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China’s space agency has an extraordinary gift for the ruling Communist Party’s 100th birthday: a rover on Mars.
The historic landing on Saturday of Zhurong, a rover named after the god of fire in ancient Chinese folklore, was a crowning moment for China. It not only demonstrated the country’s growing capabilities in space, but also served as a timely reminder of how far the country has come since its founding.
During the 1919 May Fourth movement that paved the way for the birth of the Party two years later, patriotic Chinese students and intellectuals rallied for science and democracy to save the weak and divided country from the hands of Western powers.