Published on: November 7, 2022

BeiDou satellite

BeiDou satellite

Why in news?

China’s home-grown Beidou satellite system eyes global footprint


  • China outlined plans to expand the global reach of its home-grown Beidou satellite navigation system, billed as its alternative to the U.S.’s Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • With this satellite “strengthening regional cooperation with organisations such as ASEAN, the African Union, the League of Arab States, and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States would take place.

The BeiDou Navigation Satellite System

  • It is a Chinese satellite navigation system. It consists of two separate satellite constellations
  • The third iteration of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System provides full global coverage for timing and navigation, offering an alternative to Russia’s GLONASS, the European Galileo positioning system, and the US’s GPS
  • Constellation” of 30 satellites in orbit, began its international outreach once the set up was finished in 2018.
  • Beidou has set up a first of three Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) for its network in Thailand in 2013, to serve as a hub for ASEAN

How BeiDou is used as soft power diplomacy?

  • It is now in use “in more than half of the world’s countries”. China is also helping several BRI partners, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka, launch communication satellites
  • Saudi Arabia is using Beidou in surveying and mapping, positioning people and vehicle in the desert.
  • Tajikistan is using BDS to monitor dams and lakes with precision.
  • Lebanon is using BDS at Beirut port for marine survey and construction.
  • In Burkina Faso, it is being used for survey and construction of hospital
  • Russia have signed a strategic framework on their two navigation systems, taking forward a 2015 deal on interoperability between Beidou and GLONASS