Top 10 domestic news stories in 2003
( 2003-12-29 09:53) (Xinhua)
The Xinhua News Agency has selected the top 10 domestic news stories for 2003, including election of new leaders, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), successful space flight of Shenzhou-5 and the latest gas field blowout in southwest China.
-- Election of new government leaders was a big event for China in 2003. In March of this year, China held the First Session of the 10th National People's Congress and elected new government leaders including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. New CPPCC leaders were also elected at the First Session of the 10th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) held in March.
-- SARS epidemic which hit most of China this Spring and Summer attracted attention from the whole world. Chinese people, under the strong leadership of the new government, achieved great success in the anti-SARS war.
-- On July 1, a symposium was held in Beijing to study the important thought of "Three Represents". Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee,delivered a speech at the symposium, calling on all the CPC members to study "Three Represents".
-- On October 11-14, China held the Third Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee. The plenum deliberated and approved a decision of the CPC Central Committee on issues regarding the improvement of the socialist market economic system, outlining theeconomic reform tasks for China in the new century.
-- Successful space flight of Shenzhou-5 was another important event for China in 2003. On October 15, Shenzhou-5 spacecraft was successfully launched and returned to ground safely on the next day, making China the third nation in the world to send a man intospace. Lieutenant Colonel Yang Liwei became the first Chinese astronaut in the outer space.
-- The Chinese mainland signed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region, respectively on June 29 and October 17, in a bid to forge closer economic ties between China's mainland and the two special administrative regions. This is considered a new start and marks a milestone for the trade relationship development between Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and Macao.
-- During the later half year of 2003, Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan repeatedly proposed staging a so-called "defensive referendum"to split Taiwan from China, which has aroused strong opposition and condemnation from Chinese government and its people.
-- On December 19-20, China held a national conference to bolster human resources development. The conference, sponsored by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, was the first of its kindsince the founding of New China in 1949.
-- A gas field blowout in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality was also listed as one of the top ten domestic news stories in 2003 as it is the worst accident of its kind in China and has caused at least 198 deaths by the press time. The tragedy took place at 10:00 p.m. Tuesday, when a well burst suddenly and released a high concentration of natural gas and sulfurated hydrogen.
-- Despite the outbreak of SARS and other natural disasters, China's economy still keeps rapid and coordinated growth, which is expected to reach 8.5 percent in 2003.
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