China confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that it had tested a satellite-destroying weapon but insisted that its space programme was no threat to the rest of the world.
"Regarding having conducted the test, China has already notified other parties and has also notified the American side," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters.
"But China stresses that it has consistently advocated the peaceful development of outer space and it opposes the arming of space and military competition in space.
"China has never, and will never, participate in any form of space arms race."
The White House said last week that China had used a missile to destroy an orbiting weather satellite on January 11, making it the third country after the United States and the former Soviet Union to shoot down something in space.
Until Tuesday, China had refused to publicly confirm the test.
The successful test drew condemnation and expressions of concern from many countries, including the United States, Japan and Australia, amid fears the test could spark an arms race in space.
It meant that China could theoretically shoot down spy satellites or other orbiters operated by other nations.