New Delhi: As India conducted its first anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile test Wednesday, the international media had mixed reactions to the success of ‘Mission Shakti’.
While the US media said ‘Mission Shakti’ “demonstrates India’s growing ambitions and footprint in space, where its neighbor China is seen as dominant”, the UK media expressed “fury” over it. On the other hand, both Pakistani and Chinese media expressed suspicion over the success of the space mission.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday, in a televised address to the nation, announced that India conducted its first anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile test by successfully destroying a low earth orbit satellite in space. The PM said that India is the fourth country after US, Russia and China to have carried out an A-SAT test.
ThePrint takes a look at the international media’s take on ‘Mission Shakti’.
The Washington Post
The Washington Post, in “India shoots down satellite in test of space defense, Modi announces”, is quick to link the missile launch to Indian military’s preparedness. “The successful test comes amid broader concerns about the readiness of India’s armed forces for modern battles. It recently engaged Pakistan in its first aerial dogfight in decades. Pakistan shot down an Indian jet and took an Indian pilot into custody”, it writes.
Post adds, “The latest feat demonstrates India’s growing ambitions and footprint in space, where its neighbor China is seen as dominant”.
The Daily Express
British tabloid newspaper, The Daily Express takes a bold stand and writes “FURY as ‘elite space power’ India shoots satellite from sky – and we STILL pay them AID”.
The newspaper questions India’s expensive space expedition “while the UK STILL ploughs millions in foreign aid to the country at the cost of the taxpayer”.
“Controversial Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the country as an elite space power that can now face a threat of any kind”, writes the newspaper. It adds, “The new hi-tech warfare system is said to cost billions – despite receiving nearly £100m in aid cash from the UK over the last two years.”
The Russian channel RT is all praise for India’s A-SAT: “India joins space ‘super league’ as it shoots down satellite with precision missile- Modi”.
The media outlet says India’s technological advances should not be “underestimated”. A Russian military expert, Mikhail Khodarenok, claims that hitting a satellite 300 km above the ground was “quite a result” and India may “consider developing spacecraft able to defend their own satellites.”
The Pakistani newspaper Dawn is suspicious of India’s achievement. Its headline reads, “India claims to shoot down satellite, join ‘space superpowers’. Its opening lines reads, “Just weeks before India goes to the polls, Modi said Indian scientists ‘shot down a live satellite at a low-earth orbit’”.
The newspaper also quoted Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal as saying, “Boasting of such capabilities is reminiscent of Don Quixote’s tilting against windmills”.
‘Tilting at windmills’ is derived from the 1605 novel Don Quixote, which means fighting fictitious enemies. The novel is written by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.
The Chinese newspaper China Daily is deadpan straight. It says: “Modi says India shoots down satellite on low earth orbit”. Like Dawn, the brief report casts a doubt. It writes: “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday in a surprise address to the nation claimed Indian scientists shot down a live satellite on a low earth orbit with an anti-satellite weapon”.
The UAE-based Gulf Today’s headline reads, “India shoots down own satellite in test”.
The newspaper describes the test in the context of the recent India-Pakistan confrontations: “Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government has taken a strong position on national security, launching air strikes last month on a suspected militant camp in Pakistan that spurred retaliatory raids.”
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