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Review of China's Science and Technology Highlights in 2020
2021-07-01 21:01

1. China ranks 14th in 2020 Global Innovation Index

According to the Report of Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on September 2nd, China ranks 14th among 131 economies on the list. China has been among the top 15 in the world for two consecutive years. As the only middle-income economy among the top 30 in GII comprehensive ranking, China has demonstrated leading advantages in many aspects.

2. China becomes the largest source of international patent applications for the first time

On April 7, WIPO published the number of international patent applications in 2019, which showed that China filed 58,990 applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system in 2019, making it the largest source of international patent applications for the first time. This reflects China’s notable progress in innovation capability and public awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights.

3. World's first Human Cell Atlas (HCA) published

The Zhejiang University School of Medicine mapped the first HCA by using a self-developed analysis platform. Published in Nature online on March 26th, the study showcased for the first time a comprehensive analysis of the types of human cells during embryonic and adult time periods at single cell level. The research data will become a treasure house for exploring the mechanism of cell fate determination.

4. Existence of two-dimensional hexagonal ice first confirmed

For a long time, there is lack of exact experimental evidence to prove the existence of stable two-dimensional hexagonal ice in nature. Research teams from Peking University, University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed for the first time the existence of two-dimensional hexagonal ice by experiments, and photo- graphed the formation process of two-dimensional hexagonal ice by atomic resolution, revealing its special growth mechanism. This achievement was published in Nature on January 1st.

5. 600km/h maglev prototype completes successful trial run

On June 21st, the 600km/h high-speed maglev prototype successfully conducted its maiden test run, marking a breakthrough from static to dynamic operation. The test run obtained a large amount of crucial data and proved the key performance of the high-speed maglev system and core components, providing technical support for the development and optimization of the follow-up high-speed maglev project test vehicle.

6. Kylin operating system unveiled

China Electronics Corporation (CEC) unveiled its new operating system Kylin V10 on August 13. It is a new-generation operating system developed independently by CEC. With its top-ranking security level in China, Kylin V10 is a witness to the leapfrog development of the country’s homegrown operating system.

7. AG600 successfully completes its maiden flight at sea

On July 26th, the domestic large amphibious aircraft AG600 "Kunlong” successfully completed its maiden flight at sea in Shandong Province, another milestone after the first flight of AG600 aircraft on land in 2017 and on water in 2018.

8. China’s deep-sea manned submersible ”Fendouzhe” dives 10,909 meters in Mariana Trench

China's deep-sea manned submersible Fendouzhe, or "striver", successfully descended 10,909 meters in the Mariana Trench on November 10. Mariana Trench is called "the fourth pole of the Earth". With high water pressure, complete darkness and low temperature, it is one of the areas with the most hostile environment on Earth. Its deepest part is nearly 11,000 meters.

9. World's first high-speed rail suspension bridge open to traffic

On December 11, Wufengshan Yangtze River Bridge, the world's first high-speed rail suspension bridge, was open to traffic. Being the first suspension bridge for road and rail in China, it’s also designed with the highest operation speed and the largest load in the world.

10. BDS-3 Constellation Deployment fully completed

On June 23, the 55th BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), the last BDS-3 constellation satellite, was successfully launched at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, marking the full completion of BDS-3 constellation deployment. BDS will continue to take an active part in international satellite navigation affairs, push forward the multisystem compatibility and sharing, boost international exchanges and cooperation, promote international BDS applications in response to the needs of the people around the world, and share the latest BDS development achievements.

11. Tianwen 1 sends back picture of the Earth and Moon

On July 23rd, the Long March 5 Yao-4 carrier rocket blasted off with China’s first Mars probe Tianwen 1. On July 27th, Tianwen 1 captured an image of the Earth and Moon using optical navigation sensors, about 1.2 million km away from the Earth, and sent the picture back to the Earth.

12. Chang'e-5 successfully launched

On November 24, China successfully launched the Chang'e-5 lunar probe carried by the Long March-5 Y5 launch vehicle, marking China's first return mission with samples from an extraterrestrial celestial body. On December 17, the Chang'e-5 returner landed successfully. In this mission, the Chang'e-5 probe achieved several breakthroughs successively in the history of Chinese aerospace for the first time, including sampling and take-off on the lunar surface, lunar orbit rendezvous and sample return, drawing a successful conclusion to China's lunar exploration program.

13.China’s new medium-lift carrier rocket Long March-8 makes its maiden flight

On December 22, the homegrown Long March-8, a new medium-lift carrier rocket, successfully completed its maiden flight. This mission also helped to test related technologies such as rocket recycling and intelligent application.

(Source: Ministry of Science and Technology of China)

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