1st LD-Writethru: Researchers told to ward off navigation system interference
BEIJING, Dec 28, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
A high-ranking military official
on Friday urged researchers to properly maintain China's
home-grown navigation system so it can provide steady and reliable
services for the country's economic development and military
Fan Changlong, vice chairman of the Central Military
Commission, required researchers to beef up the security measures
of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and increase its
capacity to ward off interference.
The BDS began providing services to civilian users in China and
surrounding areas in the Asia-Pacific region on Thursday.
The general functionality and performance of the BDS is
"comparable" to the GPS system, but cheaper, a spokesman for the
system said at a press conference on Thursday.
Fan said the system has broken China's reliance on foreign
navigation systems and carries great significance in safeguarding
national security and promoting economic development.
The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the State
Council and the Central Military Commission on Friday jointly
issued a letter congratulating relevant parties on the launch of
The letter hailed the system's launch as a "milestone" in the
cause of the informationization of the country and its military.
The success also marks China's great progress in building its
own independent navigation system, it said.
In the letter, authorities paid respect and extended greetings
to the scientists, army officers and staff members involved in the
research, production, management and maintenance of the system.
The success of the BDS was gained through the country's efforts
in independent innovation, cooperation among different units and
the spirit to conquer difficulties and pursue excellence, the
China started its initial research on the system in 1985, and
the project is named after the seven-star cluster known in English
as the Big Dipper.
It initially encountered some skepticism, as people doubted its
necessity, thinking it would be difficult to rival the U.S.-based
In 1994, the BDS project was approved as one of the country's
strategic targets, and a timetable composed of three stages for
the development of the BDS took shape.
China launched the first satellite for the BDS in 2000, and a
preliminary version of the system has been used in traffic
control, weather forecasting and disaster relief work on a trial
basis since 2003.
At present, the system has over 130,000 military and civilian
users, including those in the financial, power, fishery and
fire-fighting sectors, and it served as an important means of
communication during the relief work following the devastating
8.0-magnitude earthquake in May 2008 in Sichuan's Wenchuan County.
Ran Chengqi, a spokesman for the system, on Thursday said the
system aims to take 70 to 80 percent of the now GPS-dominated
domestic market by 2020.
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