China's Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense announced in Beijing on Jan. 16 that the 2003 top 10 news headed by the success of the manned space flight in science, technology and industry for national defense was being unveiled. The top 10 news stories, collected by the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense from within the industry and through appraisal by experts in the press, are:
1. The first manned flight of "Shenzhou V" spacecraft is crowned with complete success.
The "Long March 2 F" rocket sent China's first astronaut Yang Liwei into the space with the "Shenzhou V" manned spacecraft at 9 am October 15, 2003 at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. At 6:23 am October 16, after orbiting the earth for 14 times, the spacecraft successfully landed at the major landing field in central Inner Mongolia and the astronaut returned safe and sound. This is China's first manned space flight that marks a significant historic breakthrough in China's manned space engineering, thus making China the third country in the world capable of developing manned space flight independently.
2. Chin's first Sino-foreign commercial heavy water nuclear power plant--3rd phase of Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant is completed and put into operation 112 days ahead of schedule.
The second heavy-water reactor generating unit of the third phase of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in east China Zhejiang Province went into commercial power generation on July 24, 2003, 112 days ahead of schedule, creating a record of the shortest period in the construction of heavy water nuclear power plant. With the ahead-of time completion of the project of the third phase of the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant (heavy water reactor), the project saved the country 2.5 billion yuan (US$302 million) of investment and increased 1.5 billion yuan (US$181 million) of profit. The Qinshan Third-Phase Nuclear Power Plant is China's first commercial heavy water nuclear power station, which is thus far the largest China-Canada cooperative project
3. Maiden flight of fighter aircraft "Xiaolong/FC-1" and fighter-pilot trainer -- the "Mountain Eagle" successful.
China developed new type of fighter aircraft "Xiaolong/FC-1" (or fierce dragon) successfully launched the first flight in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province on August 25, 2003. It took only four years from the development contract to the first flight. This created a miracle in the development history of China's aviation. On December 13, 2003, China-made "Mountain Eagle/JL9" made its maiden flight in southwest China's Guizhou Province. The plane is able to meet the training requirement of the third-generation fighters on the pilots and has fighting capacity.
4. AviChina Industry & Technology Company Limited completes corporate renovation, gets listed in Hong Kong.
AviChina Industry & Technology Company Limited formally got listed in the Hong Kong Exchange main board on October 30, with an investment of over 2 billion HK dollars. This is China's first large military industrial group to complete corporate reform in its main operation and successfully get listed outside the Chinese mainland. It has significant and far-reaching influence on the industrial reform of State-owned enterprises, especially those in science, technology and industry for national defense.
5. Construction of world's largest shipyard--Changxing shipbuilding base kicks off.
The construction of the Changxing shipbuilding base, the world's largest shipyard, started on December 28, 2003. The Shanghai government allotted one-time 8-km coast for developing shipbuilding, which is unprecedented in China's shipbuilding history and rare even in the world. The construction of Changxing Shipbuilding Base of the China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC) marks a stride taken by China toward the goal of making itself a shipbuilding power in the world.
6. China's successfully test-fired its four-stage solid-fuel carrier rocket "Pioneer I."
China's first four-stage solid-fuel carrier rocket "Pioneer I" successfully launched a trial fligh in Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in north China's Shanxi Province on September 16, 2003. The rocket can send various kinds of up to 100-kg small satellites into the space within a shortest period of 12 hours. A supplement to China's large carrier rockets, it filled the blank of China's solid-fuel carrier rocket and marked that China has become the third country in the world able to send satellites into the space swiftly.
7. First batch of vehicles produced by Beifang-Benchi (Mercedes Benz) Heavy-duty Truck equip UN peace-keeping forces.
The first batch of 25 vehicles made by Baotou Beifang-Benz Heavy-duty Truck Co., Ltd. were first dispatched to the transportation branch of the United Nations peace-keeping forces on November 30, 2003. This is the first time that China formed transportation team to participate in international peacemaking mission. The selection of automobiles made by Beifang-Benz as heavy-duty vehicles is of great strategic significance.
8. The first Fiesta car produced by Chang'an Automobile (Group) Corporation's joint venture with the US-based Ford Motor Co. rolls off production line.
The first "Fiesta" made by the joint venture of Chang'an Automobile and US-based Ford Motor Co. in China was produced on January 18, 2003. Bill Ford, president and CEO of Ford, announced in Beijing on October 17 that Ford will increase US$1 billion of investment in China and expand cooperation with Chang'an.
9. Employment rate of graduates from seven universities affiliated with China's Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense in front ranks.
The graduates of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin Engineering University, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA), Nanjing University of Science and Technology, and Northwestern Polytechnical University, seven universities affiliated with China's Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense totaled 34,128 in 2003 and 10,074 of whom were engaged in national defense departments. The employment rate of the seven universities stood at 93.6 percent till 2003 year-end, at the front ranks among universities nationwide.
10. China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation set new production records with marked international competence enhanced.
China State Shipbuilding Corporation and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation produced 3.8 million dead weight tons (DWT) of ships with a tonnage for newly-received orders of 13 million tons, far more than the total of the previous two years. Totally clenching orders of 17.8 million tons, the two shipbuilders made great contribution to China's civil shipbuilding production and the rapid increase of export.
(People's Daily January 19, 2004)