NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine criticized China’s current space programs and missions. The NASA official accused China of being too aggressive and using its space activities for military purposes.

Bridenstine made the strong statements against China and its space program earlier this week. The NASA administrator noted that China is only fast-tracking its space and Moon missions in order to test its latest technological advancements and to rival the U.S.

“China’s activities are in many ways aggressive in space,” Bridenstine told Nikkei Asian Review. “When we think about the future of space, we want it to be peaceful.”

Although China has been successful with its recent scientific space expeditions, many people including Bridenstine believe that the country is more focused on militarizing space. The country is oftentimes compared with Russia due to the two countries' apparent desire to become a space superpower.

This became very apparent in 2007 when China launched a missile to take down a satellite in low-Earth orbit. Space agencies and country officials regarded China’s action as irresponsible due to the risk it posed on astronauts and other satellites operating in space.

“If we’re going to achieve what NASA wants to achieve, we can’t have people threatening to wreck low-Earth orbit,” Bridenstine said.

The NASA administrator noted that the concept of militarizing space could push the U.S. to impose additional tariffs and export restrictions against China. According to Bridenstine, NASA and the U.S. will not allow China to acquire resources that can be used to create weapons that can be used in space.

“Some people call space – China specifically – the American Achilles’ heel,” he said. “Well, it’s important for people to understand that we are not going to allow investments that could potentially destroy space.”

“We’re not going to allow those investments to work,” he added.

Aside from China’s current space activities, Bridenstine’s strong stance against the country is also based on its priorities. Maintaining an active space program is expensive for any country. For a nation like China, it should be more focused on more important aspects such as ensuring social security instead of venturing into other costly activities.

China space program A Long March-4B rocket loaded with the CBERS-4 satellite, developed by China and Brazil, blasts off from its launch pad at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, Dec. 7, 2014. Chinese researchers announced Thursday an ambitious plan to eventually launch a satellite into outer space. Photo: Reuters