the second one is the most interesting read, covering a number of American talking points on the missile test and concerns for their interests in space. Afterposen‘s article on the cables is here. I’ll pass on commenting as my Norwegian is lacking…

As far as I can understand, these two cables seem to be exclusively released by Aftenposten, which according to Wikipedia is the country’s largest so I expect the cables are legit. Surprisingly they, like The Guardian, have access to all 250,000+ cables with a post on their site saying:

“Internet site Wikileaks has obtained more than 250 000 documents from U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. Aftenposten has gained access to all documents without any clauses. The documents will be continually reviewed as the basis of articles by the same editorial criteria and ethical rules as the rest of the Evening Post’s journalism. E-mail to the editors:” (Google translation)

I wonder if Aftenposen is open to inquiries like the Guardian? Better still, I wonder how many media orgs here in Japan or China are inquiring? Admittedly none of the Asia-related leaks have been earth shattering so far (I asked a while back ‘Is it anything?‘) but there are still a LOT more cables to go.

For me, the more interesting story is how Wikileaks (and clones) have been and will continue to be transformative forces in media in this new decade.

Further reading: Google results for ‘China’ + ‘Satellite’ from January 2007

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