Helicopter drone, fitness day, cruise ship: China Quick Take

Here are six stories you may have missed from China over the past week. For more details, click the headlines.


National Fitness Day

Monday marked the 14th National Fitness Day. New sports such as cycling and ultimate frisbee have gained wide followings in recent years amid efforts to expand the proportion of the population taking regular exercise.

To further encourage people to get more physically active, China issued a national fitness plan last year which aims to have 38.5 percent of its population exercising regularly by 2025.  

The ambitious project, which spans from 2021 to 2025, listed eight objectives, including stepping up development of public sports venues and facilities, hosting more public sports games and competitions, and advancing high-quality development of the sports industry, among others. 


Helicopter drone

A new type of shipborne unmanned helicopter developed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China made its maiden flight recently in Poyang County of east China's Jiangxi Province.

During its maiden flight, the aircraft AR-500CJ completed training courses including manned take-off, landing, hovering, and landed smoothly. It is expected to have civilian and military uses.


Suspended maglev test

China's first maglev (magnetic levitation) suspension railway, named Xingguo, underwent a test run on an 800-meter track in Xingguo County, Ganzhou City, east China's Jiangxi Province.

Instead of rubber wheels, magnets keep the train suspended in the middle of the notch, with electromagnetic guidance ensuring zero friction during its operation.

As compared with a regular maglev vehicle, this train has a static magnetic field with zero-power suspension and no magnetic pollution.

The train is equipped with both manual and automatic driving modes. It can complement subway and light rail systems.

The test track is 800m long. /VCG

The test track is 800m long. /VCG

Driverless vehicles guidance

China's Ministry of Transport issued draft guidelines to encourage the use of autonomous vehicles in taxi services under certain conditions. The draft was released on Monday.

The ministry encourages the use of autonomous vehicles when engaging in transportation activities in relatively closed roads, such as buses in closed express bus systems, and taxis in scenarios with simple traffic and controllable conditions.

Back-up drivers are required for highly autonomous vehicles, and fully autonomous vehicles should have remote drivers or safety officers, the draft says.


Virtual power plants

With energy prices soaring amid supply challenges, commercial property companies are increasingly using technology to manage their needs. Virtual power plants can store energy and power non-time sensitive devices when demand is low, in order to reduce requirements during peak periods.

China set about piloting virtual power plants in the 2016-2020 period and has put continued efforts in promoting the utilization. 


Chinese-built cruise ship

The construction of China's second large-scale cruise ship has started in east China's Shanghai, signaling that the country has mastered the key technologies for designing and constructing large cruise ships.

The ship is being built by the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). It also signifies that China will soon be able to mass-produce large cruise ships.

The ship will be 341 meters long and 37.2 meters wide, with a gross tonnage of about 142,000. 

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