BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — Xinhua News Agency on Sunday unveiled its list of the year’s 10 most significant events in China.
The list is reproduced here, with the English descriptions taken directly from Xinhua. Links to both Chinese and English language versions are below. There are slight discrepancies between the different language versions, for example, number 4 is titled ‘A better atmosphere’ in English but the Chinese title is literally something like ‘Big anti air pollution action plan’ – The first shots in the war to protect breathing fired (《大气污染防治行动计划》打响呼吸保卫战). However the content of both lists is essentially the same.
1. Leadership transition
Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was elected president in the government transition, replacing Hu Jintao. Li Keqiang was appointed premier.
Zhang Dejiang was chosen as chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature, while Yu Zhengsheng was elected leader of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top political advisory body.
2. Giant steps in space
Three astronauts went into space aboard the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft on June 11 and returned to Earth on June 26.
During the 15-day mission, Shenzhou-10 docked twice with the orbiting space lab Tiangong-1; once without any intervention by the crew and once manually. The astronauts conducted medical experiments and delivered a lecture to students on Earth about basic physics.
On Dec. 2, China’s lunar probe Chang’e-3, with moon rover Yutu aboard, successfully landed on the moon, the first time that a Chinese spacecraft has soft-landed on an extraterrestrial body.
3. “Mass line” campaign
The Chinese leadership launched a one-year “mass-line” campaign in June to clean up four undesirable work styles — formalism, bureaucracy, hedonism and extravagance — to improve interactions between CPC officials, Party members and the people at large.
4. A better atmosphere
The State Council issued the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in September to control PM2.5 (airborne particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns) and reduce the number of smoggy days. The 10 point plan includes limits to pollutant emissions, optimization of energy use and upgrades to technology.
5. Trials of Bo Xilai
Jinan Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Bo Xilai, once secretary of the CPC Chongqing Municipal Committee and disgraced member of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee, to life imprisonment for bribery, embezzlement and abuse of his power on Sept. 22 after a public trial.
When Bo appealed to a higher court his appeal was rejected and the original sentence upheld.
6. Shanghai FTZ opens for business
On Sept. 29 the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone was launched, as a sandbox for market reform and a boost to economic vitality.
7. CPC draws reform roadmap
The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee from Nov. 9 to 12, adopted resolutions on numerous important issues and promised comprehensively deeper reform, including a decisive role for the market in allocating resources, changes to the one-child policy and an end to the system of reeducation through labor.
8. Deaths at work
A total of 121 people were killed and 76 injured when a fire ripped through a poultry plant in Dehui City in northeast China’s Jilin Province on June 3.
On Nov. 22, an explosion on a section of Sinopec’s underground pipeline in the eastern city of Qingdao in Shandong Province killed 62 people and injured 136.
9. China establishes air defense identification zone
China announced an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone on Nov. 23, requiring all aircraft to report their flight plans and establish identification communications when passing through the area.
The zone includes airspace within the area enclosed the outer limit of China’s territorial waters and six other points.
The zone does not target any specific country and has not affected flight plans of any other countries’ aircraft.
10. Urbanization picks up the pace
The highest level meeting on urbanization from Dec. 12 to 13, promised a steady push towards human-centered urbanization, balancing urban-rural development and stimulating domestic demand.
Focusing on the quality of urbanization and urban living standards, the meeting made helping migrant workers to win urbanite status the number one priority.
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