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2012 saw the growth of China's military might, a new leader in the Communist party, and the first female astronaut in space.
China's top leaders attend the opening ceremony of the18th Communist Party Congress in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 8, 2012. Delegates of the Communist Party have arrived in China's capital for the meeting which begins the once-in-a-decade power transfer. President Hu Jintao will pass the leadership to Xi Jinping. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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China's first female astronaut Liu Yang takes a photo of herself while in low earth orbit on the Shenzhou IX rocket on June 18, 2012. China made history Saturday when it launched a spacecraft sending the nation's first female, along with two male astronauts, into space for its fist manned-docking mission. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) shows off its 4th Helicopter Regiment during an open house visit for journalists at a military base on the outskirts of Beijing on July 24, 2012. China's expanded economic strength, coupled with its military spending, has given rise to increasing regional security concerns with its neighbors -- with Japan, India and the Philippines being at the fore front.. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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Chinese models showcase designs during the SEC collection show by designer Qi Gang during the China Fashion Week in Beijing on October 26, 2012. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A Chinese woman delivers goods to a shop at a low-budget market in Beijing on December 7, 2012. China's economic growth rebound, forecast to have gathered pace in November, is bypassing smaller businesses in a sign the government may need to step up policy support to secure a more broad-based recovery. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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Small collectible gold bullion bars are sold at a major gold shop in Beijing on November 26, 2012. China is poised to become the largest importer of gold by the end of the year, overtaking India, according to the World Gold Council. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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A Chinese worker stands on the top of a new building still under construction in Beijing on July 11, 2012. China's top advisory body called on the government to relax market restrictions to keep the economy growing, the first such proposal by advisers to steady a weakening property market. This is the first time a group of influential economic advisers have called on China to relax controls on the property market. UPI/Stephen Shaver
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