Dragon boats, college exams, moon map, green desert road: China Quick Take

A round-up of some stories from China you may have missed this week.

Gaokao begins

A record 12 million students have taken part in China's college entrance exams, known as Gaokao. Around 300,000 centers across the country opened their doors for the assessments, although Shanghai had to postpone the tests as a result of coronavirus restrictions. Elsewhere strict precautions were in place to stop the spread of the virus with seating plans and other arrangements adapted to ensure social distancing.


Astronauts reach space station

Three more astronauts have travelled to the Chinese space station. They flew in the Shenzhou-14 capsule, which has been adapted to improve safety, reliability and comfort. The craft has shock-absorbing cushions tailed to each passenger.


Desert highway goes green

The Tarim desert highway, China's first, has gone carbon-neutral by replacing diesel pumps used to water vegetation protecting the road with solar power. The highway crosses the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The project is estimated to cut diesel consumption by about 1,000 tonnes and carbon dioxide emissions by 3,410 tonnes per year, according to PetroChina's Tarim oilfield branch, which is in charge of the project.

Plants on the roadside protect the highway from sand. /CFP

Plants on the roadside protect the highway from sand. /CFP

AI prevents illegal fishing

A decade-long fishing ban on the Yangtze is being reinforced with the introduction of scores of cameras along the river's banks. The devices use artificial intelligence to alert authorities to potential cases of illegal fishing. The ban has had a noticeable impact on wildlife in one of China's most biodiverse environments, with increased observations of species such as the endangered finless porpoise. However, it has also had an effect on the economy, with more than $800 million in subsidies being offered to affected communities.


Dragon boat festival

The annual dragon boat festival saw millions of Chinese take to the roads and rail networks for a break with family. Data from online travel agents showed a strong rebound in travel.


New moon map

Chinese cartographers have created the most detailed map of the moon ever.  The high resolution topographic map is based on data from China's lunar exploration Chang'e project and other data and research findings from international organizations.

The map includes 12,341 impact craters, 81 impact basins, 17 rock types and 14 types of structures.

The moon map used data gathered by the Chang'e probe /Institute of Geochemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences

The moon map used data gathered by the Chang'e probe /Institute of Geochemistry of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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