China to build global navigation satellite system by 2020

China plans to build a global navigation satellite system, which is expected to provideservice to users around the world, by the year 2020.

The country will send six to eight satellites to space later this year, and it will have 18satellites in space by 2018 to provide basic services to countries along the “Belt and Road”route, disclosed Wang Li, China Satellite Navigation System Committee chairman, at the8th China Satellite Navigation Conference on May 23.

The BDS-1 and BDS-2 systems, also known as BeiDou Navigation Satellite DemonstrationSystem, were built in 2000 and 2012 respectively, providing communication services toChinese and other Asian users, said Ran Chengqi, director of China’s Satellite NavigationSystem Management Office. The BDS-3 system will broadcast additional navigation signalsand enhance compatibility with other navigation satellite systems so as to provide betterservice for global users, Ran added.

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