The container terminal of Xiuying Port in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo/China News Service]
>Nation builds on growth momentum
With annual growth of 2.3 percent, the Chinese economy was the world's only major economy to have avoided contraction in 2021. Its 101.6 trillion yuan GDP is estimated to account for more than 17 percent of the world's economy, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday.
China eradicated absolute poverty last year, with per capita disposable income of rural residents in impoverished areas growing 5.6 percent in real terms to 12,588 yuan last year, according to the NBS. The nation's energy consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP also dropped by 0.1 percent from the previous year.
China's economy has sustained its expansion in the first two months of the year, as the purchasing managers index of the manufacturing sector came in at 50.6 in February.
NBS figures also indicate that factors to underpin sustainable, high-quality economic growth are on the rise.
The country's expenditures on research and experimental development activities amounted to 2.44 trillion yuan last year, up by 10.3 percent year-on-year, the bureau said.
>More than 300 satellites in orbit
China's satellite application system made great progress in 2021, with more than 300 satellites in orbit for various applications, according to a recent report released by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
Among them are remote sensing satellites for meteorological and marine monitoring, and communication satellites.
China started the construction of a high-throughput broadband satellite communication system in 2021, with the APSTAR-6D telecommunication satellite launched in July.
Based on satellite communication capability, China provides communication services for users on the ground and at sea and in the air.
The total number of direct broadcasting satellite service users has exceeded 145 million.
With the improvement of space infrastructure, aerospace enterprises have promoted the integration of aerospace and other industries through satellite operations and data mining, according to the report.
>HK launches COVID-19 vaccination
Hong Kong started COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Friday for priority groups, including medical workers and the aged, a week after the arrival of the first batch of mainland-made doses.
The vaccine was given at five community vaccination centers and 18 general outpatient clinics, where people waited in long queues to get their first shots.
So far, all 70,000 booking slots available for the next two weeks have been taken up.
The vaccine administered in Hong Kong was produced by Sinovac Biotech. The first 1 million doses arrived in Hong Kong on Feb 19, the earliest vaccine delivered here. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has procured 22.5 million doses of vaccine from three different producers for its free inoculation program, which is expected to cover the entire population.
One million doses of the Fosun Pharma/BioNTech vaccine are expected to be shipped to Hong Kong soon.
The government has earmarked over 8.4 billion Hong Kong dollars for free vaccination of the majority of the population this year.