Top 10 national news of year selected by People’s Daily

1. Successful 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China

The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held in Beijing from October 18 to 24. It was a meeting of great importance during a decisive stage in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and at a critical moment as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era.

The meeting approved the report to the 19th CPC National Congress delivered by Secretary General Xi Jinping of the CPC Central Committee on behalf of the 18th CPC Central Committee, approved the Report on the Work of the 18th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), reviewed and approved the Revised Constitution of the Communist Party of China, and elected members for the new CPC Central Committee and CCDI.

“Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” has been enshrined in the Revised CPC Constitution as part of the Party’s guide to action.

On Oct. 25, Xi Jinping was elected as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee at the first plenary session of the 19th CPC National Congress.

2. Establishment of Xiongan New Area

Xiongan New Area, a state-level new area in the Baoding area of Hebei province, was established in March. The area covers the counties of Xiong, Rongcheng, and Anxin.

The establishment of the new area was a major decision made by the CPC Central Committee to promote the synergetic development of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei, and its construction is part of the country’s “millennium strategy.”

3. Passing and implementation of General Provisions of the Civil Law

China’s national legislature passed the General Provisions of the Civil Law at the 5th session of the 12th National People’s Congress on March 15. The provisions took effect on October 1.

Comprising 206 articles, the provision will play a significant role in the protection of the legitimate interests of civil entities, adjustment of civil relations, and preserving social and economic order.

4. Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held from May 14 to 15 in Beijing. The forum is the highest level and largest meeting under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, participated by more than 1,500 delegates, including 29 heads of states and governments, from 130 countries and 70 international organizations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed in his keynote speech that with a spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, and mutual learning and mutual benefit, each country should build on the sound momentum generated to steer the Belt and Road Initiative toward greater success, and build it into a path for peace, prosperity, openness, and innovation, one that connects different civilizations.

5. China’s first domestic-made aircraft carrier hits water

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier was transferred from the dry dock to the water on April 26. The independent design and construction of the aircraft carrier marked a major achievement for the country, and it revealed China’s improved overall national strength.

6. Grand military parade celebrating the 90th anniversary of the PLA

A grand military parade celebrating the 90th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was held at Zhurihe Training Base in Inner Mongolia on July 30. General Secretary Xi Jinping inspected the troops and delivered an important speech. It was the first grand military parade for celebrating the founding of PLA. A total of 12,000 soldiers, 600 vehicles, and 100 aircraft were inspected.

7. Maiden flight of Chinese-built airliner the C919

The C919, China’s first domestically-made large passenger aircraft, completed its maiden flight on May 5. The success marked a significant breakthrough for the country’s civil aircraft technology. China is one of the few countries in the world with the ability to develop large passenger aircraft.

8. National pilot project for supervision system

The 30th session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee adopted a decision to promote a nationwide pilot project to reform the supervision system on November 4. The move is considered a major political reform to improving the supervision system with Chinese characteristics and strengthening the self-supervision of the Party and the country.

9. CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting

Themed “Working Together toward a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity and a Better World: Responsibilities of Political Parties,” the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting was held in Beijing from November 30 to December 3. General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. It was a historical meeting for the CPC and a groundbreaking one for the world’s political parties.

10. Completion of the main structure of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge

Upon the completion of its undersea tunnel, the main structure of world’s longest cross-sea bridge linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macao was finished on July 7. The 55-kilometer-long bridge is the world’s most complicated and difficult bridge, with the world’s longest span in the history of highway construction.

China to green its construction to cope with climate challenge: State Council Counselor

China will green its construction to cope with climate challenge, said Qiu Baoxing, counselor of the State Council and former vice minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. Green construction will become a new name card for China, one with global impact, he added.

Qiu made the remarks following a press conference on the 14th International Conference on Green and Energy-Efficient Building held in Beijing.

The counselor believes that the green construction industry will embrace a critical period of development as China enters the 40th year of the reform and opening up in 2018.

The long-term goal of green development, the establishment of the carbon market, and Chinese government’s determination to make the skies blue again will all serve as significant opportunities for the industry, Qiu noted.

Qiu suggested constructors pre-fabricate each building part and assemble them on site, so that the process of house making will be more environmentally friendly.

In addition, the method could also serve as strategic supply for the country in times of emergency, as the construction parts are recyclable.

According to Qiu, green construction should be done in accordance with local environments in a bid to better adapt to local climate and reduce energy consumption.

He predicted that smart facilities would become a trend for green construction. These smart facilities can informationize the functions of buildings through artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and big data, and reduce the energy consumption to the minimum.

Moreover he said that the construction should take dwellers’ health into consideration by upgrading the construction materials and optimizing the design of patterns and public spaces.

Norman Bethune’s grandnephew comes to China to study Chinese

Grandnephew of noted Canadian communist Norman Bethune who offered remarkable medical assistance to China during the War of Resistance against Japan has come to China to learn Chinese, Chinese newspaper Shenghuo reported Thursday.

Now the descendant of the heroic anti-Fascist fighter, Mark Bethune, is studying at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province.

Mark hopes the language will serve as a bridge so he can start a new journey in China in tribute to his granduncle.

Mark was granted a souvenir medal commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the defeat of fascist forces on behalf of Norman in Beijing in September 2015.

During his stay in Beijing, a simple conversation with a local taxi driver who mentioned Norman inspired him to study Chinese. “I was deeply moved by the Chinese who are in deep remembrance of Norman,” Mark said.

So far, Mark has been studying at HIT for eight months. “I like Harbin very much, and I enjoy my life here,” he said.

When speaking of the worldwide frenzy of Chinese learning, Mark noted that China, with a rapid development, is becoming more and more influential in the world. According to him, it is a common aspiration for many foreign students to speak fluent Chinese.

Mark said that China has 300 million young people, which is equal to the total population of the United States. How to pass on the spirit of Norman Bethune to the young generation of this country has long been a major concern for him. “I think it will be better for me to tell his stories in Chinese,” he said.

Mark hopes to enlarge his social circle at HIT so that he can have a better understanding of China in the new era. Currently, he is working on a screenplay about his granduncle, hoping to introduce Norman’s spirit to the world.

Shenzhen becomes world’s first city with all-electric public transportation

Over 16,000 electro-buses have been put into use in China’s southeastern city Shenzhen, making the city the first of its kind that possesses a fully electrified public transportation system.

According to a report by local authorities released on Dec. 27, all 16,359 buses (except 634 non-electric buses for emergency transportation) have been converted into all-electric vehicles, while 12,518 electro-taxies now account for 62.5 percent of the city’s cab market.

Shenzhen authorities noted that the city’s former plan of establishing an all-electric taxi system in 2020 is expected to be fulfilled ahead of schedule.

In an effort to ensure the quality of Shenzhen’s public transportation system, the local authorities have built 510 charging stations and 5,000 charging piles. The efforts have improved environment and air quality by reducing 1.35 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and saving 366,000 tones of standard coal consumption per year.

107 Chinese cities issue special plates for new energy vehicles

So far 107 Chinese cities have issued car plates special designed for new energy vehicles (NEV), reported on Dec. 28.

According to the Traffic Administration Bureau of China’s Public Security Ministry, a total of 265,700 such plates have been issued nationwide, including 189,500 for battery-only electric vehicles and 76,200 for other fuel cell-powered and hybrid vehicles.

The management office has also issued an innovative policy, allowing plate applicants to pick their numbers through an online system.

Unmanned noodle-serving house appears in Xi’an

An unmanned house serving steaming noodles recently appeared on a street in Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, reported on Dec. 26.

The machine at the noodle house can make noodles according to orders without any cook or waiter. It only takes one minute for a bowl of steaming noodles to be served after paying the bill on a smartphone.

Zhang Xiaobin, founder of the unmanned noodle house, said that his team spent five years developing the intelligent machine, which can ensure a 24-hour supply of noodles.

He added that the machine can also notify them of short supply in advance by sending a message to their phones.

Customers were all amazed by the machine, saying the noodles served by it are really delicious.


Mobile payment available at metro stations in Hangzhou

Mobile payment is now available at all metro stations in Hangzhou, eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, making Hangzhou the first city in China to realize full coverage of mobile payment in the public traffic system, China News reported on Dec. 27.

Users of Alipay, a mobile payment app, will get a QR code on their smartphones, which they can use to enter the ticket gates at all 72 subway stations of the city’s three metro lines.

Mobile payment, launched on Wednesday, makes use of cloud technology and big data technology. It relieves passengers from the burden of buying tickets in advance, thus shortening wait times for ticket purchases.

A passenger is using a QR code to go through the ticket gate at a subway station in Hangzhou, Dec. 27.

There are two mobile-ready ticket gate machines for entry and two for exit at each station during the trial period, said Wu Ting, spokesperson with Hangzhou Metro Group, adding that the service will be expanded to all ticket gate machines at metro stations in Hangzhou by the end of March 2018.

Father’s unique portrait paintings of daughters go viral online

A 32-year-old Chinese man named Wan Li is a hit online because of the unique portraits he painted for his two daughters.

The Western oil painting style portraits incorporate elements of traditional Chinese painting, revealing a unique beauty of the oriental country.

According Wan, his daughters are too young to be models for painting, so he used photos of them as his source of inspiration.

He spends eight to ten hours a day on his paintings and each one of them can take up to several months to finish. He finished a total of 15 paintings in three years.

“Painting reminds me of their younger days and I can envision their future,” Wan said, adding that he hopes they will never grow up.

He believes paintings are better than photos, because they are more appealing and commemorative.

He hopes when his daughters grow up, these paintings will not only remind them of their childhood, but also make them feel the love of their parents.

3,271 cargo train trips between China, Europe made in first 11 months of 2017

3,271 cargo train trips have been made between China and Europe in the first 11 months of 2017, reported Tuesday.

Testing for new routes will start next year, said a plenary session of a transport coordinating committee of China-Europe freight trains recently held in Chongqing municipality.

According to Wu Yuntian, secretary of the committee, 6,235 trips have been made between the two places since the start of operations till Nov. 30.

The China-Europe freight train service now links more than 30 Chinese cities with 30 European cities in 10 countries.

The scope of the transported cargo has also expanded from IT products to clothing, vehicles, food, wine, coffee beans, wood, furniture, chemicals, and mechanical equipment.

The service operator aims to increase the number of trips to 4,000 in 2018, with 1,500 ones bound for China.

In addition, a sharing platform of refrigerated containers will be established to meet the growing demand for cold-chain transportation, Wu noted.

World’s first VR zoo to be opened in Guangzhou

The world’s first virtual reality (VR) zoo will be opened in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province, on the first day of 2018, enabling the public to see rare animals and have amazing interactions, local newspaper Guangzhou Daily reported Tuesday.

The VR project is a bold attempt by the 60-year-old Guangzhou Zoo, the paper said, adding that the VR zoo is formulating a new name card for the city.

“VR technology will be applied to more areas including animal research, protection, and wild animal reservation,” said Chen Zujin, a staff member in charge of science education at the zoo.

According to him, the VR zoo will also open an online channel for all animal lovers across the globe.