China is set to become a major player in the “highly lucrative” satellite navigation market, as it seeks to compete with the U.S. government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS), an analyst said Monday.

But China’s homegrown Beidou system is not likely to overtake the GPS system for now, said Craig Singleton, adjunct fellow at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“China has marked a major step in its race to increase market share in this highly lucrative sector,” Singleton told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”

“The completion of the system also reaffirms China’s status as a world power. It represents a major declaration about its technical independence from the West, which carries wide-ranging geopolitical implications,” said Singleton.

Flags of the U.S. and China fly along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17, 2011.

More than 120 countries — including Pakistan and Thailand — are using China’s Beidou system for purposes such as monitoring traffic at ports or guiding rescue operations, the analyst said.

And Beijing is counting on its massive Belt and Road Initiative to “convince” more countries to use Beidou, he added.

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