China celebrates completion of satellite navigation system

Updated 01 Aug 2020

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Officials attend the completion and commissioning ceremony for the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. — AP
Officials attend the completion and commissioning ceremony for the Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday. — AP

BEIJING: China celebra­ted the completion of its BeiDou navigation satellite system that could rival the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and significantly boost its security and geopolitical clout.

President Xi Jinping, the leader of the ruling Communist Party and the Peoples Liberation Army, officially commissioned the system on Friday at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

That followed a declaration that the 55th and final geostationary satellite in the constellation launched on June 23 was operating after having completed all tests.

The satellite is part of the third iteration of the BeiDou system, known as BDS-3, which began providing navigation services in 2018 to countries taking part in China’s sprawling Belt and Road infrastructure initiative along with others.

Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2020