Young Chinese fancy new professions

Bolstered by forms and models of business, new professions like operation and maintenance personnel of industrial robot systems, ability appraisers for the elderly, and online marketers have sprouted up in China, bringing more choices for young Chinese in the job market.


Tan Hui, who has more than 10 years of experience as a geriatric doctor, is now an ability appraiser for the elderly in a nursing home in Zhuzhou, central China’s Hunan province.

By evaluating seniors’ abilities including their cognitive and mental state, perception, communication and social participation, Tan issues comprehensive assessment reports to help divide the elderly residents into different grades to determine how much care they require.

Industry statistics show China now needs about 1.5 million ability appraisers for the elderly, but the number of people working in this job is currently less than 100,000.

As a new profession, ability appraisers for the elderly could pave the way for tailored senior care services, according to Tan.

Chen Hehua, an engineer from the second plant of Yuxiang Ceramic Industry Co., Ltd. in Liling of Hunan, is also the operation and maintenance personnel of several robotic arms in the plant.

An operation and maintenance personnel of industrial robot systems usually performs data collection, status monitoring, fault diagnosis, and maintenance operations on industrial robots and their systems with a variety of monitoring instruments and maintenance equipment.

Last year, the company sent Chen to an equipment supplier to learn how to maintain robotic arms. Now, Chen maintains and conducts spot checks on the robots every day to ensure appropriate lubrication of parts and temperature of the equipment.

Thanks to Chen’s efforts, the robotic arms can reduce the product damage rate, which was high when human workers transported the products between the 15 links in the production, by about 10 percent and double the efficiency of transferring products on the production line.

Workers are more motivated to become technical talent due to the emergence of new types of work and new professions in the plant, Chen said.

Born after 2000, live streamer Xiaowan, who was a still model in Zhuzhou, never expected that she could become a popular online marketer, who has been trying on down jackets for online shoppers since early autumn.

Xiaowan received training from her company on clothing design, marketing skills and other professional knowledge before becoming an online marketer.

“I can introduce all of the selling points of a piece of clothing in less than a minute,” she said.

To upgrade the traditional wholesale markets, Hunan Tianze Huali E-Commerce Co., Ltd. started training live streamers and online marketers in December 2019, with Xiaowan among the first batch of applicants.

Live streamers are not the only game in town, said Li Tianyun, the company’s deputy general manager, hoping that more talents will become online marketers to promote more diversified and sustainable development of online marketing.

Paid study rooms thrive in China

Paid self-study rooms in a shared space have become more and more popular among learners and entrepreneurs in China in recent years.


By the end of this July, the number of searches for shared study rooms soared by more than 10 times over the same period of last year, according to statistics released by Meituan, China’s service-focused e-commerce giant.

In 2019, about 1,000 paid study rooms were newly added across Chinese cities. So far, there were over 200 shared study rooms in cities including Shenyang, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an, respectively. In particular, Shenyang is home to over 360 such study lounges, ranking first in the country.

Equipped with eye-caring lamps, comfortable tables and chairs, air purifiers and various kinds of stationery, these study rooms also provide tea, snacks and other services.

Consumers of a paid study room usually include college students who want to pass postgraduate entrance exams and civil service exams, white collars, and high school students. In this study room, consumers can pay around 50 yuan ($7.6) to 100 yuan per day for a quiet and friendly learning atmosphere. Users can buy a wide range of packages, such as a monthly, quarterly or yearly pass, depending on their individual needs.

“I cannot concentrate on learning at home at all,” said Huang Han, a regular of a paid study room. “With a better learning atmosphere, the paid self-study room that provides comfortable decoration, lighting and environment is more efficient.”

Huang used to get a seat at the study rooms of colleges or public libraries near her home. However, many colleges remain closed to the public amid the COVID-19 epidemic. As Huang couldn’t reserve a seat at the library nearest to her home, so pays about 10 yuan per hour for a seat in a study room, a price that is acceptable to her.

The fact that seats are hard to get in public libraries is one of the reasons for the popularity of paid study rooms in China.

Chen Suming, a founder of a paid self-study room in Beijing said that he started the business, because he couldn’t get a seat when he wanted to learn.

Another reason is people’s desire for private space. Data from market consultancy company iiMedia Research show that 43.2 percent of users of paid study rooms mainly pay for a private study environment.

Railway makes Beijing, Xiong’an closer

After nearly three years of construction, the 91-kilometer-long intercity railway connecting Beijing and Xiong’an New Area, north China’s Hebei province, opened to traffic on Dec. 27.

Photo taken on Dec. 27 shows the Xiong’an Railway Station in Xiong’an New Area, north China’s Hebei province. (People’s Daily Online/Weng Qiyu)

With a designed top speed of 350 kilometers per hour, it has cut the travel time between the Beijing West Railway Station and Xiong’an New Area to about 50 minutes, and that between the Beijing Daxing International Airport, a station along the railway, and Xiong’an to about 19 minutes.

As another intelligent high-speed railway in China, the intercity railway has adopted many key technologies, achieving more than 70 innovative results.

The intercity railway has employed Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, the first-ever application of BIM in railway industry, and realized 3D and intelligent management throughout the full life cycle concerning design, construction and operation, said Liu Weiqun, chairman of China Railway Design Corporation.

Based on the BIM technology, the railway has made a series of achievements such as automatic rebar processing and intelligent compaction of the roadbed, Liu added.

While improving the construction efficiency and quality with digital designs, the railway also pursues environmentally-friendly, green and energy-efficient construction.

For example, it has set up a fully enclosed noise barrier that stretches for nearly 850 meters, which reduces the noise of the trains to below 20 decibels, lessening the inconvenience for the residential areas along the way.

The Xiong’an Railway Station has also applied photovoltaic power generation on its roof, which could save 30 percent of electric energy.

According to China State Railway Group Co., Ltd., 16 pairs of high-speed trains will be put in operation along the track for now, with slight adjustments expected in the near future.

China steadily resumes marathons

Chun’an county, Hangzhou, east China’s Zhejiang province, hosts a marathon beside the Qiandao Lake, Dec. 6. (People’s Daily Online/Wang Jiancai)

Through precise and differentiated strategies in the prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese Athletics Association (CAA) has gradually resumed marathons in low-risk areas to satisfy the needs of marathon enthusiasts.

On Nov. 29, 10,000 marathon contestants entered the preparation area of the 2020 Nanjing Marathon in the Nanjing Olympic Sports Center in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu province, after going through various testing procedures for epidemic prevention and control, including checks for their body temperature and health QR code.

Before taking part in the race, each of them was required to submit the paper version of their negative nucleic acid test certificate, sign a letter of commitment stating responsibility for their health and safety, and provide a record of the places they had been to in the previous 14 days.

To resume marathon competitions, the top priority for organizers is ensuring adequate measures for epidemic prevention and control.

Local governments in China need to get the approval of relevant local departments, such as disease control and prevention department, before holding marathons, said Shui Tao, deputy secretary general of the CAA, noting that these events are also asked to be kept under certain scale.

Marathon organizers in China have come up with different ideas for meeting the demands of the public amid the pandemic.

Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang province, hosted a marathon by the side of Dongqian Lake on Dec. 12.

The city scaled down this year’s Dongqian Lake event, a “bronze medal” marathon, or third highest-level marathon recognized by the CAA, and only held a half marathon and a mini marathon, involving over 4,000 contestants.

It also provided participants with free nucleic acid testing for the sake of epidemic control.

Based on different conditions in each region, the CAA has taken various measures for marathon events accordingly.

For example, it has encouraged low-risk areas to gradually resume races, and suggested that medium- and high-risk areas should not hold marathon races.

Meanwhile, the association has gradually resumed marathon competitions via both online and offline means.

As offline activities have been reduced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the CAA has innovatively combined the Internet and sports, and carried out online running events extensively.

Online events allow contestants to choose their own routes, and can therefore attract many running enthusiasts from different cities and facilitate the health and fitness of more people.

As of the beginning of October, China has held 368 online marathons, attracting 52 million online participants.

In October, the CAA launched online marathon series, in a bid to complement offline competitions and enrich the forms and platforms of marathon.

On Dec. 20, a marathon involving about 20,000 participants was hosted in Fuzhou, southeast China’s Fujian province, marking the final curtain of the domestic marathon season this year.

The 2021 season will make a start on Jan. 3 next year, when a marathon is scheduled to be held in Xiamen city of Fujian province.

The 2021 sports season is coming, Shui noted, who called for careful and sufficient preparations for marathons.

Offline marathons mean that a large number of people gather together and run a long way to the same destination, which makes effective epidemic control all the more necessary, said Shui.

Shui believes it important to fully consider whether a runner is ready to participate in the races both physically and mentally. He added that CAA has issued a proposal for healthy competition, stressing scientific and systematic training and advocating frequent and short-distance running activities.

City in SE China pursues eco-industries

Photo shows the scenery of tea gardens in Datian county, Sanming, southeast China’s Fujian province. (Photo/Datian bureau of tourism, culture, radio, television and sports)

By developing eco-industries, Sanming city, southeast China’s Fujian province, has witnessed thriving economy and generated higher income for farmers.

The city has proved that a new path to prosperity based on a sound ecological environment is possible, and that ecological conservation and economic development are not meant to confront each other, but to reinforce each other.

“We neither spray tea leaves with pesticides nor weed our tea gardens during the tea growth and harvesting period, as we believe that true organic tea trees and weeds should co-exist in harmony,” said a tea planter of Wulongshan tea garden in Datian county, Sanming city.

The ecological garden with rows of tea trees has not only formed magnificent scenery, but filled the air with a fine scent.

The tea industry has led local residents in Datian to prosperity. Eighteen townships in the county now grow tea trees, a significant increase from four in the past, and the tea industry’s output value in the county has climbed to 3.5 billion yuan ($536.1 million) from less than 30 million yuan.

In Shaxian county of Sanming city, the Shaxian Hongbian Tea Factory has revived the ancient tea-making techniques of Hongbian tea, a variety of Chinese top tea oolong and a specialty of the county, and created jobs for impoverished people in the surrounding areas.

Now the tea industry in Sanming has offered a new path for helping locals become better-off, and become a vital engine driving the construction of its ecological function zones.

In Longjin town of Qingliu county, Sanming city, villagers have turned citrus industry into a cash cow. The collective income of some villages has increased from 40,000 yuan to 400,000 yuan and villagers have moved into new houses and bought cars.

Sanming has witnessed a benign interaction between a sound ecological environment and an optimized industrial structure.

In fact, many industries in Sanming couldn’t have been possible without a good ecological environment. One of the examples is the pharmaceutical industry in Mingxi county of Sanming.

Known as the “greenest county” in Fujian province, Mingxi is perfect for growing the Chinese yew, a type of rare tree in China that is demanding for the environment as well as a source of Taxol, a natural broad-spectrum anticancer substance.

Taking advantage of the natural conditions, Fujian South Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (FSP) in Mingxi county has developed its business and supplied its products to major domestic pharmaceutical factories, and will even enter the European and American markets in the near future.

Another example is the industry of tofu skin, a delicacy made from soybeans, in Qingliu county of the city. The specialty is known far and wide and its market value reaches 100 million yuan.

According to Yu Keshen and his wife, owners of a tofu skin store in the county, tofu skin with such a distinctive soybean aroma can only be made from the clear spring water and soybeans grown in Qingliu with lush mountains.

The sound ecological environment has become a cradle of industries, especially industries with particularly high standards.

Ecological beauty has become a name card of Sanming and symbolizes its “soft power” to attract investment.

The city has reached a broad consensus about ecological conservation, which is best reflected in its forestry reform.

In the past, consuming natural resources was the main source of income for local people and farmers were often seen cut down trees.

By piloting a financial reform and establishing a mechanism of green credit and loan, Sanming has enabled farmers to mortgage their well-maintained forests to a bank to apply for loans and start their businesses.

In this way, the city has protected its forests and revitalized its economy, offering a new solution to using natural resources.

As the largest steel company in Fujian, Sangang Group based in Sanming has always adopted the strictest emission standards, which are stricter than those in the European Union, according to a local official.

Xie Jiaqin, director of the Sanming Municipal Commission of Development and Reform, added that many enterprises have invested in the city because of its superior ecological environment, which has become a golden “signboard” for the city.

While introducing enterprises in the primary, secondary and tertiary industries from outside, Sanming encourages them to develop new techniques and products by following a high-standard approach to preserve the city’s sound environment, rather than just bringing in production capacity.

Blessed with green ecology, Sanming has seen thriving low-carbon economy, green agriculture, forest and health industries. The wonderful story of Sanming coordinating ecological conservation and economic development continues.

China’s museums keep growing

China has become one of the countries with the fastest growing museum capability in the world during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), which is not only good news for museum-lovers, but has also brought more visitors to museums.

A visitor takes photos of an exhibit during a mineral-themed exhibition at Nanjing Museum in Nanjing, east China’s Jiangsu Province, Nov. 27, 2020. (Xinhua/Su Yang)

Statistics show that by the end of 2019, 5,535 museums have been registered nationwide, up 18 percent from 2015. Moreover, museums that are open to the public for free have increased from 85.5 percent to 89.1 percent.

In 2019 alone, museums across the country conducted 28,600 exhibitions, 334,600 educational events and received 1.2 billion visitors, up by 43, 67 and 75 percent respectively when compared with the numbers in 2015. Moreover, 203 museums have been included in the educational base list for middle school and elementary school students.

Wuzhong Museum in Suzhou city in east China’s Jiangsu province has recently held an educational event. During the two-hour event, nearly 300 elementary school students participated in activities such as treasure hunts, commemorative coin making, jigsaw puzzles competition and attending relevant courses. This has allowed young children to learn and experience the local Wu culture.

And this is only one of the many events the museum has launched since it was opened to public in June of this year. Aiming to develop itself into a high-level cultural complex with distinct features, it has launched a large number of events such as the exhibition of culture of the Three Kingdoms (220 to 280 AD), calligraphy and paintings of the Wu School of painting during the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644 AD) and Qing dynasty (1644 to 1911 AD) as well as becoming a venue that offers courses on craftsmanship and kinds of seminars.

The past five years have also brought about an increasing number of non-state-owned museums, whose share has grown from 23.7 percent to 30.9 percent. Jianchuan Museum Cluster is so far the largest non-state museum project in China. There are 32 pavilions that are part of the museum cluster throughout Dayi county, Chengdu city, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China. In June 2018, Chongqing Jianchuan Museum in the Chongqing municipality, which borders Sichuan province, was also opened to public. The museum is composed of eight halls, including the old site of the First Armory Factory (Hanyang Arsenal), the Chongqing story hall, and the Chinese “Xi” (a Chinese character implying double happiness often used for wedding occasions) culture hall. Another hall was added in 2019.

“Without the opportunities of the times, how can I build so many museums,” Fan Jianchuan, curator of the Jianchuan Museum Cluster explained. Now the museum has become a national patriotic education base and a humanities and social sciences base in Chongqing, receiving over 1 million visitors every year.

Community canteens benefit residents

Residents have meals in a community canteen in Hefei, east China”s Anhui province. Combining market-oriented operation and public welfare, the canteen has benefited residents in the neighborhood. (People”s Daily Online/Zhang Hongjin)

Many communities in China have set up canteens for residents in recent years. Small as they are, these canteens offering affordable meals have become a convenience for residents living nearby.

Zhao Meng, a white-collar worker in Longhua district, Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong province, has lunch in a community canteen near the office building he works in almost every day.

“It’s cheap and convenient, and I can have time to take a nap in my office after lunch,” Zhao said.

A chicken and water spinach combo platter in the canteen for only 10 yuan ($1.53).

Community canteens differ from normal restaurants in service scenarios and operational logic, and aim to provide quality food at competitive prices, said Shangguan Xiayu, manager of the community canteen where Zhao frequently goes.

Just like ordering takeout food, community canteens could save residents from the chore of cooking. They could also give customers a public space to socialize with others, something missing in ordering takeouts.

“In community canteens, people can have meals and chat with neighbors, acquaintances in the neighborhood, as well as their colleagues and friends, which brings back memories of the past when neighbors often gathered and ate together in a yard,” said a retired professor surnamed Wang.

As a frequenter of community canteens himself, Wang not only meets old friends in the canteens, but has got new friends there.

As community canteens satisfy the dining needs of a considerable amount of residents, they have emerged as an important dining mode and been introduced to more and more neighborhoods.

This year, cities in China have formulated plans to renovate 39,000 old residential communities, many of which have listed building community canteens as a must for the renovation.

A survey conducted on over 2,000 residents in Jinsong North Community in Chaoyang district, Beijing, showed that the respondents considered setting up community canteens and dealing with residents’ need for more convenient food as the third most important issue among their dozens of requirements, said Chen Bo, secretary of Party committee of the community.

According to Chen, 40 percent of the residents of Jinsong North Community are above the age of 60. Some of them need to take care of their grandchildren and have no time or strength to cook.

For the elderly who live alone, cooking is not only troublesome, but could also be dangerous.

Chen added that 37 percent of the residents are young people, who usually don’t have time to cook either, due to the pressure of work and the fast pace of life.

Community canteens are indeed a good choice for cheap and quality meals, he concluded.

Many residents believe that such canteens have also vitalized communities. Elderly residents are more willing to walk out of the door, thanks to the canteens.

Meanwhile, community canteens have helped cut the living expenses for residents and enabled family members to have more time to better communicate with each other.

As community canteens aim to provide quality food at relatively low prices, they tend not to break even on their own in the early days of their operation, which makes it necessary to seek support from government departments, communities and enterprises.

Many cities have rolled out policies to provide financial support for community canteens, such as operation subsidies and rent reduction or exemption.

Some cities have allowed canteen operators to use public space in communities for free to ease their burden.

While operations are brought on track and gaining increasing popularity, many community canteens have gradually made small profits and realized sustainable business models based on sound commercial logic of their own.

The development of community canteens requires both the assistance of government departments and more scientific and efficient operation based on the market competition, said Cai Zhibing, an associate professor of economics at the National Academy of Governance.

Only in this way can it be possible to guarantee the high-quality, efficient and long-term operation of community canteens, Cai noted.

NW China’s Zhangye achieves rich fruits in developing agriculture in Gobi desert

Zhangye, northwest China’s Gansu province, where the arable land accounts for less than 10 percent of the city’s total land area, has increased the income of 110,000 people by developing Gobi desert agriculture since 2017.

Thanks to water-saving irrigation facilities and the application of technologies in recent years, the city’s accumulative planting area of Gobi desert agriculture has reached 117,600 mu (7,840 hectares), creating an output value of 2.5 billion yuan ($382 million).

Since March 2019, An Hai, a resident in Wangjiadun village, Nijiaying township, Linze county, Zhangye, has built in the Gobi desert 11 steel-frame greenhouses, with each of which covering an area the total size of nine standard basketball courts.

In August this year, he grew in two of the 11 greenhouses wax gourds. The wax gourds are now being sold in batches.

“A greenhouse sees an output of about 60,000 kg of wax gourds and brings an income of at least 150,000 yuan,” said An, who is excited about the yields.

Each greenhouse is equipped with a pool for both watering and fertilizing. Water and fertilizer are mixed in proportion in the pool and then delivered to the roots of wax gourds through drip irrigation pipes.

The ratio of water to fertilizer is decided by agricultural experts, and the irrigation frequency and duration, as well as the temperature and humidity in the greenhouses, are all automatically controlled by a system, according to An.

The lack of water has posed a serious challenge for developing agriculture in the Gobi desert.

To tackle the problem, Zhangye has leveled the land, improved ditches and introduced water-saving irrigation facilities to build high-standard farmland, said Zhang Wenbin, an official in charge of promoting technologies for commercial crops in Zhangye.

The high-standard farmland could save at least one third of the water, which will then be used to supply more farming business in the Gobi desert.

In an eco-industrial park in Minle county, Zhangye, modern smart greenhouses of Haisheng Modern Agriculture Co., Ltd. are known for their highly automated operation.

Covering an area of 200,000 square meters, the greenhouses have been built with advanced materials and under high standards, and have adopted advanced technologies, said An Kangping, production technology manager at the company.

The temperature, humidity and concentration of carbon dioxide in the greenhouses are automatically controlled by computers, he noted.

The quantity, size, color and taste of each bunch of tomatoes in the greenhouses are about the same, thanks to a precision water and fertilizer circulation system and the sensors installed in the greenhouses that ensure a consistent environment for the plants’ growth.

The government of Zhangye has rolled out a series of measures and policies to encourage companies to invest in agriculture in the Gobi desert.

Since 2017, Zhangye has won a total of 215 million yuan of central and provincial funds, which have been used to support companies in such aspects as allocation of land, construction of infrastructure facilities, breeding of seedling and microorganism, introduction of water-saving irrigation facilities, R&D, sale as well as brand building in the forms of subsidies and rewards.

“Thanks to the help of township officials, I got the property certificate for over 50 mu of land pretty soon and was then able to mortgage the land for 2 million yuan,” An Hai said.

Agronomists at an agricultural and rural service center of Nijiaying township also give him advice on growing seedlings, field management, plant disease and pest control, according to An Hai.

“The agronomists visit me at least twice every week and have taught me to control the density of wax guards and improve the yields,” he said.

China to maintain steady growth in 2021

A visitor is in talks for purchase of navel oranges from southern Jiangxi at the Ganzhou booth of the 13th China Green Food Expo at the Nanchang Greenland International Expo Center in Nanchang, capital of east China’s Jiangxi province, Dec. 18. (People’s Daily Online/Zhu Haipeng)

In a speech at the annual Central Economic Work Conference held in Beijing from Dec. 16 to 18, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, reviewed the country’s economic work in 2020, analyzed the current situation and arranged the economic work for next year, charting the course for China’s steady growth in the coming year.

The meeting serves as an important window for the world to take the pulse of the general tone of China’s economic policies next year, through which the world has a clearer perception that the Chinese economy with strong resilience and enormous vitality will inject more confidence and momentum into the global recovery and growth in the post-COVID-19 era.

Just like heroes rise in chaos, it is in difficulties that a country distinguishes itself.

This year is an unusual year in the history of the People’s Republic of China, as the country faces severe and complicated international situations, arduous tasks in seeking reform, development and stability at home, and heavy blows from the COVID-19 epidemic in particular, the meeting said.

China has made historic achievements that have satisfied the people and impressed the world as the leadership has maintained strategic focus, made accurate judgment on situations, made well-planned deployment, took decisive actions and made arduous efforts.

The country was among the first to contain the virus, resume work and production and resume positive growth. It has become the only major economy in the world that has secured positive growth this year.

China’s GDP is expected to exceed 100 trillion yuan ($15.31 trillion) in 2020, and its share of the global total will rise from last year’s 16.3 percent to about 17.5 percent.

The international society has generally expressed optimism about China’s economic prospects. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, gauges of Chinese economic activity signal a broadening recovery in China’s economy.

BlackRock, the world’s largest money management firm, said that China is a distinct pole of global growth. The British think tank Oxford Economics and U.S. bank giant Goldman Sachs Group raised their forecast on China’s economic growth in 2021.

What’s the secret of China’s hard-won economic achievements? In times of crisis, the whole Party, the whole nation and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups can always rely on the authority of the CPC Central Committee to rise to challenges, said the Central Economic Work Conference.

The meeting regarded putting people first as the fundamental premise of making correct decisions and viewed the institutional strengths of the country as the fundamental guarantee for gathering great strengths in overcoming difficulties.

Scientific decision-making and creativity are the fundamental ways to transforming crises into opportunities, while scientific and technological self-reliance and self-strengthening provide primary support for development, the meeting said.

These represent China’s in-depth understanding of developing economy in the face of severe challenges through the country’s practice of taking both domestic and international situations into consideration and coordinating epidemic control and economic and social development. They are also a source of inspiration for the world based on China’s economic development.

Those who recognize the trend are wise and those who ride the trend will win.

In today’s world, the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world economy into recession and hit hard societies and people’s livelihoods. Its impact is even worse than that of the 2008 global financial crisis, and the outlook for economic recovery remains highly uncertain.

China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development at present and for the foreseeable future, but it will surely face new changes in both opportunities and challenges.

The meeting analyzed the current economic situation in China and the world in an objective and rational manner and put forward overall requirements, main goals, policy priorities and key tasks for the country’s economic work in the coming year.

China will remain committed to the underlying principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability and keep its macro policies consistent, stable and sustainable, according to the meeting, which is of great significance to China’s economic development and global recovery.

Johannes Pflug, a city official of Duisburg, Germany, who is responsible for Chinese affairs, said China’s economy is expected to continue to play a leading role in driving global economic recovery in 2021.

As the Chinese economy has been deeply integrated into the global economy, China’s efforts to expand high-level opening-up have attracted global attention.

In 2021, the country will take a solid first step in building a new development paradigm in which domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay, the meeting said.

The security and stability of industrial and supply chains are the foundation of forming the new development paradigm and fostering a strong domestic market provides an important underpinning for the paradigm, according to the meeting.

To build the new development paradigm, China must establish a high-level socialist market economic system, pursue a high-level opening-up, and make reforms and opening-up reinforce each other, it stressed.

The new development paradigm is not a development loop behind closed doors, but more open domestic and international circulations, and it will not only meet China’s own development needs but also deliver greater benefits to people in all countries.

Recently, China inked the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with relevant countries. The country will positively consider joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the meeting said.

Such attempts fully demonstrate that China is engaged in fostering an open world economy and bringing more benefits to global economic growth.

The year 2021 marks the beginning of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) and the CPC’s 100th founding anniversary. It’s a year of special importance in the process of China’s modernization drive.

As China enters a new stage of development, pursues the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and inclusive development, and builds the new development pattern, it will surely maintain steady economic growth along the right course of high-quality development.

While making new and greater miracles, China will work with other countries to write a new chapter and usher in a bright future.

Breakthroughs made by Chang’e-5 probe

In the early hours of Dec. 17, China’s Chang’e 5 lunar probe touches down in Siziwang Banner, north China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, with moon samples. (Photo by Xing Jingping/People’s Daily Online)

In the early hours of Dec. 17, the return capsule of China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe returned to Earth with samples collected from the moon, marking a complete success of China’s Chang’e-5 mission, said an official with the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Chang’e-5 is one of the most complex and challenging missions in China’s aerospace history, and brought back the country’s first-ever soil samples from an extraterrestrial body, said Wu Yanhua, vice administrator of the CNSA and deputy chief commander of the China Lunar Exploration Program, at a press conference on the Chang’e 5 mission.

On Nov. 24, a Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang’e-5 probe blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan province.

After two orbital corrections, Chang’e-5 probe decelerated and entered the lunar orbit on Nov. 28.

The lander-ascender combination of the probe separated from the orbiter-returner combination, and successfully landed on the near side of the moon and started sampling on Dec. 1.

After grabbing samples, the ascender of Chang’e-5 took off from the lunar surface and entered the preset lunar orbit on Dec. 3. Later, it rendezvoused and docked with the orbiter-returner combination in lunar orbit, and transferred the samples to the returner.

After conducting orbital maneuver twice, the orbiter-returner entered the moon-Earth transfer orbit.

Then on Dec. 17, the returner of Chang’e-5 probe separated from the orbiter and returned to Earth, bringing the mission to the scientific research stage.

In its 23-day journey, Chang’e-5 probe accomplished one docking and six separations, adopted two methods of moon sampling, and carried out five transfers of samples. A total of 11 major stages and key procedures were involved in the mission.

The milestone mission has accomplished several firsts for China, including the first moon sampling, the first liftoff from an extraterrestrial body, the first rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, the first spacecraft carrying samples to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed, as well as the first storage, analysis and research system of moon samples.

The success of Chang’e-5 mission is a new milestone in the development of China’s space industry, proving that China has mastered the technology for shuttling between Earth and the moon, Wu said.

It marks a successful conclusion of China’s current three-step lunar exploration program of orbiting, landing and bringing back samples, and has laid a solid foundation for China’s future lunar and planetary exploration, he added.

In the Chang’e-5 mission, China coordinated and cooperated with countries and international organizations including the European Space Agency, Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan in space tracking and control.

The country also invited foreign diplomats and officials of international organizations to watch the launch of Chang’e-5 spacecraft at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site.

Leaders of some countries, heads of foreign space agencies and some international organizations, as well as many international space practitioners and friends, have congratulated China on and praised the country for the successful mission, and expressed wishes for further cooperation.

China will solicit cooperation proposals extensively in accordance with the regulations on the management of lunar samples and data, and invite more scientists around the world to join in moon research in a bid to achieve more scientific results, according to Wu.

Following the success of Chang’e-5 lunar mission, China will continue implementing the fourth phase of its lunar exploration program and the planetary exploration program, according to Wu.

As China is about to enter the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), Wu also introduced the major aerospace tasks China will carry out during the next five years and even a longer period of time.

Wu noted that the fourth phase of the country’s lunar exploration program mainly includes four tasks: Chang’e-4 landing on the moon’s far side for roving exploration, Chang’e 6 to perform China’s second sample return mission, as well as Chang’e-7 and -8 missions.

China is willing to cooperate with relevant countries and international organizations to deliberate on the basic capabilities for the initial construction of a lunar research station and test key technologies.

The country’s plan for planetary exploration has also become basically clear. On July 23, Tianwen-1, China’s first Mars exploration mission, was launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site.

Tianwen-1 Mars probe has traveled about 370 million kilometers in space and reached more than 100 million kilometers away from Earth.

The probe is scheduled to reach the “Red Planet” in mid-February, 2021. Later in mid-May, it will land on the planet and carry out roving exploration.

China has also planned three planetary exploration missions for the near future, including an exploration and sampling mission to asteroids, a sample-retrieval mission to Mars, as well as an exploration mission to the Jupiter system.

In terms of manned space flight, Wu said a total of 11 missions to build China’s space station are planned for the next two years.

The country will make full use of the technologies of its new-generation launch vehicles such as Long March-5, 6 and 7, improve its non-toxic and pollution-free new-generation carrier rockets, and ensure that the launch vehicles can be serialized to meet the demands of launch missions concerning various orbits and spacecrafts with different weights.

The country is also tackling the bottlenecks of key technologies related to the development of heavy-lift launch vehicles, and conducting iterative optimization on development plans.

Wu pointed out that China will keep advancing the national civil space infrastructure in the next five years, providing strong support and guarantee for various fields of the national economy.

As an important part of the country’s strategic emerging industries, the civil space infrastructure will also bring better products and services to the production and life of people.