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China steps up building science and tech power

2,000-km network, the world’s first, will be used for secure data transmission in the military, finance and government affairs fields
INP
BEIJING
China has made a series of achievements in science and technology over the past month as the country quickens its pace in becoming a leading science and tech power by the middle of the century.
China has been a leader in quantum technologies, which eliminate the possibility of wiretapping and secure communication. In early September, it was announced the Beijing-Shanghai quantum communication network has met requirements to open for service.
The 2,000-km network, the world’s first, will be used for secure data transmission in the military, finance and government affairs fields.
The country has also completed a test of its high-throughput satellite Shijian-13, designating it as Zhongxing-16. With a transfer capacity of 20 Gbps, the satellite is capable of providing better Internet access on planes and high-speed trains, as well as in less-developed regions.
In a step toward launching a Mars probe around 2020, planners have mapped out a 400-million-yuan (61 million U.S. dollars) development plan to turn a red rock basin in Qaidam basin in northwest China’s Qinghai Province into a Mars scientific research base and eco-tourism site.
The base is expected to consist of a “Mars community” and a “Mars campsite.” The campsite will have a number of experimental module-like accommodations.
Underground research has also moved swiftly. Researchers recently acquired hot dry rock (HDR), with temperatures of 236 degrees Celsius, from 3,705 meters below Gonghe basin in QinghaiProvince.
HDR is usually buried 3,000 to 10,000 meters under the earth’s surface. It can be used to generate clean electricity via its high temperatures. The breakthrough means China is a step closer to easing environmental problems related to the greenhouse effect and acid rain.
China has made innovation the core of its 13th five-year plan (2016-2020), with the aim of becoming an “innovation nation” by 2020, an international leader in innovation by 2030, and a world powerhouse in scientific and technological innovation by 2050.
“We will accelerate R&D and commercialization of new materials, artificial intelligence, integrated circuits, bio-pharmacy, 5G mobile communications, and other technology to develop industrial clusters in these fields,” said a government work report issued this year.



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