By Sumit Kumar Singh
New Delhi, Oct 29 | Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has abruptly restricted the use of its navigation system, BeiDou along borders with India fearing their movement might be tracked.
Sources said the change in Chinese stance happened the moment India increased its surveillance mechanism along the Line of Actual Control. China, lately, has been making attempts of transgression in Indian territory.
Taking note of all these, the India Army enhanced surveillance both close to the LAC as well as in the depth areas by synergizing efforts of all surveillance equipment right from the strategic level till the tactical level where soldiers actually deployed.
As surveillance increased, Intelligence agencies stated, a decrease in activation of BeiDou terminals all along the Northern Borders in the last one month was observed.
Sources said that PLA is now using it only to send confirmations that they have reached their desired locations. “It may be a deliberate attempt by the PLA to hide its important activities or preparations across Northern Borders,” the source said.
The system was launched on June 23, 2020 finally ending a project that went on for two decades.
BDS, stated to be rivalling US’ GPS, is the fourth global satellite navigation system in the world.
Other systems are Russia’s GLONASS and the European Union’s Galileo. India too is developing its own navigational system called the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), with an operational name of NAVIC.
China wants to end the US-based GPS hegemony and push for its own developed navigation system first in the Asian region. To do so, China has established a monitoring station at its Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) for monitoring and assessing the BeiDou Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
Now China is pushing the use of Beidou in many countries as part of their ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
Currently, Beidou covers nearly 30 countries including Pakistan, Egypt and Indonesia.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at email@example.com)