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Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, despite grave difficulties both at home and abroad, China has risen to the challenge and worked hard to press ahead, driving forward sustained, healthy economic and social development, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core.
During the past five years, China has achieved major progress in finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, made important strides in deepening reform, and continued to exercise law-based governance. All of these achievements show that Chinese people have the courage, ingenuity, and ability to overcome any difficulty or hardship, and that there is even better development ahead for China.
On May 5, 2017, China’s homegrown large passenger plane, the C919, took off into the sky in Shanghai, with thousands of spectators gathering to witness the historic moment. Departing from Shanghai Pudong International Airport at around 2 p.m., the C919’s maiden flight, with five crew members on board but no passengers, lasted about 79 minutes, reaching an altitude of 3,000 meters. The plane’s successful debut makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer in the world after the United States, Europe, and Russia. Not only has China joined the global aviation market as a strong competitor, but the country’s manufacturing and innovation sectors have been reinforced as well.
Manufactured by Shanghai-based Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd. (COMAC), the twin-engine single-aisle C919 will be used for medium-haul flights in the commercial market, a process which may take two to three years.
The Chinese government has been placing great importance on establishing independence and self-sufficiency in all aspects of aviation. In 2007, the C919 project, a plan to develop a domestically-built large passenger jet, was launched. One year later, COMAC was established in Shanghai due to the city’s technological advantages in the aviation industry. In November 2015, the first C919 jet rolled off the assembly line. The letter “C” in the aircraft’s name stands for both China and COMAC, while 9 symbolizes “forever” in Chinese culture, and 19 represents its 190-seat capacity.