SHANGHAI, May 24 (Xinhua) -- A declaration on BeiDou cooperation between China and Arab countries was signed Wednesday, helping Arab countries benefit from China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS).
China's self-developed BDS is compatible with other satellite navigation systems and aims to provide services to Belt and Road countries and regions from the end of 2018, completing deployment of 35-satellite constellation around 2020 to provide global services.
"The declaration will provide policy support for satellite navigation cooperation on both sides," said Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming at the first forum on BDS cooperation between China and Arab countries.
Zhang expressed his hope that with the aid of delegates a "space silk road" could soon be built to help China-Arab cooperation.
Wang Li, chairman of the China Satellite Navigation System Committee, said that based on present cooperation and the needs of Arab countries, both sides agreed to boost major project cooperation and conduct joint research on satellite navigation application in fields, including intelligent transportation, land mapping, precision agriculture and public security.
The forum also featured training sessions on the BDS.
A second forum on BDS cooperation between China and Arab countries will be held in an Arab country in 2019.
Proposed in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative, comprising the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond ancient trade routes.