The Jewels in China’s Crown
Executive Editor: Xiong Bingdi
Price: RMB 58
Paperback, 141 pages
Published by Foreign Languages Press
IN recent years, China’s high-end machinery and equipment, as well as advances in engineering have created miracles. “Create in China” rather than “Made in China” has been introducing China’s advanced technological innovations to the world.
The book is composed of five chapters, each covering achievements China has made in the following five specific fields: aerospace, high-speed rail, bridges, supercomputers, and new energy, which are the shining jewels in China’s industrial crown. These achievements showcase the best of the country’s scientific and technological development, and the influence they wield inside and outside of China. They are all major contributors to China’s creative leadership in international trends.
Each chapter starts with an eye-catching accomplishment, a story about how science has changed people’s daily life, and highlights the power of China’s manufacturing. The book, full of pictures and illustrations, has also made the comprehension and visualization of complicated high-end technologies more vivid and accessible.
Bridges serve as an important marker of humanity’s effort in transforming and utilizing nature; they also represent a nation’s scientific and technological capability and comprehensive strength. The bridges of China have become a characteristic feature representing China’s image in the modern era.
The third chapter, “China’s Bridges” is divided into several parts which include massive projects that span natural barriers, extend into the sea, and dancing amid mountains and rivers, enumerating the country’s illustrious achievements in bridge construction history.
In 1957, China managed to put up the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, the first bridge across the Yangtze River, with the help of engineers from Soviet Union. Afterwards, pooling all the resources of the country, China completed the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge in 1968. In the following 50-plus years, 162 bridges have been consecutively erected across the Yangtze River, with 18 billion people passing through these bridges every year.
The Nanjing Dashengguan Yangtze River Bridge is the world’s tallest steel arch railway bridge at the time of writing. A high-speed train can pass through the bridge at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour.
It took China only 18 years from building a 400-meter-long river-spanning bridge to a sea-crossing bridge with a length of 1,650 meters.
The 55-kilometer-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, composed of several bridges and submarine tunnels, is the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge. It took nine years, 550,000 tons of steel, and 2.3 million tons of cement to erect this bridge above the sea stretching 35 kilometers. A one way trip from Hong Kong to Zhuhai in Guangdong Province takes only half an hour thanks to the bridge. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which covers an area of 56,000 square kilometers, will thereby become a shining economic growth hub in the world, following the Bay of Tokyo, New York Bay Area, and San Francisco Bay Area.
China’s southwest provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou with an average elevation of 2,600 meters, are located in a subtropical region; but because of the huge altitude differences, the winds in these areas differ from subtropical to frigid. To construct an expressway bridge, the engineers needed to overcome a series of daunting technical and logistical challenges.
The Qingshui River Bridge, situated at one of the most picturesque places in Guizhou Province, is a plate-truss bond-beam suspension bridge boasting the largest single span stretching out 1,400 meters. From the bridge deck to the valley floor is more than 400 meters, which has provided athletes and adventurers a challenging objective to conquer.
The bridge not only connects across geographical distances, but also brings people’s hearts closer. In the beautiful but remote Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the Guozigou Bridge has made travel from Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture direct to Urumqi possible in all weather conditions all year round.
Nowadays, China has more than 750,000 bridges, a full length of 42,600 kilometers. If we connected all these bridges together, they could circle the earth’s equator.
China’s achievements and innovations are not confined to these amazing bridges built with the world’s cutting-edge technologies.
At the end of 2017, “China’s four great new inventions,” namely high-speed railway, cashless digital third party payments, sharing bikes, and online shopping, have been the most searched hashtags on overseas social media. In the same year, a short video went viral all over the WeChat Moments, two foreign travelers carried out a test in the carriage of China’s high-speed railway train, making a tiny coin stand on edge in a fast moving yet steady carriage for a dozen minutes, attracting a myriad of foreign netizens to express their surprise.
In merely 10 years, China’s mileage of high-speed railway has surpassed 25,000 kilometers, accounting for 70 percent of the total mileage of high-speed railways in the world. And China’s standard has been widely recognized as an international standard. In Europe, Southeast Asia, and South America, people are eagerly awaiting the day that high-speed railways are accessible to them, to facilitate economic growth and promote inter-regional trade as well as change the dynamics of travel in their region.
In recent years, the Long March Shenzhou, and the Chang’e spacecraft frequently come into the public spotlight, recording China’s discoveries in outer space. As a key player in space science, China has always been confident, open-minded, and inclusive to conduct cooperation with other nations for the exploration and utilization of outer space in a peaceful and sustainable way, making its contribution to all human beings.
Technology has transformed China in the past and at present, and will lead it to an even brighter future. Meanwhile, the image of China and the structure of the world have both undergone tremendous changes. It can be hoped that this small book can help foreign readers to discover the stories of China’s scientific development.