2017 witnessed a number of significant events in China, ranging from record-breaking bullet trains and movies to kindergarten abuse, multi-billion dollar deal and a key meeting of the country’s Communist Party.
We look back over the past 12 months to pick the top ten Chinese events that shaped the year.
China’s first domestically-constructed aircraft carrier launched
Chinese first homemade aircraft carrier was launched in Dalian in April, a coastal city in China's northeast Liaoning Province. China News Service
China's first homemade aircraft carrier was launched in April. The ‘Type 001A’, as it is currently known, is expected to be named ‘Shandong’, the name of a coastal province, just as the country's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, is named after another province in China's northeast.
With a displacement of 50,000 tonnes, the new carrier is capable of carrying J-15 fighter jets and is equipped with a ski-jump take off. Following the launch, the Type 001A is expected to enter service for the People's Liberation Army Navy by 2020.
China establishes three new state-level areas
An aerial view over a patch of Xiong'an New Area, Hebei Province, in April 2017. Photo: chinanews
China announced the establishment of the Xiong'an New Area (XNA) in Hebei Province in April. According to the State Council, XNA is a New Area of national significance after the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) and the Shanghai Pudong New Area (SPNA). XNA is located around 100 kilometres south of Beijing and will eventually cover 2,000 square kilometres. It is hoped that the area will attract a population of 2-2.5 million, and help to transfer Beijing's 'non-capital functions'.
China signs Belt and Road deals with 69 countries and organisations
Chinese President Xi Jinping speaking at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on May 14, 2017. Janne Suokas gbtimes
The first Belt and Road Forum commenced in May in Beijing, bringing together state leaders and international delegates to discuss the realisation of China’s Belt and Road initiative. As many as 69 countries and organisations have officially signed up to the trade and investment initiative. The forum also passed a list of 270achievements, including an aim to host an International Import Expo' next year to boost the new Belt and Road trade openness initiative and further promote globalisation. The next Belt and Road Forum will be held in 2019.
Google’s AlphaGo beats Ke Jie to wrap up three-part match
Google's artificial intelligence-based program AlphaGo defeated Chinese Go player and world number one Ke Jie in May. Photo: chinanews
Google’s artificial intelligence-based system AlphaGo beat the best human Go player in the world, China's 19-year-old Ke Jie in May.
After three defeats to the machine, Ke sees no point in playing Go – or Weiqi as the board game is called in Chinese – against Google’s machine again.
"The gap between me and AlphaGo is too huge. I can't catch it up in my lifetime.” Ke said after the game.
China launches the world’s fastest bullet train
China's newly launched high-speed train Fuxing, meaning "rejuvenation", will travel at 350km/h from September onwards. China News Service Photo: chinanews
China launched its next-generation bullet train 'Fuxing', which boasts a top speed of 400 km/h. Fuxing, whose name means 'rejuvenation', is the first bullet train designed and manufactured by Chinese engineers without any help from the West.
Two new Fuxing trains debuted on the country’s busiest route, the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail link, in June, cutting the journey time between the two cities from five hours to four hours, 28 minutes.
Wolf Warriors 2 breaks China box office records
Chinese martial artist Wu Jing’s sequel to his 2015 film becomes the highest-earning film ever at the mainland box office of 2017. Mtime
Wolf Warrior 2, a home-grown action sequel about a Chinese Special Forces agent who comes out of retirement to fight Western mercenaries is the biggest movie of the year. With US$8.54bn at the box office, the movie is the highest-earning film in Chinese mainland box office history and the 55th highest grossing movie of all time. It also helped China’s box office cross a new threshold.
Ninth annual BRICS summit held in Xiamen, China
The BRICS New Development Bank has approved three loan agreements of 5 billion yuan for Chinese projects during the 9th BRICS Summit. Photo: China News Service
The BRICS annual summit, with its theme “Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”, was held in September in Xiamen, China. It was attended by the heads of state of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
The New Development Bank has approved three loan agreements totaling more than 5bn yuan (US$764m) for three Chinese projects as part of the 9th BRICS summit.
In return, China will provide an initial fund of US$76.5m to strengthen economic and technological cooperation among BRICS nations.
19th National Congress of the Communist party of China concludes
From L-R: Han Zheng, Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Wang Yang and Zhao Leji meet the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, on October 25, 2017. Photo: Li Tao Xinhua
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held in October.
The new CPC Central Committee members were elected during the Congress and Xi Jinping was re-elected as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee—he was also named the chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC).
He revealed a five-year roadmap to realize the 'Chinese Dream' and called upon the military to build a stronger army.
China, US sign trade deals worth $250bn during Trump state visit
President Donald Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping during his first visit to Beijing in November 2017. Photo:China News Service
Chinese and US companies signed business deals worth a total of US$250bn during President Donald Trump's first visit to Beijing in November.
The deals include Boeing aircraft, Ford automobiles, and US soybeans, as well as the joint development of liquefied natural gas in Alaska.
Trump’s visit to China was part of his official 12-day trip to Asia, which took him to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
China’s RYB kindergarten abuse claims stir up public outrage
Allegations that children were “sexually molested, pierced by needles and given unidentified pills” at the RYB kindergarten in Beijing rocked China’s booming childcare industry, as well as the country’s netizens.
A 22-year-old female teacher at the kindergarten was detained, while the principal of the facility was sacked. A 31-year-old woman was arrested for spreading rumors that a military regiment was involved in the case.
The Beijing Municipal Commission of Education later instructed that every kindergarten in Beijing will be assigned one educational inspector to oversee operations.