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Xinhua picks top 10 news stories in China in 2005
Updated: 2005-12-31 08:51

China's Xinhua News Agency has selected the top 10 news stories in China in 2005. In order of occurrence, the list goes as follows:

-- The Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee initiated a 1.5-year-long campaign in January to carry out in three batches a massive political and ideological education drive among more than 68 million CPC members to maintain their moral andsocialist ethical superiority, a new, great project to promote Party construction and help materialize the goal of building up a relatively affluent society in an all-round way.

-- Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and the Chinese president, set forth a four-point guideline on relations across the Taiwan Straits on March 4 that China would unswervingly adhere to the one-China principle, exert its utmost to seek peaceful reunification and rely on the Taiwanese people but never waver in its fight against the independence movement on Taiwan.

The Kuomintang Party, People First Party and New Party from Taiwan sent delegations to the Chinese mainland from April to July. During the talks between Hu Jintao and Lien Chan, James Soong and Yok Yu-ming, chairmen of the three parties, they exchanged views on promoting cross-Straits relations and reached broad consensus.

Lien Chan's visit in April represents the first trip made by a KMT chairman to the mainland since 1949 when the Chinese mainland and Taiwan split after a civil war.

-- China marked the 60th anniversary of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and concurrently the World War against Fascism on Sept. 3 with reassurance from President Hu Jintao that China is committed to peace as it strives to build up a relatively affluent society and achieve national rejuvenation.

-- The 16th CPC Central Committee deliberated and approved at its Fifth Plenary Session proposals for formulating the 11th Five-Year Program (2006-2010) for the National Economy and Social Development on October 11, a blueprint for nation's economic and social development in the next five years.

-- The world's highest and longest railway, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which stretches from Xining in northwest Qinghai Province to Lhasa, capital of Tibet on the roof of the world, with a total length of 1,956 kilometers, was completed in mid October.

-- The flight of Shenzhou-6 spacecraft, with two astronauts on board, successfully completed its five-day space journey between Oct. 12 and Oct. 17, two years after Shenzhou-5 that sent China's first astronaut into space.

-- Northeast China's Songhua River was contaminated with benzene and nitrobezene spilt in an explosion at a local chemical plant under the China National Petroleum Corporation in Jilin Province on Nov. 13, subsequently causing a four-day water cutoff in the city of Harbin downstream, which led to the resignation of Xie Zhenghua, director of the State Environmental Protection Administration.

-- China's State Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 22 gave the go-ahead for a Chinese-developed avian flu vaccine for human use to undergo clinical trials, which marked the major progress China had made in pandemic vaccine research and development.

The Ministry of Health announced the first two human cases of bird flu in central Hunan Province and eastern Anhui Province on the Chinese mainland on Nov. 16. And four more avian H5N1 cases were spotted in Anhui, Guangxi, Liaoning and Jiangxi respectively later and the Chinese government is working to curb the spread of the highly pathogenic virus.

-- China revised on Dec. 6 its GDP (gross domestic product) figure for 2004 to 15.99 trillion yuan (about 2 trillion U.S. dollars), up 2.3 trillion yuan (about 288 billion US dollars), or 16.8 percent from the preliminary figure, signaling that the country has become the world's sixth largest economy.

The statistics came from a national economic survey to increase the understanding of the structure of China's secondary and tertiary economic sectors so as to better guide future economic development.

-- China will stop levying agricultural tax as of Jan. 1, 2006, according to a decision of the national legislature which approved a motion on abolishing the regulations on the tax on December 29.

China's top legislature also made a decision on Oct. 27 to revise the personal income tax law to raise the cutoff point of the monthly personal income tax from 800 yuan to 1,600 yuan. The revised law goes into effect as of Jan. 1, 2006

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