China is celebrating the completion of the “BeiDou” satellite navigation system, which can compete with the US global positioning system “GPS” and greatly enhance Chinese security and geopolitical influence.
On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping officially launched the system at a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
This came in the wake of the announcement that the fifty-fifth and final satellite, which was launched on June 23, started work after completing all the tests.
The satellite is part of the third iteration of the “BeiDou” system known as “PDS3”, which began providing navigation services in 2018 to countries participating in the Sprawling Infrastructure Initiative with China “Belt and Road” along with other countries.
In addition to being a highly accurate navigation aid, the system provides the ability to handle short messages and the ability to transmit images.
While China says it is seeking to cooperate with other satellite navigation systems, BeiDou could eventually compete with GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and Galileo networks of the European Union.
To bring this competition closer, what is happening now is similar to the way Chinese mobile phone makers and other technologically advanced devices have invaded their foreign competitors.
“While China says it seeks cooperation with other satellite navigation systems, Beidou could ultimately compete against GPS, Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo networks. That’s similar to how Chinese mobile phone makers and other producers of technically sophisticated hardware have taken on their foreign rivals.” Time Report
On Wednesday (June 17), the country launched its third Gaofen-9 Earth observation satellite into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The mission also carried two smaller satellites — a tiny picosatellite called Pixing-3 developed by the Zhejiang University and the fifth Automated Identification System services satellite for the private company HEAD Aerospace, according to SpaceNews.