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Top 10 National Events
2015's Top 10 National News Stories
Key words: World Anti-Fascist War, Four Comprehensives, 13th Five-Year Plan, Winter Olympics, Xi-Ma Meeting, Tu Youyou, C919 passenger aircraft, Zhou Yongkang,Tianjin port explosions, HK election
 NO. 52 DECEMBER 24, 2015

A formation of conventional missiles passes in front of the Tiananmen Square during the military parade in Beijing on September 3 (XINHUA)

Military Parade Marking War Victory 

On September 3, a military parade was held in Beijing to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

President Xi Jinping said in a speech before the para"'de that the people of China made great contributions to the victory of the war against fascism. He expressed China's determination to stick to the path of peaceful development while maintaining world peace, and announced that China would cut the number of its troops by 300,000.

A total of 12,000 Chinese troops in 50 formations paraded throughout Tiananmen Square. More than 500 pieces of military equipment of over 40 types and nearly 200 aircraft of more than 20 variations were displayed.

Formations from the 11 foreign countries that participated in the parade included those from Russia, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Serbia and Tajikistan.

Additionally, representative teams from six countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Vanuatu and Venezuela were present at the parade.

Also attending the ceremony were 65 foreign dignitaries including foreign state leaders, senior government representatives, leaders of the UN and other international organizations, as well as former political leaders.

President Xi Jinping gives a speech on the Four Comprehensives concept at a workshop attended by high-ranking officials in the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in Beijing on February 2 (XINHUA)

Four Comprehensives Concept Proposed 

On February 2, President Xi Jinping gave, for the first time, an authoritative interpretation of the Four Comprehensives political concept at a workshop attended by high-ranking officials in the Party School of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

According to Xi, the Four Comprehensives consist of a strategic objective that is "comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society," and three strategic measures including "effectively deepening reforms, thoroughly advancing the rule of law and conclusively strengthening Party discipline."

The Four Comprehensives clarify key targets and areas in China's efforts to pursue national rejuvenation.

China has also established two "centenary goals" for its development. The first centers on doubling the 2010 GDP and per-capita income of urban and rural residents and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects in China when the CPC celebrates its centenary in 2021. The second goal focuses on ultimately turning China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the time the People's Republic of China marks its centenary in 2049.

Participants vote at the Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee held in Beijing from October 26 to 29 (XINHUA)

Blueprint for Next Five Years Unveiled 

The 18th Communist Party of China's Central Committee held its Fifth Plenary Session in Beijing from October 26 to 29.

In the Proposal on Formulating the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) for National Economic and Social Development adopted at the meeting, new targets were put forward for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. These goals include doubling 2010's GDP and per-capita income of both urban and rural residents by 2020, promoting greater sophistication in the industrial sector and eliminating rural poverty.

The meeting stressed that China should highlight and implement development concepts that are focused on innovation-driven, balanced, green, and open development that everyone can benefit from.

It was also decided at the meeting to remove the one-child birth policy in China and allow all couples to have two children, a measure aiming at balancing the populace and addressing the challenge of an aging population.

Members of the Chinese delegation celebrate Beijing’s winning of the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31 (XINHUA)

Successful Winter Olympic Bid  

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to award Beijing and its co-bidder Zhangjiakou in north China's Hebei Province the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics at the committee's 128th Session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 31. Beijing will become the first city in the world to host both the summer and winter Olympic games.

Beijing beat Kazakhstan's Almaty by 44 votes to 40, with one IOC member abstaining.

On December 15, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (Beijing 2022) was launched.

Beijing, in full alignment with the principles of the Olympic Agenda 2020, has stressed sustainability as one of the key pillars of the 2022 Games' plans. It has proposed a $1.56-billion event budget and another $1.51-billion construction budget. To save costs, some of the same venues used for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games will be used during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou shake hands during their meeting at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore on November 7 (XINHUA)

Xi-Ma Meeting  

The first meeting between the leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Straits since 1949 was held between Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou in Singapore on November 7. The two leaders addressed each other as "mister" during the meeting.

In their talks, the two leaders acknowledged the major achievements made during the peaceful development of the cross-Straits relations since 2008. They agreed to continue to stick to the 1992 Consensus on the one-China principle, consolidate common political ground, promote peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and safeguard the peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits.

Both sides also agreed to take active measures to expand and deepen economic, cultural and social exchanges and cooperation across the Taiwan Straits to boost affinity among compatriots.

Tu Youyou shows off the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine after the awards ceremony on December 10 in Stockholm, Sweden (XINHUA)

Tu Youyou Awarded the Nobel Prize 

On October 5, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute announced to give the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Tu Youyou, making the 84-year-old pharmacologist the first winner of a Nobel Prize in science from the Chinese mainland.

Tu won the honor for developing artemisinin, a drug for malaria that has saved millions of lives across the world, especially in developing countries.

She shared the Nobel Prize with William C. Campbell from Ireland and Satoshi Ōmura from Japan, who were recognized for their novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites.

Tu is the lead researcher of the Beijing-based China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. Over the years, she has been engaged in researching the integration of traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine. In 2011, she was conferred the Lasker Award, a prestigious award from the United States, in New York City, for the discovery of artemisinin.

The C919 large passenger airplane rolls out of the assembly line in Shanghai on November 2 (CFP)

Debut of the C919 Passenger Aircraft 

The C919, China's first home-made large passenger aircraft that adheres to the latest international airworthiness standards, rolled off the assembly line in Shanghai on November 2.

With 156-seat, 168-seat and 174-seat layouts, the C919 jetliner has a standard cruising range of 4,075 km and maximum range of 5,555 km. As of November 2, its producer, the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, Ltd., had received orders for 517 of the planes from 21 clients from home and abroad.

The aircraft's design and development involved more than 200 aircraft component manufacturers and research teams from 36 higher-learning institutions in 22 provinces and municipalities across China. More than 200,000 technicians participated in its production cycle. Also, more than 30 foreign firms including General Electric and Honeywell of the United States have supplied components for the project.

The C919's maiden flight is scheduled for 2016.

Zhou Yongkang hears his sentence at the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People’s Court on June 11 (SCREENSHOT)

Zhou Yongkang on Trial 

On June 11, Zhou Yongkang, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Tianjin No.1 Intermediate People's Court for accepting bribes, abusing his power and deliberately disclosing state secrets.

So far, Zhou is the highest-ranking official to be taken down by the ongoing anti-corruption drive in China.

Following Zhou's sentence, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, on July 30, decided to expel Guo Boxiong, who served as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission from 2002 to 2012, from the Party for taking bribes. Guo's case and the relevant evidence have been transferred to military prosecutors in accordance with the law.

On October 12, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee adopted new regulations for clean governance and penalties for those who violate the Party's code of conduct. This move updated the existing rules following the launch of its anti-corruption drive.

The warehouse of the Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics Co. Ltd. at the Port of Tianjin is shrouded in heavy smoke on August 13 after big blasts of the previous evening (XINHUA)

Tianjin Port Explosions 

On August 12, a series of explosions erupted at a chemical warehouse at the Port of Tianjin in north China's city of Tianjin.

As of September 11, the official casualty report was 165 deaths, 8 missing and 798 injuries. Those killed included 110 policemen and firefighters.

On August 27, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, China's top procuratorial body, launched probes against 11 officials and port executives in Tianjin who were allegedly involved in the case and accused them of dereliction of duty and abuse of power.

The police have also detained 12 suspects from the Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics Co. Ltd., the owner of the warehouse that had exploded. The company and the detainees were suspected of illegally storing dangerous materials, according to the police.

On September 22, an investigation group sent by the State Council, China's cabinet, said that initial investigations found that the blasts were an extraordinarily serious workplace accident.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying speaks at a press conference on June 18 after the Legislative Council vetoed a motion for proposed universal suffrage for the selection of the region’s next chief executive (IC)

HK Election Reform Setback 

The Legislative Council (LegCo) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on June 18 vetoed a motion for proposed universal suffrage for the selection of the region's next chief executive.

A total of 28 LegCo lawmakers voted against the motion. According to a decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, the motion needs to be endorsed by at least two thirds of all 70 lawmakers--47 votes.

That means that in 2017, the fifth chief executive of the HKSAR will be selected by the Election Committee, the same way the previous elections were held.

Hong Kong's first chief executive was elected by a 400-member Selection Committee, while the second, third and fourth chief executives were elected by the Election Committee--its membership has increased from 800 to 1,200 over time.

After the veto, HKSAR Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying said at a press conference that the electoral reform conformed to the HKSAR Basic Laws as well as the decision of China's top legislature. It was the best arrangement according to Hong Kong's current situation, he added.

Various public polls showed that a majority of Hong Kong citizens were in favor of universal suffrage and approved of the electoral reforms.

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