The news: According to officials, Pakistan is now a major determinant in China’s global satellite navigation system. Pakistan signed a bilateral agreement with China to use the new global positioning system (GPS) established as part of China’s satellite program. The agreement also aims to foster coordination between the two nations and further improve the navigation system.
Pak-China cooperation: Pakistan will not only be a principal participant in the satellite navigation program but the two countries are also collaborating to train and implement the system as well as its assessment and performance monitoring. The Director-General of China Satellite Navigation Office (CSNO) and spokesperson for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), Ran Chengqi, said that China hopes for a better perspective in the field of satellite navigation systems while collaborating with Pakistan. Chengqi visited the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province and said that Pakistan is going to be the first foreign country to test the GPS created by BeiDou Satellite System, which has also established a network in the country.
BeiDou navigation system: BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) is a space-based system used for global positioning, navigation, timing, and messaging services. It has been providing citizens in China and other parts of Asia-Region with these services since December 2012. BDS is available in more than 70% of smartphones in China and started providing global services along with the three major navigation systems around the world, namely the United States’ GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, and the European Union’s Galileo. Officials said that these services can be applied in several fields, such as agriculture, transportation, fishing, disaster management, and relief activities. Enterprises in over 200 countries have applied for the use of BDS-based technology whereas its products, manufactured in China, have been exported to over 100 countries.
Future of BDS: The BDS has implemented a high-precision navigation network in Karachi and its surrounding areas, which has resulted in reduced cost, increased efficiency, and aided in geographic surveys of the city, land management, and dispatching of goods from the port. Chengqi said that the system aims to cater to the users in countries along the belt and road region including South East Asia, South Asia, and Africa.