The Hinkley Point C nuclear power project, which Chinese companies invested in, is under construction in western England in August.Han Yan / Xinhua Xi's historic 2015 UK trip continues to bear fruit, ambassador says Almost two years ago, President Xi Jinping made a historic state visit to the United Kingdom, heralding a Golden Era for China-UK relations. That visit, from Oct 19 to 23 in 2015, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, was a milestone because its significance extends well beyond our times, said Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK, ahead of the visit's two year anniversary. Liu accompanied Xi throughout his UK visit. President Xi's 'super state visit' to the UK had a 'super impact' on China-UK relations, the veteran diplomat said. Internationally, Xi's visit was a courageous effort to build a new type of major country relationship. Looking back, he said, Xi's visit has had three highlights, which he summarized as three supers: that is, super program, super outcomes and super significance. By super program, Liu refers to Xi's tight schedule. In five days, Xi attended more than 30 events. His trip took him not only to the capital city of London, but also other parts of Britain. His itinerary also included towns and villages. His schedule maintained a tight political agenda and light interaction with the public. The super outcomes refers to 59 deals reached during Xi's visit, including 13 intergovernmental and noncommercial agreements, 28 commercial contracts worth 40 billion pounds ($52.28 billion), as well as 18 other outcomes. The signing of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project was a milestone, with a Chinese nuclear company making its first-ever entry into a developed country's market. There were breakthroughs in financial services cooperation marked by the expansion of the scale of currency swap, the launch of the feasibility study on Shanghai-London Stock Connect, and China's agreement to make London the place of issue for its first RMB sovereign bond outside China. Liu said the state visit has super significance as the human touch of Xi's UK trip was a fine example of public diplomacy. From the royal carriages to the Plough in Cadsden, from the Indian pale ale with fish and chips to the iconic Sergio Aguero selfie, numerous eye-catching moments made headlines and became media focal points. President Xi mentioned many British household names in his speeches, from Byron, Shelley and Dickens, to Harry Potter, Sherlock and Downton Abbey, and felt instantly close to the British public. This visit created huge enthusiasm across Britain for learning about China in greater depth, Liu said. The role of this visit in building stronger public support for closer China-UK cooperation cannot be overstated, he said. During the state visit, China and the UK committed to building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st Century. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and countries of global influence, China and the UK shoulder responsibilities for advancing world peace and development. Liu said that the China-UK Golden Era is a successful practice of China's vision for state-to-state ties, namely, a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. It is a fine example of how the emerging and established powers can work together to build a new type of relationship in which they deepen mutual trust, engage in healthy interaction and pursue win-win cooperation, Liu said. Over the past year, President Xi and Prime Minister Theresa May have maintained close personal contact since she formed a new government after the Brexit referendum in June 2016. Looking ahead, the diplomat said that Brexit is bringing uncertainties and instabilities, but the shared goal of China and the UK to build a Golden Era remains unchanged. He noted that May is planning a visit to China before the end of this year. I have confidence that such a visit will give new impetus to the China-UK relationship and allow the 'Golden Era' to endure, Liu said. Liu said the coming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, beginning on Oct 18, will take stock of our development experience and formulate the program and policies for the future. China's peaceful development will offer more opportunities for the world, Britain included, he said.   kids wristbands
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  Left: Soldiers take an oath to defend the country. Feng Gensuo / For China Daily Right: The PLA Rocket Force launches a ballistic missile. Song Yuangao / For China Daily Advanced weaponry, training boost specialized unit's combat readiness The People's Liberation Army Rocket Force has become more versatile as its missiles have become smaller, more powerful and more accurate, the force said recently. In the past, missile launches were carried out by top soldiers handpicked from a whole brigade, but now any launch team randomly drawn can carry out a mission. All of the Rocket Force's missile brigades are able to independently launch missiles, and all have taken part in realistic war games with adversary units, according to a news release. On-duty cells are ready to fire missiles immediately when ordered, it said. The new-generation missiles feature a higher level of automation and good anti-jamming and penetration capabilities. And a number of modern launch facilities that are capable of firing various types of missiles have been built across the country. The Rocket Force has commissioned many mobile launch vehicles that can travel long distances by road and operate in rough terrain, enabling the firing of missiles anytime and anywhere, according to the news release. The force has launched hundreds of missiles in live-fire exercises over the past several years to improve its combat readiness. The missiles were fired during about 40 exercises within the force itself, as well as during more than 30 joint drills between the force and other military branches and regional theater commands, according to the release. In another development, the Rocket Force recently published a number of video clips about its units' training and live-fire drills. One of the clips shows ballistic missiles being launched during exercises, including footage of a volley of seven short-range ballistic missiles and the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. Another video showed how an intercontinental ballistic missile brigade trained in a monthlong underground survival exercise in an unidentified facility beneath mountains. Such disclosures are unusual. The Rocket Force doesn't typically publicize how its intercontinental ballistic missile brigades operate, let alone in a highly classified underground facility. The force has become a vital pillar of China's strategic deterrence system and will play a leading role in safeguarding the nation's sovereignty and interests, military experts said, noting the force is also becoming increasingly confident about exhibiting its capabilities to the outside world. The PLA Rocket Force was established in December 2015 to replace the former PLA Second Artillery Corps, which had managed the country's ballistic missiles since the 1960s. At its founding ceremony, President Xi Jinping urged the force to improve its nuclear deterrence and counterstrike capacity, and also to strengthen its medium - and long-range precision strike ability. According to PLA Daily, the Rocket Force has at least nine types of missiles in active service, including the DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile, the DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile and the CJ-10A ground-launched cruise missile.    
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