Ran Chengqi, director of the China Satellite Navigation Office, says the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System would provide a navigation service for users in China and surrounding areas with a positioning accuracy of less than 10-meters.
"Besides continuing to provide active positioning, navigation, timing and short message services to civilian users, the Beidou system will officially begin to provide continuous passive location services to most of the Asia-Pacific region."
Ran says the general functionality and performance of the Beidou System is "comparable" to the GPS system.
Ran adds the Beidou system offers more conveniences for navigation system users with equipment that is compatible with multiple navigation systems, as they will no longer have to rely on a single service.
"Compared with other systems, the Beidou system offers some unique services. Ordinary GPS users can only know their own location. For a Beidou user, he can also let others know his location, or come to know others' location. That is a key feature of the Beidou system."
Currently, China's Beidou system is recognized as one of the four major satellite navigation systems by the United Nations.
The others are the GPS of the US, the GLONASS of Russia and the Galileo of the EU.
Ran says China will continue to strengthen international cooperation with other systems.
"We will work with the US, Russia and the EU, as well as other organizations to promote the compatibility and inter-operability of the systems. We will also participate in the establishment of a global satellite navigation system, monitoring and evaluation system, so as to share resources and protect users' interests."
BeiDou is the Chinese name for the seven-star cluster known in English as the Big Dipper.
China launched the first satellite for the Beidou system in 2000, and a preliminary version of the system has been used in traffic control, weather forecasting and disaster relief work on a trial basis since 2003.
Ran says China has already launched 16 satellites for the Beidou system and is aiming to launch another 40 satellites in the coming years. The Beidou system is expected to cover the globe by 2020.
For CRI, I'm Zhou Jingnan.