EDITOR NOTE: China just completed another great step toward independence from the US and the Western world. This time, it's not just about getting accurate positional coordinates on the ground, but also launching technological growth that aims to surpass the US and the rest of the world, for that matter. And why not? They are an economic, technological, and military superpower. They’re also an uneasy trading partner and formidable rival not to be underestimated. Does this latest move threaten the US' position in the world order? Of course it does.
China sent the last satellite to space on Tuesday to complete its global navigation system that will help wean it off U.S. technology in this area.
The network known as Beidou, which has been in the works for over two decades, is a significant step for China’s space and technology ambitions.
Beidou is a rival to the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), which is widely-used across the world.
Experts previously told CNBC that Beidou will help China’s military stay online in case of a conflict with the U.S. But the launch is also part of Beijing’s push to increase its technological influence globally.
The launch of the final satellite, which was broadcast on state-media channel CGTN, was deemed a success at 10.15 a.m. Beijing time.
It was the second attempt to complete the navigation network after a previously scheduled launch was postponed due to “technical issues,” according to Beidou’s official website.
Plans for China’s own system took shape in the late 1990s and the first version of Beidou was in service by 2000, providing coverage for satellite-based services to China.
The second iteration was completed by 2012 and provided services to the Asia-Pacific region. This third version, which is now completed and which consists of 30 satellites, will mean the Beidou network now has global coverage.
Originally posted on CNBC