Major achievements in infrastructure, military, aerospace announced in celebration of CPC’s centenary

Major achievements in infrastructure, military as well as aerospace sectors have debuted in recent days to mark China’s major achievements in various fields under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in celebration for the 100th anniversary of the CPC’s founding.

On Monday, Baihetan Hydropower Station in Southwest China, the world’s largest hydropower project under construction, reached a milestone on Monday with the official start of operations of the first group of unique 1 million kilowatt generating units.

Also on Monday, the Tiaoshun Bridge in Zhanjiang, South China’s Guangdong Province, was inaugurated to link the western part of Guangdong with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

During the passing weekend, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy opened its new museum in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province, showcasing the historical achievements the PLA Navy has made under the leadership of the CPC.

Major breakthroughs on deep-sea oil production platforms, railways, nuclear power plants and military aircraft have also been presented for the CPC’s centenary since last week.

Shenhai Yihao (DeepSea No. 1), the world’s first 100,000-ton deep-sea semi-submersible oil production and storage platform as well as China’s first self-developed, specially designed mothership for the manned submersible Jiaolong, was put into operation on Friday. The energy station will be used to develop the “Deep-sea No 1” gas field, which was discovered in August 2014 in the Lingshui area in the South China Sea.

On Friday, people in Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region danced and sang to welcome its first electrified railway ever built in the high plateau region. The new railway linking regional capital Lhasa with the city of Nyingchi officially began operations in Tibet.

With the successful connection to the grid, the No. 5 unit of the Hongyanhe Nuclear Power Plant started operating on Friday in Dalian, Northeast China’s Liaoning Province, adding to China’s third-generation nuclear power industry, which has been on a fast track to help China achieve a carbon emissions peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

The First Aircraft Research and Design Institute under state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the developer of Chinese warplanes including the Y-20 strategic transport aircraft and the JH-7 fighter bomber, announced in a statement on Friday that a key project reached a major objective on Thursday, five months earlier than the original schedule, being a great gift for the CPC’s centenary. The statement did not reveal the nature of the project nor the nature of the major objective, but said it was very challenging and was not previously even expected to be accomplished on schedule.

Another AVIC branch, the Chengdu Aircraft Research and Design Institute, developer of the J-20 stealth fighter jet, revealed in a statement released on its official WeChat account last week that it was developing an undisclosed new aircraft, and an undisclosed aircraft was about to make its first flight. It did not elaborate if the two
undisclosed aircraft were the same aircraft.
Military observers are also eagerly waiting to see if China will announce any more achievements in major military programs.

Foreign reports, like one from the US-based Center for Strategic & International Studies, have been closely tracking the development progress of China’s third aircraft carrier over the past month. While it will not likely be launched anytime soon despite its reported smooth construction, military enthusiasts are waiting to see if there will be any official announcement, as the PLA has yet to officially reveal its existence.

It is also possible that some of the new warships could enter PLA naval service around the date, observers predicted.

In the aerospace domain, it is also highly anticipated that the Shenzhou-12 crew of three taikonauts who are stationed in the country’s Tianhe space station core module would send their blessings to mark the special day of celebration.The crew who are all Party members have decorated the main compartment of the orbiting spacecraft with both the Chinese national flag and the CPC flag, as seen during their call with President Xi Jinping on June 23.

Following that, Sun Jun, the mission chief of the space station project at the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center, said on the same day that the first extravehicular activity or spacewalk of the taikonauts was expected to take place in some 10 days.

Observers and insiders reached by the Global Times also said that the three might put on their space suits for spacewalk missions as a congratulatory message and announced their readiness for the upcoming feat, which could fall on the weekend right after the Party anniversary, based on the mission planners’ previous briefing.

The China National Space Administration on Sunday also released new visuals and sounds of the country’s Zhurong Mars rover.

“The orbiter and the Mars rover are in good working condition, reporting safely from Mars to the Party and the motherland, and sending distant blessings on the century of the party’s founding,” a CNSA press statement said.