China and Russia have signed a cooperative agreement on 7 November 2018 covering their respective global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), BeiDou and GLONASS.
The agreement was one of a number of energy and trade deals signed by Chinese Premier Le Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev during a visit by the latter to Beijing, according to several media sources, including the Financial Times of London.
The Russian government had previously approved a draft agreement on cooperation with China in the peaceful uses of the GLONASS and BeiDou navigation satellite systems according to a document published on the website of the Russian cabinet on Wednesday, 7 November 2018.
“To approve the draft agreement between the Russian and Chinese governments on cooperation in the field of peaceful use of GLONASS and BeiDou global navigation satellite systems, submitted by Roscosmos state corporation and coordinated with the Foreign Ministry and other interested federal executive bodies,” the document reads.
The agreement aims to create an institutional and legal framework for the mutual and beneficial cooperation in the joint use of GLONASS and BeiDou satellite systems for peaceful purposes, the development of navigation technologies using these systems, and increasing the level of knowledge in the civilian use of satellite navigation.
The draft agreement provides for cooperation in the development and production of civil navigation equipment, such as commercial receivers capable of using both GLONASS and BeiDou signals, as well as for the development of Sino-Russian standards for the application of navigation technologies that use GLONASS and BeiDou systems. One example of this cited in press reports includes standards for controlling transport flows on the Russian-Chinese border.
Roscosmos, the state space corporation of Russia, has been instructed to hold negotiations with China and sign an agreement on behalf of the Russian government.
Between them, GLONASS and BeiDou have about 40 operational satellites, with another 20 Chinese satellites due to be launched in the coming years.