China’s Alternative GPS System

Beidou also known as Compass system started providing the 5th Asian country, Pakistan with domestic satellite navigation. Beidou, the Chinese version to the global positioning system (GPS) is meant to rival US’s GPS.

Countries already using the Chinese system include China themselves, Thailand, Laos and Brunei. With 16 functional satellites in orbit and 30 more to join the system, China looks forward to providing global coverage by 2020.

They intend to build a new network of stations in Pakistan to improve the accuracy of their satellites locally, costly a hefty sum amounting to the tens of millions. The main reason Pakistan chose the Chinese system was primarily because the military in Pakistan cannot rely on the US GPS in times of conflict.

Although the Chinese did not guarantee the availability of the GPS functionality in times of strife, Pakistan believes in their long time ally, China. Speaking of which the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang would be travelling to Pakistan next week after the visit to India.