CHINA / SOCIETY
For China and the world, 2021 may bring a few pleasant surprises
Published: Jan 01, 2021 09:06 PM

Shenzhen. Photo: VCG


 
Anti-coronavirus battle, economic revival, high-technology endeavor, a new Five-Year plan, and building China's own space station…so what are the much hoped for events that will shape China's upcoming 12 months of 2021? 

"Trust", "hope", "courage", "vision" and "expectations" are the key words depicting the emotions of the Chinese people at the dawn of a new year, as revealed by big data statistics of their internet searches. 

The power of those emotions has driven the Chinese people through an uneasy but extraordinary year of 2020, from the enduring fight against the epidemic to striving to turn the negative economic growth into positive territory. 

In the upcoming year, the future of the country's anti-epidemic battle will remain arduous yet bright, said Zhang Wenhong, one of China's leading infectious disease specialists.

China is now well-honed to defeat the virus - the nation has the collective steel will of fighting against the once-in-a-century contagion, and the scientific and technological capability to stifle the menace, Zhang noted in his first new-year blog on Weibo.  

Chinese central government's public health department vowed on December 31 that the country will make COVID-19 vaccines affordable to all Chinese residents, and eventually offer them free of charge to the broader public as a premise, which analysts said would be realized in 2021 when China's vaccines production capacity is revved up. 

To enhance the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19, all drugs listed in the latest version of the national COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment plan will be included in China's new national medical insurance list, which will be put into use nationwide on March 1, 2021. 

The effective control of the epidemic will lay the foundation for the country's economic rebound, which, economists predict, will see very impressive growth figures in 2021.

According to the World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund, China's GDP growth in 2021 will accelerate to 8.2 percent on the basis of 2020, and analysis indicated that the proportion of global growth to be contributed by China in the new year is expected to reach 27 percent or even higher.

China's economy is expected to grow at a pace apparently faster than global growth in 2021, said Tang Jianwei at the Bank of Communications, noting the economy would book a double-digit expansion in the first half of 2021, to lead the G20 economies.

China completed an eight-year campaign to eradicate extreme poverty for nearly 100 million people living in outlying or mountain-logged rural regions in 2020, and will embark on a new journey of implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan, which if realized, will make China a modest affluent country. 

In July 2021, the ruling Communist Party of China is expected to announce the achievement of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects after a systemic assessment and review. The year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. 

The new year will also see China's greater steps trekking the space, after the Chang'e-5 spacecraft successfully brought back more than 1,700 grams of rock and soil samples from Moon in 2020.

Photo taken on Sept. 15, 2020 shows the model of the Mars probe Tianwen-1 at the 22nd China International Industry Fair (CIIF) in east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Zhang Jiansong)


China's first Mars mission Tianwen-1 is scheduled to enter Mars' orbit in February 2021, about 7 months after being launched. In May 2021, the probe is expected to land on Mars for an exploration.

In the first half of 2021, the core module of a space station will be borne on a Long March-5B Y2 rocket from the picturesque island of Hainan, which will be followed by the launch of a cargo spacecraft called Tianzhou-2, as well as a manned mission named Shenzhou-12.

On the global stage, China will enter the 50th year of the restoration of its lawful seat at the United Nations and 20th year of its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2021.

Over the past decades, China's international status and prestige has grown, just like a meteor. The country has moved out of isolation to the center of it, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, said. 

The successful conclusion of the landmark talks of RCEP and China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment is testament to China's rising position on the international stage, observers said, noting that Beijing will continue to work for the common prosperity of the like-minded people. 


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