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Year in review: Top China events of 2015

Beijing celebrated the 70th anniversary of the victory of China’s Anti-Japanese war and the World Anti-Fascist War in 2015 with an impressive V-day parade at the Tiananmen Square in September. The capital also made headlines as it became the only city in history to be the host of both the summer and winter Olympic Games after winning the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics which will be co-hosted by neighboring Zhangjiakou city of Hebei province.
 
For ordinary citizens, staging an international event is less of an image-burnishing occasion and more of an opportunity to lift them out of the choking smog that has escalated into airpocalypse, especially in winter when the coal consumption skyrockets in northern China. Beijing issued its first ever top-level red alert for the heavy smog in December, a move seen by many as too late and too little to tackle the root cause of the air pollution.
 
While craving for more blue-sky days, we are still waiting for investigation reports of the two serious incidents that left hundreds of people dead this year. A passenger ship carrying more than 450 people capsized in the Yangtze River in June. In the other incident, over 170 people were killed by warehouse blasts in Tianjin in China’s worst industrial disaster in years.
 
Instead of developing a major-power relationship, China and the US have become like frenemies engaged in friendly high-level summits and fierce spats over the South China Sea throughout the year.
 
President Xi Jinping had a busy diplomatic schedule travelling across four continents to gain geopolitical ground and expand economic clout, including the ground-breaking meeting with Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou.
 
China’s post-80s could become the only one-child generation as the family planning policy was relaxed in the biggest social policy shift in three decades. Couples are allowed to have two children given the fact that the country could become the first in the world to get old before getting rich. Will more couples consider having a second child in 2016?
 
Here is the Sino-US.com’s pick of top 10 Chinese news items of 2015:
 
1. President Xi Jinping visits US

Chinese President Xi Jinping is given a football jersey by students of Tacoma's Lincoln High School in Seattle. Photo: AP

Chinese President Xi Jinping paid his first state visit to the US in September, consolidating the world’s most important bilateral relationship amid South China Sea disputes and cyber security row.
 
The trip, which included a state dinner with US President Barack Obama and tour of the Boeing assembly line, rekindled a personal relationship forged 22 years ago. Xi first visited Tacoma, Seattle in 1993 when he was head of Fuzhou city of Fujian Province. He oversaw the signing of the sister-city relationship between Fuzhou and Tacoma.
 
The CEOs of 15 top Chinese companies, including Jack Ma of the Alibaba Group, Ma Huateng of Tencent Holdings, Yang Yuanqing of the Lenovo Group and Li Yanhong of Baidu Inc., met with 15 executives of top US companies, highlighting China’s upgraded commercial capacities.

Xi Jinping visits US


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