China’s latest satellite tech helps police fight against drugs, terrorism in Xinjiang

By Deng Xiaoci in Shenzhen Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/4 18:13:40

Latest satellite tech helps police in efforts against drugs, terrorism

Visitors look at a model of China's BeiDou satellite navigation system on display during an exhibition in Beijing in September 2016. Photo: IC

Applications and devices based on China's homegrown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), including mobile terminal and police command systems, are playing increasingly important roles in safeguarding the country's public security, according to Chinese GNSS experts on Wednesday.

The remarks were made by Qiang Xiaochun, a Shanghai-based BDS-based public security technology expert, who also serves as the deputy general manager of the public safety business center with the UniStrong Science & Technology Co, one of China's top GNSS companies, on Wednesday during an exclusive interview with the Global Times reporter on the sidelines of the company's annual global partners summit in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province.

The integration of BDS technology with public security dates back to as early as 2014, starting off with complicated and dangerous situations including drug control in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and anti-terrorism in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, according to the expert.

"In 2014, the Xinjiang regional public security authorities introduced 20,000 police mobile terminals based on the BDS, marking a first in history across the country," Qiang said.

Compared with previous GPS-integrated police mobile terminals, those based on the BDS are more reliable and "safer" when it comes to combating issues that threaten national security and public order.

Qiang recalled how the company won the bid with these advantages in cases such as anti-terrorism and drug control.

Time and space are the key intelligence factors that allow police to detect, control, and prevent criminal activities, and it is exactly what the BDS is best at providing - accurate positioning and timing services, Qiang explained.

He also highlighted the short message emergency communication function, also known as the positioning report service of the BDS terminals, saying that the 76-word message, though short, can make a huge difference in isolated areas when police carry out their activities in Xinjiang.

The function will help police to efficiently narrow down the area of criminal activities and protects their lives in field missions when facing rogue elements in Xinjiang's wildest environments, when ordinary communication devices based on telecom ground stations such as cell phones don't do the job, he noted.

Winning bid

In December 2017, UniStrong Science & Technology Co also won the bid to build a police command information platform for the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

The company has already established such platforms in 14 provinces including Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions, Henan, Yunnan provinces and Beijing.

According to a statement from the GNSS company on Thursday, the BDS-based police command platform offers a highly competitive "cloud+devices" solution to actual police operations, providing services including short message communication, satellite positioning, map navigation, and mobile command according to various police operation requirements.

Such systems will help forge a new smart police system covering aspects from indoor command to real-time field operations, streamlining multiple command levels into one effective command.

The company also established a pilot BDS-based digital anti-drug check and control system in Guangxi's Pingxiang, a city that shares a 97-kilometer-long border with Vietnam, and which was a national drug-control frontline in 2016.

The local police, via the police mobile terminal used in the pilot BDS-based platform, have successfully seized four criminal suspects on the run in the city between December 2016 and February 2017. 

After the installation of the platform, the crime rate has decreased by 26.3 percent compared to the same period last year, according to data provided by UniStrong.

Keeping updated

The satellite navigation system will provide services for Belt and Road countries in 2018, and form a complete global satellite navigation system by 2020.

"The BDS-based police applications and devices will be updated smoothly to more efficient versions, and their capability to strike, control and prevent criminal activities will also significantly increase, as the BDS improves," Qiang noted.

Newspaper headline: Sense of Security

Posted in: SOCIETY

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