The U.S. espionage priority has been the four Chinese space R&D bases of Jiuquan, Xichang, Taiyuan and Hainan, according to a September 24 Xinhua article. 6 of the 12 U.S. espionage satellites are on Asia, particularly China. “Actions” in Jiuquan are clearly under their watch. The electronic survailance bases that the U.S. has established around China serve as the ear on China’s space development. Current there are over a dozen U.S. monitoring stations in Japan and Korea. The U.S. also maintains radar stations and electronic monitoring sites in Central Asia for this purpose. The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office conducts systematic monitoring activities. Located in Pentagon, it has an annual budget of between $250 to 350 million. It has digital imaging spy satellites such as Navy satellites KH-8 and KH-9, and CIA’s KH-11.
Source: Xinhua, September 24, 2008