GPS, the time-honored Global Positioning System with a staggering 6 billion users worldwide, has long been the go-to satellite navigation system. Owned and operated by the U.S. government through its military branch, the Space Force, GPS was initially designed for military applications like missile guidance and drone operations. However, its significance has grown exponentially, becoming an indispensable part of civilian life.
Representative Mikie Sherill (D-N.J.), a co-chair on the House GPS Caucus, highlights the critical role GPS plays in various aspects of daily life. From logistics and supply chains to farming, transportation, and even aviation, any attack on the system could have disastrous consequences.
Russia has GLONASS, and the European Union has Galileo. However, the newcomer to this arena is China’s ambitious Beidou constellation. Unlike the collaborative approach of other nations, China recognized the need for its independent global navigation system early on, as highlighted by Sarah Sewall, former Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights.
This incident prompted China to invest in Beidou, ensuring their military’s continued coverage, precise accuracy, and freedom from reliance on other nations for a vital component of their operations.
Reports from Chinese state media suggest that Beidou could contribute up to $156 billion to the nation’s economy by 2025. Moreover, Beidou serves as a crucial tool for China to expand its global influence.
It seamlessly integrates this data with its 5G offerings and further supports it through the Belt and Road and Digital Silk Road initiatives. The result is a comprehensive approach that enhances China’s global standing.
The implications of China’s Beidou satellite navigation system extend beyond its borders. To delve deeper into its potential impact on the world and how the U.S. is working to reinforce its GPS constellation, watch the video.
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