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Top 10 news events of China in 2015
1. Deadly stampede tragedy in Shanghai
The stampede happened on the last night of year of 2014 as tens of thousands of people assembled on Shanghai's historic riverfront walk to see a new-year skyline show in the Pudong financial area on the opposite side of the Huangpu River.36 people were killed from a 12-year-old to a 37-year-old among whom 34 were residents of the Chinese mainland, 1 was from Taiwan and one was a Malaysian citizen.
Shanghai and other big cities soon cancelled big gatherings and rolled out safety regulations on crowd control after the accident as the government was caught in the backwash of criticism for not putting in place effective preparation measures to cope with the crowds that flocked to the Bund.
2.Unfortunate shipwreck
The Eastern Star cruise ship sank on the Jianli section of the Yangtze River on June 1, killing 442 passengers and crew on board the ship as only 12 survived.
The Eastern Star, with 403 tourists, 46 crew members and five travel agency employees aboard, was on a 11-day trip along the Yangtze River when it was overturned by a tornado on the night of June 1.
The 76.5-meter vessel had been in service for nearly 20 years and could carry up to 534 people. It underwent annual maintenance in late 2014 and was certified to cruise until April 25, 2016.
Search and rescue operations have ended on June 13 and the investigation result released on Dec 30 says the reason for the shipwreck was the heavy storm during freak weather.
3. Stock market rollercoaster
The A-share market suffered a free fall from June to August in 2015 when the market regulator tightened leverage norms. Funds panicked, a selloff ensued, and even global markets shivered, worried over further slowdown in the world's 
second largest economy.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index crashed 45 percent in less than two months. The rout wiped out $5 trillion of market value and prompted the regulator to launch an unprecedented rescue.
The plunge delayed reform of the Chinese stock market, prompting the regulator to intensify crackdowns on market manipulators and insider trading. Several senior executives of CITIC Securities, the country's largest brokerage, were investigated for alleged insider trading.

4.Tianjin blasts
Catastrophic explosions happened at midnight on Aug 12 in Tianjin where large amounts of toxic chemicals were stored in warehouses including around 700 tons of sodium cyanide.
162 people died including 96 firefighters, 11 policemen and 55 residents nearby. The eleven missing include eight firefighters and three residents. Hundreds remain in hospital.
People are shocked to know how dangerous the neighborhood they lived in was as few people even knew about the existence of the hazardous chemicals before the blasts.
5.V-Day parade
China held a V-Day military parade on Sept 3 for the first time in Beijing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the victory of the war of China's resistance against the Japanese invasion.
Twenty-three heads of state and government leaders and over 100 foreign VIPs or relatives of wartime heroes attended the parade to share the moment with China.
President Xi Jinping also announced to cut China's troops by 300,000 by the end of 2017 to show the nation's resolve to sticking to the path of peaceful development.
12,000 troops and 1,000 foreign troops from 17 countries participated in the parade.
6.CPC Fifth Plenary Session
China is about to march into its 13th Five-Year Plan from 2016, a plan that was proposed and adopted during CPC Fifth Plenary Session from OCT 26 to 29 amid China's new normal of slower economic growth.
The plan shifts China's focus on raising energy output and improving its energy supply structure with specific wind, solar power, and oil exploration targets.
The second child policy and the goal to alleviate poverty drew much attention worldwide.
7. Xi-Ma meeting
President Xi Jinping and Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou met and had face-to-face talks in Singapore on Nov 7.
The meeting is the first between the leaders from both sides of the Straits in 66 years since 1949, hailed as a milestone for cross-Straits relations and a breakthrough in leaders' communication.
It gained much attention from the world though they weren't expected to sign any agreement nor deliver a joint communique but merely exchanged views on promoting peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
8. Landslide in Shenzhen
A landslide buried 33 buildings at the Hengtaiyu industrial park in Shenzhen City on Dec 20, leaving seven people dead and 75 missing.
It was later proved to be a work safety incident-- the result of the collapse of waste construction material used for landfill --rather than a geological disaster.
The local government apologized to victims and 12 people who were involved are being detained. 52-year-old Xu Yuan'an, chief official who approved the waste dump site, fell to his death.
The Supreme People's Procuratorate announced it would investigate the case for suspected malpractice crimes while the search is still on.
9. AIIB starts operation
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the first international financial institution proposed by China, was formally set up in December 2015.
The AIIB mainly focuses on supporting infrastructure construction projects in the Asia-Pacific region as China looks to strengthening economic ties with the neighboring economies.
The bank has garnered the approval of 17 countries including China, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany.
10. Smog depresses the northern cities
Several alerts of smog attacks during the winter destroyed the general impression that air pollution is improving when severe smog blanketed the cities for days.
Some cities like Beijing started practicing regulations such as limiting the number of vehicles and suspending school on days with severe air pollution.
Source: Chinadaily

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