|Chinese space explorers unleash national pride|
|Wednesday, 20 June 2012 12:00|
One group set a new national record of 6 965 metres for a deep-sea dive yesterday while the other are working and living in a space lab after completing China’s first-ever manned space docking procedure a day earlier.
Netizens noted the concurrent feats echoed a poetic line uttered by the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong in the 1960s: “We can clasp the moon in the ninth heaven and seize turtles deep down in the five seas. It is unimaginable that Chairman Mao’s wild aspirations have become reality in China today,” said an Internet user named “caolieju” on China’s popular tweeting service Sina Weibo.
“It’s a very proud time to be Chinese.”
One called “duanjiaqi” simply wrote: “Did you see that, Grandpa Mao?” “Both Shenzhou and Jiaolong are undoubtedly significant events in the history of China’s science and technology,” said Wang Zhonggui, deputy chief engineer of the manned space programme.
“As an engineer, I am keeping a close eye on their progress. We share the same happiness at success and bitterness at failure as we arduously ascend to the scientific pinnacle,” said Qian Weiping, a leading communication engineer in the manned space programme. However, some more sober-minded netizens pointed out these achievements lag behind those of more advanced countries.
“The two feats are encouraging, but in deep-water and space exploration, China has a long way to go before catching up with the US,” a tweet said, citing the near 11 000-metre sea dive of the submersible Trieste and the first moon walk, both achieved by the United States in the 1960s. — Xinhua.