Stories you might have missed from China in 2021

In June 2021, CGTN Europe launched Quick Take, its weekly roundup of stories from China which were largely missed in the international media. Here is a selection of some that caught the eye, click the links to see the original versions.

Epic show depicts 100 years of the Communist Party of China, July 1

A two-hour-long art performance was held in Beijing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The show recreated scenes from the CPC's history, featuring more than 10,000 performers, with 20,000 audience members. It depicted how the party was born, how it led the Chinese Revolution and highlighted some of its main achievements, from the founding of New China, the return of Hong Kong and eradicating extreme poverty to overcoming COVID-19.

The show ended with a message that the whole world can be built into what China calls a community with a shared future.

China's Mars Rover Zhurong sends new pictures July 9

The China National Space Administration released new photos of the Martian surface captured by the country's first Mars rover Zhurong.

Zhurong had been working on the red planet for 54 Martian days and had traveled more than 300 meters. 


The rover was designed to survive on the desolate surface /CNSA

The rover was designed to survive on the desolate surface /CNSA

China officially declared malaria-free by WHO, June 30

China officially stamped out malaria – a mosquito-borne infectious disease – which affected more than 30 million people in the 1940s, killing hundreds a year. After a fourth year of zero cases, the World Health Organization certified the country "malaria-free".

It took the Chinese government nearly 70 years of sustained efforts to wipe out the malaria parasite with the involvement of 13 ministries.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said: "Their success was hard-earned and came only after decades of targeted and sustained action. With this announcement, China joins the growing number of countries that are showing the world that a malaria-free future is a viable goal."

Migrating elephants head home, August 8

A herd of 14 wild Asian elephants wandering through southwest China's Yunnan Province headed towards home safely crossing the Yuanjiang River.

The world's highest expressway opened in Tibet, August 21

The Lhasa-Nagqu expressway connecting Lhasa and Nagqu in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region opened to traffic. 

It is a section of the G6 Beijing-Lhasa expressway, with a total length of 295km and an average elevation of 4,500 meters, making it the world's highest expressway. 

It's the first expressway linking Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the northern Tibet grassland.  

The route will help economic development /VCJ

The route will help economic development /VCJ

Plane production advances, September 14

China's first batch production of the C919 passenger plane was prepared for final assembly.

The phased progress marks a milestone in the C919 program since the batch production of the aircraft launched in 2019, the East China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said. 

The first of five homemade jetliners is expected to be delivered to China Eastern Airlines by the end of the year.

Rare seeds collected from sinkholes, September 20

In sinkholes in Mengzi City in southwest China's Yunnan Province, researchers from the Kunming Institute of Botany had found two rare plant species, Petrocosmea grandiflora and Elaeagnus bambusetorum, which had been unseen for more than 100 years. Three months later they headed back to collect the seeds.

Researchers returned to the location three months later /VCJ

Researchers returned to the location three months later /VCJ

China's high-tech robot panda, October 7

China chose a combination of technology and culture to welcome visitors to its pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai – a robotic panda, capable of everything from dancing to shaking hands.

The robot panda was a hit with visitors /VCJ

The robot panda was a hit with visitors /VCJ

Moon rocks returned by Chang'e-5 show lunar volcanic, October 8

Two pieces of the lunar volcanic rocks brought back by China's Chang'e-5 mission were dated as about 1.97 billion years old, making them the youngest volcanic rocks identified on the moon so far.

The story behind the through-building metro station, October 21

Every day, thousands of people go to Liziba monorail station to take pictures of trains passing through a 19-story building. The station is located in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, which is also known as China's "Mountain City," due to its varying heights – the city's urban area is built around hills and skyscrapers. 

The man behind the rail project, Ye Tianyi, a teacher in the College of Civil Engineering of Chongqing University, never thought that one day his work would become one of the city's most-visited tourist spots.

The brief history is that the land was bought to be developed by a real estate company, Ye told CGTN. However, according to the Chongqing Rail Transit Line 2 plans, a stop was needed at the site. The stop could not be moved because there is a 20- to 30-meter-high slope lying to the north, which left no extra space, and the Jialing River is in the south.

After negotiations, the Chongqing Rail Transit Group and the real estate company agreed to develop Liziba together. A team led by Ye took two years to finish the eye-catching design.

Tourists are keen to see the train 'entering' the building. /Wang Tianyu/CGTN

Tourists are keen to see the train 'entering' the building. /Wang Tianyu/CGTN

Moving 8,000 alligators indoors, November 16

The Chinese Alligator National Nature Reserve in Xuancheng City, in east China's Anhui Province, moved more than 8,000  alligators indoors to aid their annual hibernation during winter.

The Chinese alligator, or Yangtze alligator, which is under the highest level of state protection in the country, will go through hibernation indoors when the outdoor temperature averages 10 degrees Celsius in the area. 

New box office record, November 24th

War epic The Battle at Lake Changjin became the highest-grossing film in the history of Chinese cinema, beating Wolf Warrior Two.

The nearly three-hour film had raked in more than 5.69 billion yuan ($890 million) in box office takings, including pre-sales, according to Chinese ticketing platform Maoyan.

Meanwhile, it became the top-grossing war-themed title in the world.

Oldest buddha statue, December 10

Two golden copper Buddha statues were discovered in northwestern Shaanxi Province, the earliest of their kind unearthed in China.

The statues were unearthed from a six-tomb family cemetery from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).

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