China Debuts GPS Alternative, Adds SMS To The Mix

China on Tuesday officially launched the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, a move that ends the countries dependence on America’s Global Position System (GPS).

According to the countries leaders the new system allows for the broadcasting of directions to China and its “surrounding area.”

The system was designed and launched by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. and is currently comprised of 10 satellites.

While the system is less accurate than GPS at this time it’s still believed to be capable of tracking US ships and other military targets, something the Chinese government wasn’t given access to via the American system.

A recent report in the Journal of Strategic Studies says “China still has a long way to go,” but added that the new system is allows China to

“Acquire greater ability not only to defend against intruding aircraft carriers but to project force as well.”

Chinese officials in the meantime are not touting the defense capabilities of the system but rather it’s free civilian applications, specifically the systems ability to support SMS messaging, something the American GPS system does not allow for.

Do you believe the Chinese government built the Beidou Navigation Satellite System for the benefit of it’s citizens or as a matter of better tracking military vessels and for offensive striking capabilities?

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