China launched on Wednesday an indigenous satellite as part of its expanding navigation and global positioning network, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The ninth satellite of the Beidou-2 (Compass) system was put in a geostationary orbit by a Long March-3A carrier rocket launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan Province.
"The network will provide satellite navigation, time and short message services for Asia-Pacific regions by 2012 and global services by 2020," Xinhua said.
China started efforts to build its own global positioning network as an alternative to U.S. GPS and Russian Glonass by launching the first satellite of the Beidou-2 system in 2007. The network will eventually consist of 35 geostationary satellites.