On June 25, 2002, Chinese basketball player Yao Ming was drafted first overall by the Houston Rockets. As a milestone figure of basketball history in China and the development of the NBA in the United States, Yao Ming inspired Chinese fans to engage in the sports culture of other countries. Not only did he stimulate the pride of the Chinese people, but also provided Westerners with a different perspective to understand China, building a bridge for exchange between the East and the West.
South- to- North Water Diversion Project
On December 27, 2002, the inaugural ceremony of the South-to- North Water Division Project was held simultaneously at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and construction sites in Shandong and Jiangsu provinces. The project aims to solve the water shortage in northern China, especially in the Haihe River, Huaihe River and Yellow River basins, which is expected to benefit a population of 438 million. Today, the middle route project and the east route project (Phase I) have been completed and are now diverting water to the north.