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China to Establish Its Own GPS by 2020

According to Qi Faren, an expert in Chinese space technology, China will establish its own global navigation system, called Beidou-2, by 2020. It will be done in three steps. The first step is to build a regional navigation system. This has already been completed through the launch of the first Beidou system, officially called the BeiDou Satellite Navigation Experimental System, also known as Beidou-1. Beidou-2 will be completed in the second and third steps. The second step is to launch about 12 to 14 satellites in the early part of the twelfth five-year plan period (2011 to 2015) to form a regional and autonomous navigation positioning system. The third step is to have over 30 satellites covering the entire earth by 2020. Beidou-2 will provide navigation services to China and its neighboring countries, said Qi. “Beidou-2 will be the equivalent of the U.S. GPS. Wherever the U.S. GPS is used, one will be able to use Beidou-2.”

Source: Xinhua, March 1, 2011