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Galileo Satellite Navigational System Operates in 2008
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The Galileo satellite navigational system, produced by the European Union (EU) and a rival to the reigning global positioning system (GPS) of the United States, is expected to be operational in China in 2008.

The 30-satellite system, with a navigational fix accurate to within one meter, will provide safe, reliable and accurate information for Chinese users in the fields of civil aviation, railway, waterway and road transportation, according to a Sino-EU technology cooperation symposium in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province.

China officially joined the project in 2004 and invested 200 million euros in a Galileo training and application research center at Southeast University in Nanjing.

The center carried out research on the satellite receiver, chips and communication system and provided scientific training for the Galileo project, said Li Jianqing, head of the technology department of the university.

The EU and the European Space Agency kicked off the 3.5 billion-euro Galileo project in March 2002 to develop a satellite-navigation system independent of the US monopoly of GPS.

Unlike the military-managed GPS the Galileo project will remain under civilian control and increase the EU's strategic independence.

Israel, India and South Korea have also joined the Galileo project.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2006)

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