China's BeiDou-3 Navigation Satellite System (BDS) was officially launched for world service on Friday, marking a major milestone in the country's endeavor to promote interconnectivity across the globe.
Over one month ago, China sent the final satellite of the BDS into space, completing its nearly 30-year-long deployment of the orbital navigation network. Yet for the BDS to play a bigger role in connecting the world, it is only a start.
For starters, BeiDou offers one more choice for global users in terms of global navigation satellite systems, along with the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia's GLONASS, and Europe's Galileo system. Currently, more than 100 countries and regions are using the Beidou-based services.
So far, the BeiDou system has been widely used in transportation, agriculture, forestry and fishery, communication time unification, and other fields. It has enabled the development of transformative technologies like precision farming, digital development and smart port construction in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
In recent years, some Arab countries and those along the Belt and Road have chosen to join the BeiDou system, in a vote of confidence in the reliability of the system and its huge development potential.
The BeiDou system also features openness and compatibility. Being compatible with the other three positioning systems, BeiDou boasts unique advantages such as providing two-way messaging services, which can not only tell one's position, but also relay it to others.
Through cooperation mechanisms, BeiDou has been working with the other three global systems on compatibility and interoperability to jointly build a compatible satellite cluster that can provide more accurate and reliable services for users worldwide.
Science is not bound by national borders and innovation is an endless endeavor, said Chinese President Xi Jinping in a congratulatory message for the start of assembly of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. International scientific and technological cooperation is critical to addressing global challenges faced by mankind, he stressed.
Moreover, China's independent development of the BeiDou system is a strong proof that China's capability of technological innovation is unstoppable.
In recent years, Washington has imposed tough hi-tech blockade against China as well as a raft of measures to crack down on Chinese hi-tech companies, including the 5G pioneer Huawei.
In spite of such measures, China's innovation capability has only grown stronger. Just as President Xi recently said at a symposium on China's economic work: "No country nor individual can stop the historical pace of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."
In ancient world, the Chinese invented the compass, a tool which helped navigate inter-continental explorations thousands of years ago. Today, China's BeiDou system, named after the Big Dipper constellation, will serve as a bright lodestar to light up the way for peoples around the world to come even closer in the new era of global interdependence.