China's own GPS system launched this week
December 28, 2011
China recently launched its own satellite navigation service, Beidou, to compete with the U.S. global positioning system (GPS). The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese GPS is not likely as accurate as the American version, but it will probably be helpful in locating international ships in the event that armed conflict arises.
"Although China has a long way to go before it has continuous real-time tactical coverage, even of a regional maritime environment, it now has frequent and dependable coverage of stationary targets and at least a basic ability to identify, track and target vessels at sea," Eric Hagt and Matthew Durnin wrote in the Journal of Strategic Studies about China's recent satellite launches, according to the news source.
Beidou will also provide services to private citizens and commercial companies, which can be used in navigation devices and to help track commercial fleets in the event of natural disasters, the new source suggests.
The launch of Beidou, coupled with recent reports of tactical aircraft carriers being moved, is raising concerns that the Chinese government may be steeling itself for conflict. People can make calls to China to discuss the possibilities with their loved ones.