By Xinhua writers Zhou Qianxian and Zheng Jingxia
BEIJING, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- Displayed in the showroom, the first domestic car Dongfeng produced in 1958 has attracted a crowd of viewers at an ongoing exhibition at Beijing Exhibition Center.
Taking a close look at the vehicle, one will find the number on its license plate is "42406," which represents how many cars China owned at that time.
By the end of 2018, the number of cars in China reached 240 million, witnessing a big leap in both quantity and quality.
At the exhibition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), various exhibits comprehensively reflect the practices, achievements and experiences of the past 70 years.
"When I was young, I used to travel by bicycle, but now my family owns three cars and I got my driver's license at 60," recalled Sun Shien, a 75-year-old visitor, who stopped at an old-fashioned bicycle in the showroom.
In recent years, Sun has seen the trademark orange and yellow bicycles of bike-sharing firms Mobike and Ofo fill the city streets. "I ride bikes more for physical exercise than just commuting," Sun added.
Sun was also thrilled to see a huge relief depicting the opening of the Chengdu-Chongqing Railway, the first railway built after the PRC's founding.
"As a member of the railway construction team, I am so proud to witness so much advanced equipment and technology in the construction of the new high-speed railway, which I believe represents the rapid development of our country," said Sun.
The length of the country's railway network hit 132,000 km at the end of 2018, compared with just 22,000 km in 1949.
Jin Gendong, a visitor who came to Beijing via high-speed train from Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, never imagined that the travel time needed for the journey would fall from two days to less than seven hours.
The models of the C919, China's first self-developed trunk jetliner, and Beijing Daxing International Airport in the exhibition hall also attracted crowds of curious onlookers.
"China speed" is now less about the sheer velocity of building roads, bridges and airports, or producing greater numbers of motorcycles and cars. Instead, it is more about how these vehicles become greener, more intelligent and more efficient.
"Behind 'China speed' are great improvements in the country's economy and people's living standards. What an amazing transformation it has been!" Fang Qianqi, a student visitor said.