With constant electricity supply and access, there’s almost nothing a nation cannot achieve in terms of development, be it infrastructure, human capital development and even technological. This is assertion has been proven true with the giant strides achieved in China in four decades. This article takes a cursory glance at China’s Development Journey so far withing half a century.
About half a century ago, China was one of the poorest nations of the world until it embarked on a reform that resulted in a paradigm shift and transformed the into the second-largest economy – and it’s still growing. This growth cuts across the nation’s infrastructure and engineering sectors as its capabilities are evolving just as rapidly, to keep pace with the economic transformation. According to The IMF, China’s economy will expand another 6.6% in 2018, and at a steady pace of at least 6% yearly in the next three years.
Today, China has achieved some world breaking innovations by putting into good use the amount of electricity they generate. From constructing bridges to building high speed trains, China has achieved great development feats. Lets take a look at some of these innovations that has place China on the Superpower Pedestal.
1. The Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The Hong Kong Zhuhai-Macao Bridge is an ambitious project. The 55 km bridge connects the Zhuhai City in Guangdong Province and Macao Special Administrative Region with Hong Kong (SAR).
The mega bridge also includes 29.6 km of 3-lane carriageway which is part tunnel (6.7 km) and part bridge. The most interesting thing about this bridge is that, two artificial islands have been built for the tunnel landings at the Hong Kong SAR end.
Well, every good innovation comes with a steep price – constructing the bridge cost a whooping amount of $2.3 billion dollars. The project which was completed in January 2018, drastically reduced the time it takes to travel between the three cities.
2. The Bullet Train
Rail passengers are not left out in China’s development plan as they will soon be able to travel at high speed from Beijing to Hong Kong. This innovation will reduce the amount required to travel from Beijing to Hong Kong. The journey will take just nine hours, a marked improvement on the current journey time of 24 hours. The highly-anticipated Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL) is scheduled to open on September 23rd. China’s high speed rail network extends to 25,000km and will compete with airlines to transport people quickly and comfortably across the country at a more affordable rate.
3. Aircraft Carriers
China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier set sail earlier this year for sea trials. The 65,000-tonne Type 001A is China’s latest effort to make sure its naval fleet can compete on a global scale. The ship is expected to go into service by 2020, while China plans to have four aircraft carrier battle groups afloat by 2030.
Simultaneously, Chinese engineers are working to avoid things that would eventually hamper the aircraft carriers from functioning optimally. Sea creatures like jellyfish. Swarms of jellyfish can get sucked into a ship’s water intake and end up clogging the cooling system, bringing the ship to a standstill.
4. Panda-Shaped Solar Farm
Over the last decade, China has positioned itself as a global leader in renewable energy – China has been pushing investment into renewable energy and closing down coal plants. This lead to the building of one of China’s largest solar farms shaped like pandas – Located in China’s northern Shanxi province, the Datong Panda Power Plant is a giant 50MW solar array spread across 100 hectares. It is the first plant to be built under a scheme agreed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Panda Green Energy’s major shareholder, China Merchants New Energy.
According to data published by REN21, at the end of 2016 China had 77.4GW of solar PV installed, representing more than a quarter of the global total.
5. The New Silk Road
Key to cementing China’s position as a global economic power is the huge Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, or the so-called New Silk Road.
Morgan Stanley predicts China’s investment in B&R countries will increase by 14% annually over the next two years and that the total investment is likely to double to as much as $1.3 trillion by 2027.
Since it was first proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in the autumn of 2013, more than 100 countries and international organisations have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents, widening the initiative’s scope to take in Africa, Latin America and the South Pacific region as well as Eurasia.
Source: The Annual Meeting of the New Champions is taking place in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China between 18 and 20 September 2018