China on Sunday launched its 33rd and 34th Beidou Navigation Satellites from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. The satellites were carried by China’s Long March 3B Rocket which blasted off from the launch centre. These are respectively the 9th and the 10th satellites of the Beidou-3 system.
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After entering into the working orbits, the two satellites will undergo integrated testing and assessment that will be comprehensive in nature. China plans to build a basic navigation system comprised of 18 Beidou satellites by the end of this year. This system is meant to serve nations along the One Belt One Road (OBOR) routes under the highly ambitious initiative of China.
The launch on Sunday sets a precedent for a new seen frequency in the launch of the Beidou satellites by China. The Beidou network has been named after the Chinese name of the Big Dipper constellation.
This navigation system that China aims to build before the end of this year will be a rival to the US GPS system, GLONASS of Russia and Galileo of the European Union. This project was launched officially in 1994 and began services in 2000 for China which were later extended to Indo-Pacific by 2012.
OBOR is a highly ambitious project of China by the virtue of which it plans to revive the traditional silk route of trade and expand its reach to the markets in Europe. China which is at a trade tirade with the US is now planning to find a larger market in Europe to save itself from the backlash of the trade war with the US.
China is also urging the Asian nations to participate in the OBOR project and recently China also extended an invitation to Bhutan for the same. Even Japan is reconsidering its resentment to the OBOR and is now considering to support it. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of the biggest investments by China under the OBOR.
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