The China plans to cooperate with EU in the Galileo program. After negotiations, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology initiated an agreement with EU’s Directorate-General Energy and Transport on September 18, for cooperation in the process of implementing the Galileo program in the fields of satellite launching and manufacturing, experiment on the environment of radio transmission, ground system and radio frequency, as well as the standards for receivers.
The reasons behind China to cooperate in the Galilieo program are firstly, China’s support and participation can facilitate EU’s negotiation with the United States and Russia on cooperation. Secondly, China’s huge market provides promising prospects for the program. By now GPS technology has been fully applied to automobiles and even mobile phones, and China’s hundred million mobile users and its rapidly growing number of autos can tremendously expand Galileo’s market domain. China’s hundred million mobile users and rapid increase in the number of vehicles provides a potential market prospect for the Galileo program.
The Galileo project will be completely in place by 2007 and put into business operation by 2008. China’s participation from the very beginning has made it possible to avoid the passive situation of knowing nothing about the GPS in the initial period. Tsinghua University and European corporations have shown intention to jointly R&D a compatible Galileo receiver and the receiver of American and Russian systems, thereby greatly raising positioning reliability. Although the Galileo project is the biggest sci-tech cooperation program between China and EU, China’s participation is rather limited, equivalent to only one EU member and accounting for a meager share of the investment. Furthermore, a major share of the funds will come from Chinese enterprises taking part in the cooperation.