China successfully launched its Yaogan-29 remote sensing satellite on a Long March 4C rocket early on Friday from the Taiyuan satellite launch centre in Shanxi Province.
The launch took place at 05:24 Beijing time (21:24 UTC Thursday), making it China's 16th orbital launch of 2015 so far.
Some domestic sources state the satellite, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, has a spatial resolution of 0.5 metres, though the instrument is not known.
Chinese state media claim the satellite will be used for experiments, land surveys, crop yield estimates and disaster relief.
However, western analysts believe the series of satellites use electronic intelligence (ELINT), electro-optical and synthetic aperture radar-sensing equipment for military purposes.
Spaceflightnow.com has previously claimed that the Yaogan name may be a cover for a spy satellite program, dedicated to optical and radar imaging, maritime surveillance and related missions.
Yaogan-29 was placed into a 615 x 619 km x 97.8 degree sunsynchronous orbit by the Long March 4C, which can lift 2,800 kilograms to such orbits, or 4,200 kilos to low Earth orbit.
Debris from the rocket fell in Hubei province, with no damage or injuries reported.