China on Monday launched its fourth satellite this year – and sixth overall – as part of the Beidou-2 program in what represents a challenge to US supremacy in providing global positioning services (GPS), the South China Morning Post reported. Within two years the country is expected to have more than a dozen satellites covering the Asia Pacific region and by 2020 it will have a complete global network comprising 35 satellites. At present, the Chinese military is heavily – if not entirely – dependent on the US GPS network, which gives the US military the power to manipulate signals, said Xu Guangyu, a retired general who now works as a senior researcher at the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. In addition, Beidou-2 could bring significant commercial revenues. "When Beidou-2 goes global, so will the business of Chinese navigation product companies,” said Yang Lizhuang, a director of BDStar Navigation, a satellite service provider to the Chinese military and industrial sectors.
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