Editor’s note:

China's fast-paced scientific advancements have captured the world's attention in recent years. It has planted its footprints as high as the outer space, as down as the bottom of the ocean and its field stretches from the large-scale projects such as FAST, the world’s largest radio telescope, to the smallest particle in the world. Here we invite you to go with us on a journey to see how far China has pushed the limits of scientific research and the distance it plans to cover in the near future to make the world a better place.

Unmanned deep submersibles

On March 24, China launched the country's first ship "Zhang Jian" specifically designed for carrying submersible.

The ship is 97 meters long and 17.8 meters wide. It is designed to carry 60 people and has a 15,000-nautical mile range.

Its first scientific expedition is planned for August in the New Britain Trench off Papua New Guinea.

The ship will control Rainbow Fish, China's first 11,000-meter robotic submersible, to try to get 8,000 meters under the surface.

Robotic submersible had been tested down to 4,000 meters underwater. If the test in New Britain Trench succeeds, Zhang Jian will take the Rainbow Fish for another dive to 11,000 meters in the Mariana Trench by the end of 2016.

Manned submersibles

The current Chinese manned diving record was made by Jiaolong, a manned deep-sea research submersible out of China's own independent R&D.

It reached 7,062 meters in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean in June 2012, a record-breaking depth range of any manned research vehicle in the world.

It completes the last diving mission at Yap Trench in western Pacific Ocean, reaching 6,579 meters under the sea on May 22, 2016.


Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), or Tianyan, will become the world's largest of its kind, overtaking Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory, which is 300 meters in diameter. Once completed in September, it will be 10 times more sensitive than the steerable 100-meter telescope near Bonn, Germany.

Scientific application

FAST can detect weak radio signals from the outer space, even beyond our own solar system and will be helpful in areas such as large-scale physics of the universe and understanding the nature of dark matter. It will also contribute to the international search for intelligent extraterrestrial life (SETI) and could also be used to track spacecraft involved in China's space program.

Construction and cost

With an investment of 1.2 billion yuan ($185 million), this gigantic project in southwestern China's Guizhou province, began in 2011 and will be completed in September this year.

World's first quantum communication satellite

The world's first quantum communication satellite developed by China will be launched in July.

The satellite is dedicated to quantum science experiments, and it will serve as evidence that China is leading the world to achieve satellite-earth quantum communication.

The first satellite of this program, a dark-matter satellite, has been launched into space in December last year and is collecting data. The second, the country's first microgravity satellite, the SJ-10, was successfully launched on April 6 this year.

A hard X-ray telescope for black hole and neutron star studies is also expected to be launched in the second half of this year.

World's longest quantum communication network

China will complete and put into service the world's longest quantum communication network stretching 2,000km from Beijing to Shanghai in the second half of this year.

Government agencies and banks in cities along the route can use it first. By 2030, the Chinese network would be extended worldwide.

In 2012, China built the world's first metropolitan area quantum network in Hefei, linking 46 nodes to allow real-time voice communications, text messages and file transfers.

Two Robots hit on social media

Robot Monk

Buddhist monasteries are often associated with tradition and the ancient past but one located 30 kilometers northwest of Beijing's Zhongguancun - China's innovation hub - has become famous for looking to the future with its use of cutting-edge technology and for its latest recruit, a robot.

"Jia Jia"

A new interactive robot, named Jia Jia, looking like a real woman, was showcased at the 2016 China (Shanghai) International Technology Fair from April 21 to 23.

Bio-engineering applied in organ transplant

Bio-engineered corneas made from pigs' eyes may help millions of Chinese patients to see again, ophthalmologists have said. A 14-year-old boy regained his sight after receiving a pig cornea transplant on Feb 25, according to Yuan Jin of Sun Yat-sen University ophthalmology center, in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Treatment of major diseases

China has the largest number of Alzheimer patients in the world but it has been making strides to join the world's pace in unlocking the medical mystery.

On May 11, Zhang Baorong, a member of Alzheimer’s Disease Chinese, announced that his research team had found a new protein called "IL-33", which may reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer, a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gets worse over time.

If the clinical trial tests successfully, their finding can help 20 percent to 30 percent of patients with less-serious Alzheimer to recover fully.

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Designers: Tianyi, Chen Xiaotong
Editors: Jin Dan,Chen Ziyan
All images subject to copyright
Published: June 23, 2016

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