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Innovation underpins achievements

Author:gzstcj  From:CHINA DAILY Time:2018-03-05 Browse:  Size: Big Middle Small

I've been extremely fortunate as a journalist to have witnessed several historic Chinese events from the front lines over the past 12 years.

These include the two sessions in March last year and the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October.

I've also covered astonishing transformations nationwide since last spring from such remote destinations as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where poverty alleviation has accelerated tremendously, to outside my Beijing apartment's window, through which I increasingly gaze upon clear skies.

This year will mark the first meetings of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative organ, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body, since the dawn of the new era.

So, the world is watching to see how Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era will be implemented during this year's two sessions.

I attended this momentous occasion in 2017 primarily as the host of a new-media series explaining what it means for the country and the world. These videos racked up nearly 100 million views.

And I'm honored to be given the opportunity to again report from the forefront of this year's particularly significant two sessions to discover how China will chart the course of 2018 and beyond.

It's worth reviewing national progress since March 2017.

Major dimensions include poverty alleviation, environmental protection, e-commerce, cashless mobile payments, transportation infrastructure, and science and technology.

China's innovation has proved crucial to achievements in these areas.

The speed and scale of China's poverty alleviation, for instance, is unprecedented in world history. The country has announced it will eliminate all extreme poverty by 2020.

I was honored to be in the front row during the 19th Party congress, when General Secretary Xi Jinping said China will also build a "moderately prosperous society across all metrics".

That's because I've personally witnessed much of the progress toward this mission firsthand.

Xi said at the Party congress, "On the march toward prosperity, no one must be left behind."

Over the past year, I've traveled to nomadic communities on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau that have transformed since I first visited six years ago; a rural settlement in Hebei province where an innovative program uses solar farms to power a brighter future in drought-afflicted areas; and urbanization in Guizhou province that has elevated former villagers' quality of life.

Poverty alleviation is a component of China's development I've followed closely during my journeys through almost every provincial-level jurisdiction on the Chinese mainland, except for Chongqing, over the past 12 years.

And I'm particularly excited to see what new measures will be announced during this year's two sessions - and to share what I discover with the world.

That is, new specifics as to how the country will continue to "make steady progress toward realizing common prosperity for everyone", as Xi said at the 19th Party congress.

I'll also closely follow new measures to advance science and technology - areas in which China is advancing rapidly.

Recent milestones include first light of the world's largest radio telescope, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, better known as FAST; the journeys of the Jiaolong submersible, which can dive deeper than any other manned vehicle; and the world's fastest supercomputer, which can perform 100 quadrillion calculations per second.

Indeed, world-class scientists are pushing such innovations forward.

Since last year's two sessions, I've hosted videos about two great, late scientists - Huang Danian, who advanced the country's geoexploration technology, and Zhong Yang, who led the collection of 5 million seeds, including those of species difficult to even discover because they only grow on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau's extreme altitudes.

Also, I've spent much of the past year traveling aboard China's rapidly expanding network of high-speed rails and highways, as the country has continued accelerating transportation-infrastructure development.

And the views from my apartment's window have become notably bluer, as the government has advanced environmental protection nationwide.

The annual number of smoggy days decreased by 19.4 to 27.5 nationwide between 2013 and 2017, the National Meteorological Center reported. It dropped to 42.3 from 71.1 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region during that period.

Premier Li Keqiang announced new measures to alleviate the capital's air pollution during last year's two sessions.

Today, those words' truth is literally as clear as day. They can be seen in the skies.

Indeed, these grand achievements largely hail from decisions made at the annual meetings of the NPC and the CPPCC.

Many people are aware of the two sessions' significance. But fewer understand the specifics of how they work and exactly how they shape progress.

I look forward to covering this year's events to discover how China plans to continue to advance in the coming year and beyond - and what that means for the country and the world.

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