News on China's scientific and technological development.


Senior Member
All satellites for the Beidou system will be launched by June 2020. The Beidou system will facilitate 5G communication, as well as navigation. The level of positioning accuracy will be within centimeters by the end of 2020 (I'm not sure if this feature will be commercially available, though):

China decouples from US in space with 2020 'GPS' completion
70% of Chinese smartphones now compatible with Beidou

BEIJING -- China announced Friday that it is just months away from completing its Beidou satellite-based positioning system as it moves to reduce its reliance on America's GPS in both in telecommunications and for its military.

The final two satellites will be launched by June, completing the 35-satellite network, Ran Chengqi, spokesperson for the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, told reporters in Beijing. The number of satellites in operation will trump the roughly 30 used by the U.S.-owned Global Positioning System.

From modern farming to smart ports to a text messaging service, China is trying to build an ecosystem independent of the GPS and open it to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

This effort pushes decoupling between Washington and Beijing, which are poised to enter year three of a trade war, to the final frontier of space.

Over 70% of Chinese smartphones are equipped to tap into Beidou's positioning services, Ran said. The system also plays a role in fifth-generation wireless communications, an area where China's Huawei Technologies is in the vanguard of technological development.

"The integration of Beidou and 5G is an important sign on the path toward China's development of information technology," he said.

Named after the Chinese term for the Big Dipper constellation, Beidou now has related products exported to about 120 trading partners, up from roughly 90 at the end of last year. These exports mostly overlap with President Xi Jinping's continent-spanning Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Beidou "has entered into a new era of global service," Ran said, "benefiting ASEAN, South Asia, Eastern Europe, West Asia and Africa in precision farming, digital construction and smart port construction."

Services will be enhanced by the end of next year, Ran added. For example, the level of positioning accuracy will improve from within 5 meters to within centimeters, an advance that will aid search-and-rescue missions.

Such accuracy is also crucial for self-driving vehicle development, a sector supported by the government. Both Beidou and 5G will be employed by self-driving buses that will soon begin operation in the city of Wuhan.

Beidou will also differentiate itself from GPS by supporting communication through its constellation of satellites.

Space is once of the priority areas of Beijing's "Made in China 2025" plan for boosting self-reliance in vital technologies. By 2030, China aims to become a "space power" alongside the U.S. and Russia. The launch of a Martian probe is set for as early as next year, followed by the completion of a Chinese space station around 2022.

The development of China's space program has moved in tandem with the country's military buildup. Although Beijing and Washington have agreed to a tariff cease fire as part of a "phase one" trade deal, China's efforts to project power into space look likely to remain a source of tension in the bilateral relationship.

China has launched 53 Beidou satellites since 2000, including those no longer in operation. The navigational system began worldwide services in late 2018. Beidou started offering positioning services to private-sector companies in late November of this year.

The economic scale of services and production of goods tied to Beidou will grow to 400 billion yuan ($57 billion) in 2020, according to Chinese media.

Beijing aims to expand the system worldwide. China and Russia have allied on satellite positioning. Chinese officials are also pouring resources into collaborating with global organizations representing the airline industry and other sectors.

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Dec 4, 2019
some time ago, Nov 29, 2018now
Gene-edited babies: Chinese scientist He Jiankui ‘may have created unintended mutations’
  • Despite biophysicist’s claims, team failed to reproduce changes to make twin girls HIV immune, excerpts from manuscript show
  • Birth of gene-edited babies Lula and Nana sent shock waves through scientific world in 2018

so follow the link
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if interested
the story goes on (and, hopefully, ends) as
He Jiankui jailed for illegal human embryo gene-editing
Xinhua| 2019-12-30 14:25:31
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Junior Member
Registered Member
What is China going to do with the three genetically modified babies from contaminating mankind?


Registered Member
Genetic editing will continue to attract scientific research for better or worse. Either the law becomes more accommodating or the technology allows for a safer and more accountable experimentation in smaller steps (which I assume has been the standard procedure).

The moral question of Lula and Nana's choices with respect to having children themselves is an interesting one. Probably depends on exactly how they may affect their offspring.


Registered Member
natural selection? whats with this weird superstition around natural vs "artificial" mutation
The problem of artificial "mutation" is that when popularly sought after, it reduce genetic variation which is KILLING mutation. Pay attention to how I highlight the words.

Think about how many animal or plantation variants we have today compared to just some hundred years ago, less and less. A good example is the story in the movie "Interstellar" where the whole world population relies on a very narrow or just single variant of rice, wheat and potato. When the variant got destroyed by virus/bacteria, all crops die out, without any genetically different variants (wild or man-made) resistant enough to feed us.

A recent report from China says that a lab (or a database) to keep soybean (or something else) variants being established. I am sure all major agriculture countries do the same. It is food safety. There was a scare of China relying on the genetic-edited crops from USA to kill off the domestic food production, so the protection.

In the animal world (human included), you know the South China Tiger is dying out. It is the stern tiger (ancestor of all tiger species). There are hundreds of South China Tiger, but it is unlikely to be saved. Why? Because all of them are brothers and sisters from a few (less than 10 or in that range) specimens decades ago. That is the danger of numerous without genetic variations. Now think about millions of humans being all brothers and sisters with very little differences deliberately reduced because people all want the same height, skin-tone, feature, healthiness etc just like wheat and rice.


Registered Member
I must say that I don't agree with the treatment metted out to He Jiangqui.
One must do some research into what he tried to do. It was quite the simple, potentialy non-lethal procedure that aimed to help the child gain some resistance to the disease that their parents carry. The child cannot and will not "pollute the human race".
Human race is always being "polluted". Pollution of Human genes are a good thing as it only improves the chances for overall species survival.

I am not so sure about the future where scientific advancements will make such modifications to the genome very economical and rewarding.
Countries who previously claimed to be bound by the shackles of morality will be the first ones to break free of these shackles and embrace these new technologies when it will be proved quite reassuringly that the new technology devised could turn its citizens into "superhumans". Superhumans as in - Humans with marginally improved abilities - Brainpower, Physical condition, disease resistance etc. All it would take is National pride and concern for losing their positions to rivals.


Lieutenant General
People panic too much. Yeah the people behind this should go to jail but the genetic changes will most likely do nothing. It's like some families carry the gene for certain disorders but never suffer from it in life. People panic over artificial intelligence but chances are it will never turn out like in the movies. It's the same fear like when I was a kid there was a bully in the neighborhood and one day a small dog barking charged towards him and the bully was running away and hiding behind other people scared of the dog. The fear is because he's not in control. He can't intimidate the dog like he can people. Why does the West want to prevent China from developing technologies they're okay with developing themselves.? They're not in control of it hence they fear it.