What has China achieved in terms of scientific and technological innovation in 2021?

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We have joined the global network of scientific and technological innovation and have played an active role in addressing the major challenges facing humanity.

– Xi Jinping

China has the largest number of scientific and technological talents in the world, steadily improves its capacity for independent innovation, and witnesses a constant flow of major scientific and technological breakthroughs. Scientific and technological advancements now contribute over 60% of China’s GDP growth.

Here are some remarkable achievements of 2021 that boost the development of science and technology in the country.

The Shenzhou-12 crewed spacecraft, on top of a Long March-2F carrier rocket, is launched from the Jiuquan satellite launch center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert on June 17, 2021 . / Xinhua

The Shenzhou-12 crewed spacecraft, on top of a Long March-2F carrier rocket, is launched from the Jiuquan satellite launch center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert on June 17, 2021 . / Xinhua

China launched the Shenzhou-12 crewed spacecraft on June 17. It was China’s seventh crewed mission to space, the first during the construction of the Chinese space station and also the first in nearly five years since the country’s last manned mission.

The three astronauts are expected to set a new record for the duration of China’s manned space mission, exceeding the 33 days retained by the Shenzhou-11 crew in 2016.

The screen image captured at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Oct.16, 2021, shows three Chinese astronauts, Zhai Zhigang (C), Wang Yaping (R) and Ye Guangfu, saluting after being entered the central module of the Tianhe space station. / Xinhua

The screen image captured at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Oct.16, 2021, shows three Chinese astronauts, Zhai Zhigang (C), Wang Yaping (R) and Ye Guangfu, saluting after being entered the central module of the Tianhe space station. / Xinhua

On October 16, China launched the Shenzhou-13 crewed spacecraft, sending three astronauts to the central module of its Tianhe space station for a six-month mission. This is the 21st flight mission since the approval and launch of the country’s manned space program, and the second crewed mission of the Chinese space station project.

The three astronauts set a new record for the duration of China’s manned space mission, exceeding the three months set by the Shenzhou-12 crew from June to September this year.

The World Semiconductor Conference & Nanjing International Semiconductor Expo opens in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, June 9, 2021. / VCG

The World Semiconductor Conference & Nanjing International Semiconductor Expo opens in Nanjing, capital of east China’s Jiangsu Province, June 9, 2021. / VCG

The development of China’s chipmaking industry looks promising, as advanced 28 and 14 nanometer (nm) processes are expected to enter mass production by the end of 2021 and 2022, respectively.

The Advanced Experimental Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) Control Center, or “Chinese Artificial Sun,” May 28, 2021. / Xinhua

The Advanced Experimental Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) Control Center, or “Chinese Artificial Sun,” May 28, 2021. / Xinhua

Chinese scientists set a new world record by reaching a plasma temperature of 120 million degrees Celsius for 101 seconds during an experiment in May, a key step towards testing the function of a fusion reactor.

A prototype maglev train in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Jan. 12, 2021. / Xinhua

A prototype maglev train in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, Jan. 12, 2021. / Xinhua

A prototype locomotive using high-temperature superconducting maglev (HTS) technology has been deployed in southwest China’s Chengdu city. The nationally developed maglev train has a rated speed of 620 km / h and is the first of its kind.

The “Zuchongzhi 2.1” quantum processor, Oct. 26, 2021. / Xinhua

The “Zuchongzhi 2.1” quantum processor, Oct. 26, 2021. / Xinhua

Chinese research team successfully designed a 66-qubit programmable superconducting quantum computing system named “Zuchongzhi 2.1”, greatly improving the quantum computing advantage and making China the first country to gain quantum computing advantage in two traditional technical pathways .

Pan Jianwei in a laboratory at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, capital of Anhui province (east China). / Xinhua

Pan Jianwei in a laboratory at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, capital of Anhui province (east China). / Xinhua

Chinese scientists have achieved dual field quantum key (TF-QKD) distribution via 511 km optical fiber connecting two remote metropolitan areas, proving the technical feasibility in a practical environment and paving the way for a long fiber quantum network distance.

Led by Pan Jianwei of the China University of Science and Technology, the field test was conducted via a canal between Qingdao and Jinan in east China’s Shandong Province.

The engineering prototype of the 3.35-meter-diameter, third-generation high-performance lithium aluminum alloy tank. / Commission for the Supervision and Administration of State-owned Assets of the Chinese State Council

The engineering prototype of the 3.35-meter-diameter, third-generation high-performance lithium aluminum alloy tank. / Commission for the Supervision and Administration of State-owned Assets of the Chinese State Council

In February, the first 3.35-meter-diameter long-tube rocket storage tank was launched in China. It has passed various inspections and stress tests and is primarily qualified for engineering applications. China completed its first in-principle sampling machine for a 3.35-meter-diameter rocket tank made of composite material on January 22.

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