satellites connecting dozens of ground-based stations and networks.
“But the final number of satellites depends on its usage and market needs,” said Pan, adding that there are other major hurdles to overcome, such as distributing quantum keys across continents during daytime. The latter feat was first achieved by China in July when Micius beamed one over 53 kilometers during the day.
The United States and Japan also have plans for quantum communication. Japan launched a microsatellite named SOCRATES in 2014, and it conducted its own quantum channel test in July.
However, Micius is a much larger, versatile satellite capable of different experiments, and has had more success. “China will lead the quantum space race for the next five years,” said Pan. “But the world is also catching up fast.”
Over the years, Yang has answered countless questions from reporters on urgent and sensitive issues.
In addition to a monthly news conference, the information office is tasked with public relations, crisis management, media exchanges, helping to draft the national security white paper, and interacting with netizens through social media.
“My family has been very supportive for my work, but I have owed my family too much, and now they need me more than ever,” Yang said. He said he has no other plans for the future, and would first spend his summer with his family.
Typically, senior government spokesmen and women go into business or teaching after retirement.
Senior Colonel Wu Qian, 44, has been appointed as the new director of the ministry’s information office. He was previously deputy director and has been a spokesman since 2015.
He graduated from the People’s Liberation Army Institute of International Relations in 1995 and has also been a counselor at the ministry’s foreign affairs office before joining the information office.