A health worker receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine from China in Istanbul, Turkey, Jan. 14, 2021. Photo:Xinhua

A video of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic welcoming the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in the cold wind went viral on Chinese social media platforms over the weekend, touching millions of Chinese netizens who applauded Vucic's strong endorsement of Chinese vaccines, which is of much significance amid fierce smearing from some Western media outlets.

"I went to the airport not only to receive the high-quality vaccines, but to demonstrate the friendship between China and Serbia," Vucic said Saturday according to a video posted by the People's Daily on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

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The Yangtze River is the world's third longest river, as well as China's mother river. [Photo by Pixabay]

From the ice-covered Tibetan plateau to the glittering delta on the East China Sea, the Yangtze River connects China’s magnificently disparate landscapes and culture, serving as the heart and soul of China. In his masterpiece Memorial to Yueyang Tower, Fan Zhongyan, a famous poet of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), described the beauty and vitality of the river: Fish with scales like glimmering silk disport themselves in the water, and the fishermen sing to each other for sheer joy.

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Lhalu Wetland National Nature Reserve in Lhasa, capital of southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, has over 15,000 migratory birds that come to the area to live through the winter, more than twice the number of migratory birds in the place five years ago, thanks to years of unremitting efforts to restore and protect ecology in the locality.

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The year 2020 marked an extremely unusual year in human history.

This year, the world suffered a hard time as people's health was seriously threatened; international exchanges were restricted; the global economy fell into a deep recession; and unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices were on a rise.

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A medical worker gives a cheer-up gesture at the temporary hospital converted from Wuhan Sports Center in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 12, 2020. (Xinhua/Xiao Yijiu)

Though the year 2020 marked an extremely unusual year for China, the country has made significant achievements this year.

This year, China was faced with mounting challenges in political, economic, cultural, military, social and international fields, and suffered natural disasters as well.

However, the country, led by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, stood up to the challenges and difficulties, providing a satisfactory example for the world to see.

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Aerial photo: Villagers dry chrysanthemum flowers in Jinxi Village of Xima Township, Longli County of southwest China's Guizhou Province, Oct. 27, 2020. Thanks to the chrysanthemum industry, 166 poverty-stricken households in Jinxi Village were lifted out of poverty in 2019. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin)

Complete mission impossible: elimination of extreme poverty & building a moderately prosperous society in all respects

In the face of compounded challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, a teetering global economy and other dire planetary, such as climate changes, have raised a question to the Chinese authorities: can the country keep its promise to eradicate extreme poverty by the end of 2020?

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This image taken from video animation at Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) on Dec. 2, 2020 shows Chang'e-5 spacecraft landing on the moon. China's Chang'e-5 spacecraft successfully landed on the near side of the moon and sent back images, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

Fly to the Moon: China’s lunar probe and tech advancement during the pandemic

For centuries, Chinese people have been making endless efforts to explore the secrets of the moon. For the past few decades, China has designed and developed many satellites and spaceships for exploring the moon, but it is in December, when China’s Chang’e-5 probe retrieved 1,731 g of lunar soil and rock samples to earth, that has caught the world’s attention. It was China’s first sample-return mission and the first lunar sample-return mission since the former Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976. By completing the mission, China became the third country to successfully obtain samples returned from the moon after the United States and the former Soviet Union.

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Student Huang Yahui takes an online course at her home in Fengtai District of Beijing, capital of China, Feb. 17, 2020. The beginning of the spring semester of 2020 in Beijing is delayed due to the novel coronavirus epidemic. Middle and primary school students in Beijing, under the instruction of teachers, started to take online supplementary courses on Feb. 14, the original starting date of the spring semester. (Xinhua/Chen Zhonghao)

Fun cultural phenomena during the pandemic: unbearable imps, humble brags and the young Tibetan star

During the first months of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to stay indoors as much as possible. In certain cities which were recognized by health authorities as high-risk areas, quarantine and home-isolation were imposed on citizens to avoid unnecessary contact.

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Workers assemble control system of instrument panel at a passenger car workshop of Ningde base of SAIC Motor Corporation Ltd in Ningde, East China's Fujian province, Sept 15, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Positive economic growth: only major economy with positive performance in pandemic

Due to China’s swift recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has become the only major economy to record positive performance in 2020, with a projected 1.8- percent growth, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in December. Despite a 6.8-percent year-on-year contraction in the first quarter, the Chinese economy increased by 3.2 percent in the second quarter and maintained a steady growth of 4.9 percent in the third quarter, showing a V-shaped recovery.

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Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan speaks in an interview in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province, July 29, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

Unity is strength: Public efforts to tackle COVID-19

On January 18, 2020, on a high-speed train to Wuhan, one of the world's most populous cities, people were chatting excitedly. A festive atmosphere filled the air, as passengers could not wait to get back for the Chinese Lunar New Year. None of them could know that in just a few days, their destination would become a forbidden zone plagued by a novel coronavirus.

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