BEIJING, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Lu Chang, 19, had to wait half an hour in line before he could see the ongoing exhibition held at the Beijing Exhibition Center which showcases China's achievements over the past seven decades.
The exhibition, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC), covers an area of around 15,500 square meters.
Like a time portal that takes people back to all the significant moments in history from China's past 70 years, it consists of five sections in chronological order and more than 1,190 exhibits, among which 150 items tell their stories of a different first for the PRC.
As a sophomore from the nearby Beijing Jiaotong University, a school that specializes in transportation, Lu was attracted by the picture of China's first locomotive produced in 1952.
"There is a similar steam locomotive model in my university," said Lu, who was visiting the exhibition with four classmates. "We're learning thermodynamics now, so I can relate our work in the classroom to this picture."
Before the PRC's founding in 1949, China built many railways but had no railway locomotive factories. Many overseas locomotives swarmed into China to fill the void.
"I'm proud to see the progress we have made in the train manufacturing industry. From an importer to an exporter, China has become a world leader in making bullet trains," said Wu Kunyuan, another train lover.
Beijing launched a high-speed intercity rail service to link the city's downtown area with its new airport a few days ago. Wu was among the passengers to take the first train bound for Beijing Daxing International Airport from Beijing West Railway Station. "It was a great experience," he said.
The exhibition reflects the practices, achievements and experience of the past 70 years, a period that marked great improvements in the country's economy and people's living conditions.
In 1977, China resumed the Gaokao, or college entrance exam, after a 10-year hiatus. There were 5.7 million people taking the exam that year, including high school graduates, farmers and factory workers.
Standing in front of a simulated scene of the Gaokao where examinees concentrated on their exam papers under a proctor's watchful eye, Zhang Jianwei was touched by the lifelike demonstration which brought him back to his own experience of the Gaokao in 1997.
"I am grateful for the resumption of the Gaokao because it has changed numerous people's lives, regardless of their social backgrounds," Zhang said. He was admitted to Shanxi University of Finance and Economics based on his exam results.
"I was brought up in the countryside, and the Gaokao changed my life," added Zhang, who is working on international projects at China Overseas Engineering Group Co., Ltd.
Beside the Gaokao-themed display area is a large screen that can take pictures of visitors and produce an admission card for the 1977 Gaokao for each visitor.
It is one of the hottest interactive activities of the exhibition. There are always people lining up to have their pictures taken and get their own exam admission cards, according to Li Yan, a volunteer from Peking University.
Other items on display include a video clip recording the PRC's founding ceremony in 1949, a picture capturing the moment when the PRC's lawful seat was restored in the United Nations in 1971, and a model of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the world's longest cross-sea bridge.
"This place is too big to see everything in one visit. I need to come back again," said Ealham Roustam, a Uygur student of Beijing Jiaotong University from Aksu Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
An online platform has also been launched by the organizing committee to allow those who cannot visit the site in person to enjoy a 360-degree view of the exhibition.