BEIJING - Pakistan is set to become the fifth Asian country to use China's domestic satellite navigation system which was launched as a rival to the US global positioning system, a report said Saturday.

The Beidou, or Compass, system started providing services to civilians in the region in December and is expected to provide global coverage by 2020. It also has military applications.

Thailand, China, Laos and Brunei already use the Chinese system, which currently consists of 16 operational satellites, with 30 more due to join the system, according to English-language China Daily.

Huang Lei, international business director of BDStar Navigation, which promotes Beidou, told the newspaper that the company would build a network of stations in Pakistan to enhance the location accuracy of Beidou.

He said building the network would cost tens of millions of dollars.

American website reported early May that Pakistani military experts were in favour of using the Chinese system, even though the availability of the signal could not be guaranteed in case of conflict.

But according to one of them, Pakistan cannot place its trust in the United States.

“Pakistan's armed forces cannot rely on US GPS because of its questionable availability during a conflict that has overtones of nuclear escalation,” former Pakistan Air Force pilot Kaiser Tufail told the site.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang travels next week to Pakistan, a long time ally, after a visit to India.

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Comments (13)

May 21, 2013 6:04 pm

Good initiative. China has always been a good friend of Pakistan and helping in the times of trials. This type of cooperation will offer pathways to progress.
May 18, 2013 8:53 pm
Pakistan should develop its own launching capability...
May 18, 2013 8:33 pm
good step but Pakistan should also build own satellites especially military satellites.
May 19, 2013 11:25 pm
Yes, we can use the GPS signals sent by Allah and navigate.
May 18, 2013 7:33 pm
Significant move by Pakistan. I expect that a number of Muslim countries may follow suit. I believe European System is coming up later this year. Let us see which GPS System is leader in 10 years.
jamshed kharian-pak
May 18, 2013 9:40 pm
Long live Beidou, or Compas Death to GPS! chines are our good friends
May 19, 2013 7:11 am
In most of the occasions China have shown full trust to the Pakistanis therefore we have complete trust on them and also being a neighboring country it is our fundamental right but we cannot trust on them those are thousands of miles away from our country and they are found never been trusted for us what we have seen in 1971 war between India & Pakistan regarding the 7th fleet's arrival to help us but it never reached for our help. They are not our friends actually they are enemy for us in the name of friendship.
May 19, 2013 4:04 am
This should primarily be based on technological superiority and political aspects should be secondary!
May 19, 2013 7:39 pm
But Chinese also never saved the skin, they dumped us in the most dire situation
May 20, 2013 4:19 am
This is great. All of our missile technology is dependent on American Navigational System (GPS) that is capable of creating intentional error so it may not work for us in case of any conflict. So Pakistan should not rely on USA as america is not our stratigic ally. Pakistan need to focus more about space technology.
May 18, 2013 1:35 pm
Can we really trust anyone except Allah and our self developed system. In the world of geopolitics today's enemy is tomorrow's friend and vice versa. Russia has GPS system,too.
El Cid
May 20, 2013 2:51 am
What Muslim Countries? Which Muslim countries? Pakistan is all you got left with steely nerves, will, and backbone.
May 19, 2013 11:33 am
This s a wonderful step Pakistan Government has taken.
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