Hunan now a hotbed for innovation, trade

By XING WEN in Beijing and FENG ZHIWEI in Changsha | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-08-03 09:39
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A panoramic view of the Xiangjiang River running through downtown Changsha, Hunan. CHINA DAILY

Editor's note: China has seen tremendous changes nationwide, from economic growth to environmental protection, from social improvement to cultural progress. In this series, China Daily maps the changes and tells the stories of the people who lived through them.

Central province pushes ahead with science and technology work, cooperation with African nations

The past decade has witnessed Central China's Hunan province transform into a new highland of opening up that is strong in manufacturing and technological innovation.

The province's GDP was 4.6 trillion yuan ($679 billion) last year, up from 2.1 trillion yuan in 2012. During the same period, its urban residents' per capita disposable income grew from 22,000 yuan to 45,000 yuan. For rural residents, it grew from 8,000 yuan to 18,000 yuan.

Hunan has also seen success in carrying out scientific and technological innovations. The number of patents granted surged to 98,936 last year, 4.26 times the figure in 2012.

"We have taken serving national strategies and major needs as our primary mission, participated in undertaking major national projects and achieved a number of landmark results, including the creation of super hybrid rice, the Tianhe supercomputer series, ultrahigh-speed rail transit traction technology and electromagnetic prospecting equipment," said Li Zhijian, director of Science and Technology Department of Hunan Province.

The development of CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive, located in Zhuzhou city, Hunan, epitomizes the province's journey to grow into one that is now strong in manufacturing.

Last month, a rubber-tired subway train rolled off the assembly line of CRRC Zhuzhou and was expected to be exported to Mexico City as part of a plan to upgrade its Metro Line 1.

The train, which has a maximum passenger capacity of 2,252 people and can run at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour, is also the very first rubber-tired subway train independently produced by a Chinese manufacturer.

Before that, CRRC Zhuzhou also managed to export trains to Turkey, Austria and other European countries.

In just decades, CRRC Zhuzhou has more overseas orders for its trains than any other similar enterprise in China, acting as a window for the nation's high-end rail transit equipment to enter the world.

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