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China's first large cruise ship "Adora Magic City" marks a new milestone in Chinese shipbuilding industry

The large cruise ship Adora Magic City at Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai, China, Jan 1, 2024. /CFP
The large cruise ship Adora Magic City at Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai, China, Jan 1, 2024. /CFP

The large cruise ship Adora Magic City at Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal, Shanghai, China, Jan 1, 2024. /CFP

Editor's note: Liu Chunsheng is an associate professor at the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

With the delivery and operation of China's first large cruise ship Adora Magic City, China has officially acquired the "three pearls" of the shipbuilding industry: aircraft carriers, large liquefied natural gas carriers, and large cruise ships. This event not only marks a significant progress in the Chinese shipbuilding industry but also has far-reaching impacts on the global shipbuilding industry, tourism, and manufacturing.

After years of development, particularly over the last decade, China's status as a major shipbuilding nation has been increasingly consolidated, and it is steadily becoming a shipbuilding powerhouse. China's shipbuilding industry has now developed a comprehensive, systematic, large-scale, and well-structured industrial system and production capacity, significantly contributing to its social and economic development, as well as the advancement of the global maritime industry. This reflects the country's strength in high-tech manufacturing and the positive trend of transition and upgrade of the "made in China" brand toward high-end manufacturing. From a broader perspective, this achievement indicates that China is continuously enhancing its capacity to export products and services, which reflects the comprehensive enhancement of the nation's capabilities in marine engineering.

The launch of the domestically produced cruise ship is expected to fuel the development of both domestic and international tourism. The operation of this cruise ship is set to meet and boost China's growing travel demand, promoting the development of the domestic tourism industry while paving the way for Chinese brands to enter the international market.

The successful project of the Adora Magic City represents an important achievement for the Chinese manufacturing industry to integrate deeper into the global value chain, especially in the field of high-end manufacturing. This will produce a positive effect on the development of the entire manufacturing sector, particularly high-end equipment manufacturing.

From January to November 2023, China's shipbuilding output, new orders, and holding orders accounted for 50.1, 65.9, and 53.4 percent of the world total, respectively, all ranking first in the world. This can be attributed not only to China's huge domestic market but also to its technological innovation capability and integrity of the industrial chain in the shipbuilding industry. With the rise of China's shipbuilding industry, global customers will have more choices. This will help with the stabilization of shipbuilding market prices and quality improvement. China's new advances in shipbuilding will also stimulate technological innovation across the global shipbuilding industry, potentially prompting other countries' shipbuilders to accelerate technological R&D and innovation to maintain their competitiveness.

The birth of Adora Magic City is of great significance to the shipbuilding industry in China and around the world. It is an important symbol of technological progress and a significant proof of China's enhanced position in the global market. Looking ahead, China's technological breakthroughs and gains of the market share will profoundly influence the competitive landscape of the global shipbuilding industry.

In the long run, the Adora Magic City will inspire further technological competition in the global shipbuilding industry. It may also drive other major shipbuilding nations to step up the development of their high-tech industrial chains, particularly in environmental protection and smart manufacturing. Additionally, the successful experience of Chinese shipyards may attract more countries to cooperate with China.

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