He said China had so far launched 10 satellites for the Beidou system, including one this month, and planned to put six more in orbit in 2012 to enhance the system's accuracy and expand its service to cover most of the Asia Pacific region.
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China has begun operating a homegrown satellite navigation service that is designed to provide an alternative to the U.S. Global Positioning System and, according to defense experts, could help the Chinese military to identify, track and strike U.S. ships in the region in the event of armed conflict.
The Beidou Navigation Satellite System started providing initial positioning, navigation and timing services to China and its "surrounding areas" on Tuesday, Ran Chengqi, a spokesman for the system, told a news conference.
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