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2019-12-29 05:49:13

With 2019 drawing to a close, Sixth Tone takes a moment to reflect on some images that helped shape the past year in China. These 25 photos go beyond top news stories to capture a changing country, as well as the challenges and triumphs in everyday life.

People raise their phones to the sky to record a Beijing fireworks show celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Oct. 1, 2019. Aly Song/Reuters/VCG

People raise their phones to the sky to record a Beijing fireworks show celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Oct. 1, 2019. Aly Song/Reuters/VCG

Chinese staff adjust a U.S. flag before trade talks commence at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/VCG

Chinese staff adjust a U.S. flag before trade talks commence at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, Feb. 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool/VCG

A woman holds a teddy bear at Costco’s first outlet store in the Chinese mainland in Shanghai, Aug. 29, 2019. Tang Yanjun/CNC/VCG

A woman holds a teddy bear at Costco’s first outlet store in the Chinese mainland in Shanghai, Aug. 29, 2019. Tang Yanjun/CNC/VCG

A zookeeper hugs a beluga whale during a performance at the Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, Feb. 26, 2019. Changfeng’s two female beluga whales will go back to their natural habitats near Iceland. Zhu Weihui for Sixth Tone

A zookeeper hugs a beluga whale during a performance at the Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, Feb. 26, 2019. Changfeng’s two female beluga whales will go back to their natural habitats near Iceland. Zhu Weihui for Sixth Tone

Large waves crash against a sea wall in front of a row of residential buildings in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, Aug. 9, 2019. China issued a red alert ahead of Typhoon Lekima making landfall in Zhejiang province. VCG

Large waves crash against a sea wall in front of a row of residential buildings in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, Aug. 9, 2019. China issued a red alert ahead of Typhoon Lekima making landfall in Zhejiang province. VCG

An aerial view of the aftermath of an explosion at a chemical plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co. Ltd. in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, March 22, 2019. Caixin/VCG

An aerial view of the aftermath of an explosion at a chemical plant owned by Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical Co. Ltd. in Yancheng, Jiangsu province, March 22, 2019. Caixin/VCG

A surviving firefighter attends a press conference after a deadly forest fire killed 27 firefighters and three people from the local fire department in Muli County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, April 3, 2019. IC

A surviving firefighter attends a press conference after a deadly forest fire killed 27 firefighters and three people from the local fire department in Muli County, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, April 3, 2019. IC

A firefighter works at the site where a building collapsed in Shanghai, May 16, 2019. Ten people were killed when the roof of a Shanghai commercial building caved in on May 16. Aly Song/ Reuters/VCG

A firefighter works at the site where a building collapsed in Shanghai, May 16, 2019. Ten people were killed when the roof of a Shanghai commercial building caved in on May 16. Aly Song/ Reuters/VCG

Cement is being poured into the subsided section of a road in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Aug. 28, 2019. A subway line runs under the cave-in, and residents in the nearby 13 buildings have been evacuated as assessments and reconstructions are underway. Chen Zhongqiu/VCG

Cement is being poured into the subsided section of a road in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Aug. 28, 2019. A subway line runs under the cave-in, and residents in the nearby 13 buildings have been evacuated as assessments and reconstructions are underway. Chen Zhongqiu/VCG

A child looks into the distance from inside a tent at a temporary camp set up for earthquake survivors in Changning County, Sichuan province, June 18, 2019. Peng Ziyang/Beijing News/IC

A child looks into the distance from inside a tent at a temporary camp set up for earthquake survivors in Changning County, Sichuan province, June 18, 2019. Peng Ziyang/Beijing News/IC

An excavator picks up dolls during an art installation by Chinese artist Nut Brother in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Aug. 4, 2019. Qiu Rong for Sixth Tone

An excavator picks up dolls during an art installation by Chinese artist Nut Brother in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, Aug. 4, 2019. Qiu Rong for Sixth Tone

China’s lunar rover leaves its first ‘footprint’ after exiting a lander on the far side of the moon, published on Jan. 11, 2019. CNSA/Xinhua

China’s lunar rover leaves its first ‘footprint’ after exiting a lander on the far side of the moon, published on Jan. 11, 2019. CNSA/Xinhua

A staff member wearing a mock space suit poses at the C-Space Project Mars simulation base in the Gobi Desert near Jinchang, Gansu province, April 18, 2019. Thomas Peter/Reuters/VCG

A staff member wearing a mock space suit poses at the C-Space Project Mars simulation base in the Gobi Desert near Jinchang, Gansu province, April 18, 2019. Thomas Peter/Reuters/VCG

Heavy traffic caused a logjam at the summit of Mount Everest, on the border of China and Nepal, May 22, 2019. Project Possible/VCG

Heavy traffic caused a logjam at the summit of Mount Everest, on the border of China and Nepal, May 22, 2019. Project Possible/VCG

Shen Wei, a web celebrity on video app Douyin, is crowded by livestreamers in Shanghai, March 23, 2019. Zhuang Fang/BonfireStory

Shen Wei, a web celebrity on video app Douyin, is crowded by livestreamers in Shanghai, March 23, 2019. Zhuang Fang/BonfireStory

“Vagrant master” Shen Wei poses for a photo in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, Dec. 10, 2019. Wang Qin/Redstar News/Chengdu Economic Daily

“Vagrant master” Shen Wei poses for a photo in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, Dec. 10, 2019. Wang Qin/Redstar News/Chengdu Economic Daily

A customer purchases pork at an agricultural trade market in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Oct. 15, 2019. China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 3% year-over-year in September. Long Wei/VCG

A customer purchases pork at an agricultural trade market in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Oct. 15, 2019. China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose 3% year-over-year in September. Long Wei/VCG

A robotic hair transplant machine is seen on day two of the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, Nov. 6, 2019. Zhang Hengwei/CNS/VCG

A robotic hair transplant machine is seen on day two of the 2nd China International Import Expo (CIIE) at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, Nov. 6, 2019. Zhang Hengwei/CNS/VCG

“Roly-poly toy” performers entertain a crowd at the Great Tang All Day Mall in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, Dec. 5, 2019. Lei Jia/VCG

“Roly-poly toy” performers entertain a crowd at the Great Tang All Day Mall in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, Dec. 5, 2019. Lei Jia/VCG

Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma (left) and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (right) attend the opening ceremony of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, Aug. 29, 2019. Zhao Yun for Sixth Tone

Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma (left) and Tesla CEO Elon Musk (right) attend the opening ceremony of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC) in Shanghai, Aug. 29, 2019. Zhao Yun for Sixth Tone

Jack Ma (center) raises his hands during Alibaba’s 20th anniversary celebration in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Sept. 10, 2019. Chen Zhongqiu/VCG

Jack Ma (center) raises his hands during Alibaba’s 20th anniversary celebration in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, Sept. 10, 2019. Chen Zhongqiu/VCG

China’s first cloned kitten, Garlic, poses for a photo in Beijing, Sept. 2, 2019. Sinogene, a commercial pet cloning outfit that has successfully cloned more than 40 dogs since 2017, announced it had cloned its first cat in late August. STR/VCG

China’s first cloned kitten, Garlic, poses for a photo in Beijing, Sept. 2, 2019. Sinogene, a commercial pet cloning outfit that has successfully cloned more than 40 dogs since 2017, announced it had cloned its first cat in late August. STR/VCG

Xu Zaozao (center), the plaintiff of a case on the right to freeze eggs as a single woman, does an interview in front of the court after the first hearing in Chaoyang District in Beijing, Dec. 23, 2019. Cai Xingzhuo/JIEMIAN

Xu Zaozao (center), the plaintiff of a case on the right to freeze eggs as a single woman, does an interview in front of the court after the first hearing in Chaoyang District in Beijing, Dec. 23, 2019. Cai Xingzhuo/JIEMIAN

Basketball player Jeremy Lin wears customized sneakers printed with a photo of him and his friend Godfrey Gao during a Chinese Basketball Association game in Beijing, Nov. 28, 2019. Gao died this week at 35 after he collapsed during filming of the action reality show “Chase Me.” Cui Nan/CNS/VCG

Basketball player Jeremy Lin wears customized sneakers printed with a photo of him and his friend Godfrey Gao during a Chinese Basketball Association game in Beijing, Nov. 28, 2019. Gao died this week at 35 after he collapsed during filming of the action reality show “Chase Me.” Cui Nan/CNS/VCG

Fans snap photos of Yao Ming, former NBA player and current president of the Chinese Basketball Association, during a match between China and South Korea at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Sept 6, 2019. Liu Jialiang/IC

Fans snap photos of Yao Ming, former NBA player and current president of the Chinese Basketball Association, during a match between China and South Korea at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, Sept 6, 2019. Liu Jialiang/IC