Chinese President Xi Jinping said technological breakthroughs are propelling China’s march as a global hub.
“By devoting great energy to implementing the innovation-driven development strategy, we have seen much accomplished toward making China a country of innovators, with major advances made in science and technology,” Xi said when delivering a report to the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in Beijing.
The evidence he cited included the successful launch of the Tiangong-2 space lab, the commissioning of the deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong and of the 500-meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) Tianyan, the launch of the dark matter probe satellite Wukong and the quantum science satellite Mozi, as well as the test flight of the C919 airliner.
The following is a list of technology breakthroughs the country made in 2017.
1.Tianzhou-1 unmanned cargo spacecraft
Launched on April 20, 2017 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province, the Tianzhou-1 unmanned cargo completed automated docking with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab on April 22. As China’s first self-developed cargo spacecraft, it constitutes an important part of China’s manned space mission.
Tianzhou-1 de-orbited and entered the atmosphere again after receiving instructions from the ground following the completion of the space lab mission and follow-up tests on September 22, 2017. (Photo by China Academy of Space Technology)
Tianzhou-1 spacecraft and its developers form “天舟”，Chinese characters for Tianzhou. (Photo by China Academy of Space Technology)
2.China’s domestic-made aircraft carrier
China’s first home-built aircraft carrier was transferred from the dry dock to the water on April 26, 2017. It marked a major achievement in the independent design and construction of an aircraft carrier.
China’s first home-built aircraft carrier is transferred from dry dock to the water on April 26, 2017. (Photo by sina.com)
3. Fuxing bullet train
Officially named on June 25, 2017, the Fuxing bullet train was developed by the China Railway Corporation. Capable of running at a routine speed of 350 km/h and a top speed of 400 km/h, it travels between Beijing and Shanghai in only four-and-a-half hours. China owns exclusive intellectual property rights to the trains.
Fuxing series CR400AF and CR400BF trains are unveiled. (Source: China Railway Corporation)
4. C919 airliner
The C919, China’s first self-produced large plane, completed its first test flight on May 5 at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. It was a historic breakthrough in China’s aircraft manufacturing, proving that China has acquired core competencies in developing modern aircraft.
C919 takes off at the airport. (Photo by Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China)
5. Detection of pulsars by FAST
China's 500-meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) has identified two pulsars, the National Astronomical Observatories announced on October 10, 2017. It was the first time a radio telescope independently developed by Chinese scientists had found pulsars. Launched last September, FAST, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, can receive electromagnetic signals from 13.7 billion light years away.
The FAST under construction. (Photo by government website of the Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province)
6. Mining of combustible ice
On May 18, the China Geological Survey announced the successful mining of combustible ice in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea. It was the first successful mining of the argillaceous-silt type natural gas hydrate, a substance extremely difficult to extract, which accounts for over 90% of the world’s total reservoir of combustible ice.
A flame emerges on the Blue Whale 1 drilling platform in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea, marking China’s successful exploitation of natural gas from the natural gas hydrate at the seabed 1,266 meters under the sea. (Photo by China Youth Online)
7.Mozi quantum satellite
On Aug. 10, Mozi, the world’s first quantum science satellite, realized the world’s first quantum key distribution from a satellite to the ground and quantum teleportation from the ground to a satellite.
Xinglong Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatories interacts with Mozi quantum satellite. (Photo by Micro-satellite Innovation Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences)