It is called BeiDou and is a competitor to America’s GPS. Take out America’s satellites and the West is ‘blind’. Our modern world will grind to a halt. Welcome to the new Cold War in Space.
For 2000 years the Silk Road carried goods and ideas across Central Asia from China to Europe. President Xi’s ‘Belt-and-Road’ initiative, is a new Silk Road which will connect China not just to Europe, but also now to SE Asia, Africa, the Middle East as well as Russia and Eastern Europe.
At the 19th Congress of Communist Party in October 2017. President Xi announced that the new ‘Silk Road’ would have a digital component- the BeiDou satellite navigation system (GPS) would connect the 60+ countries along the ‘Belt and Road’.
The West paid scant attention to that announcement, nor his stated ambition for BeiDou to compete by 2020, with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS), on which we all depend.
Yesterday the BBC World News on PBS reported that 2020 has arrived with China’s completion of BeiDou’s network of 35 satellites. BeiDou is no longer in part reliant on America’s GPS satellites. Today China is able to offer a global GPS competitor to America’s friends and allies,but also enemies.