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China’s stake in Galileo project targets “complete civilian use”

The European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation system has broad prospects for application in China’s transportation, mobile communication and other relevant fields, and China joined the project solely for the purpose of civilian use.

Fang Xiangming, deputy general manager of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), the major initiator of the project in China, made the remarks Monday while addressing a high-level Sino-French dialogue in aviation and spaceflight.

The 30-satellite system, with a navigational fix accurate to within one meter, will provide safe, reliable and accurate navigational information for Chinese users in the fields of civil aviation and railway, waterway and road transportation, Fang acknowledged.

CASIC and its French peer is constructing the perfecting system in China to strengthen the information send by the Galileo system,he noted, in order to better serve the needs of service signals for China’s civil aviation with accurate, complete, feasible and continuous navigation.

According to Fang, China and France had an enormous room with great potential in such spheres as satellite navigation, because of China’s huge market for global application of satellite navigation system and France’s advanced technology and mature experience.

Sponsored jointly by the European Commission and the European Space Agency, the Galileo space project is a satellite positioning and navigation system entirely for civilian use.

The project is expected to be operational by 2008, and will vie, and likely outperform, the existing GPS of the United States with more precise information and on a still larger coverage.

China has officially joined the project after signing an agreement with the European Union on Oct. 9 in Beijing, and pledged 200 million Euros for the project.