China’s homegrown satellite navigation system is now operational, The Wall Street Journal reported. The move gives the Chinese military an alternative to the US Global Positioning System (GPS) and an opportunity to track foreign ships in regions of conflict. The Beidou Navigation Satellite System now offers initial positioning, navigation and timing services to China and its surrounding areas, announced Ran Chengqi, a spokesman for the system. China had so far launched 10 satellites for the Beidou system and plans to send a further six into orbit in 2012. The additional hardware will enhance the system’s accuracy and extend its service to cover most of the Asia Pacific region. Russia owns Glonass, the only other operational global system beyond GPS. Mr. Ran said Beidou was used by over 100,000 clients in China and is compatible with the world’s other major navigation systems.