China and Arab states promote BeiDou via Space Silk Road

April 9, 2019  - By
China's National Reference Station Network. (Image: BeiDou)

China’s National Reference Station Network. (Image: BeiDou)

The second China-Arab States BDS Cooperation Forum, held April 1 in Tunis, Tunisia, covered measures and initiatives that will increase the use of China’s Beidou navigation satellite system (BDS) in the Arab world. The aim is to establish a Space Silk Road that  elevates cooperation in high-technology between China and the Middle East and North Africa, reports spacewatch global.

The forum concluded that increased BDS use in the Arab world, as well as technological cooperation with China, could be achieved by establishing the Space Silk Road.

By formally establishing a Silk Road conceptual theme, forum participants believe that Arab countries will step up their use of BDS for everything ranging from precision agriculture and maritime domain awareness to disaster management and telecommunications.

“The BDS cooperation is the best example for the strategic cooperation between China and Arab states, as satellite navigation integrates many high-tech areas, including telecommunication and space technologies,” said Slim Khalbous, Tunisia’s minister for higher education and scientific research in an address to the forum. “This is an important opportunity for Tunisia, while the BDS cooperation also means the further upgrade of the China-Arab relations.”

“Satellite navigation has provided many conveniences and benefits for us, and we are determined to push forward with our cooperation,” said Mohamed Ben Amor, secretary-general of the Arab Information and Communication Technologies Organization (AICTO), in the forum’s opening speech.

Amor added that the establishment of the China-Arab States BDS/GNNS Centre in Tunis in 2018 is an important step in increasing Sino-Arab cooperation in satellite positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) applications through BDS.

Kamal Hassen Ali, assistant secretary general of the Arab League in charge of economic affairs, celebrated the burgeoning cooperation between China and Arab states. “The size of our cooperation will grow bigger, as the China-Tunisia cooperation has borne many fruits, and it will achieve greater progress in other countries in the region too.,” Ali said.

The China-Arab States BDS Cooperation Forum is a multilateral initiative for promoting cooperation and exchanges between China and Arab states in the field of satellite navigation within the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. The first forum was held in Shanghai, China, in May 2017.



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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.