The turning of the calendar from one year to the next has always been a time for summing up the past-all this laughter and tears; the events and the people---whoever has marked the bygone year in whatever way, only if the marking is impressive. Only a year, and so much wrought!

Time goes by, memory lingers on. One year cannot speak for history. Let’s just cherish the awesome spirit of time, retracing the people and the events that have stolen our attention throughout the year.

2012 Year Review: China

No.1: CPC opens 18th National Congress

The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) opened at 9am this morning.

Chinese President Hu Jintao called on all the members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people to "firmly march on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strive to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects."

Hu made the remarks in a keynote report to the CPC's 18th National Congress on behalf of the 17th CPC Central Committee.

Hu Jintao called on all the members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese people to "march on the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strive to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects."

No.2:China's aircraft-carrier enters service

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, accompanied by CMC Vice Chairmen Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou, as well as State Council Secretary-General Ma Kai, director of the PLA's General Armament Department Chang Wanquan and Navy Commander Wu Shengli, gets aboard Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, to attend a ceremony in honor of its delivery and commission Tuesday.

China’s Navy passed the country’s first aircraft-carrier named Liaoning into service earlier Tuesday, according to the Defence Ministry of the People’s Republic of China.

The Liaoning aircraft-carrier, built in the Chinese city of Dalian, was to have been originally the Varyag multirole aircraft-carrier of the Soviet Union.

China bought her from Ukraine in 1998. The ship has by now left port ten times and is through with all of her sea trials.

No.3: China protests Japan's Diaoyu "purchase" in one voice

Enough is enough from Japan's side on the issue of Diaoyu Islands this year: after the earlier farce to "name" the islands, then to connive its right wing forces to buy them; now, the Japanese government is intensifying the dispute through its "purchase" and "nationalization" of these islands.

The Japanese government intends to reinforce its "actual jurisdiction" of the islands with this "nationalization", and to ultimately, occupy them. No matter how hard Japan tries to whitewash its plunder, the "deal" is illegal. This act is absurd, invalid-- as apparent to people with common sense-- and is doomed to fail.

It is irritating, therefore, to see the hard-won bilateral ties, achieved through the painstaking efforts by leaderships of the older generation from both sides, could be torpedoed by some selfish Japanese politicians overnight.

No.4: Bo Xilai, a negative example to Party members

Bo Xilai was expelled from China's Communist Party and removed from public office Friday, with the former Politburo member and regional Party chief accused of crimes ranging from corruption to sexual affairs.

A statement from the Political Bureau of the Party's Central Committee said Bo's crimes dated back more than a decade, and included abuse of power, bribe taking and improper relations with several women.

Bo, 63, is also accused of involvement in the cover-up of his wife's murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, an act that was instrumental in triggering his downfall.

Bo's suspected law violations and relevant evidence will be transferred to judicial organs for handling, the statement said.

No.5: Multiple earthquakes hit Yunnan Province

Rescuers are battling falling rocks and traffic jams to save lives and send aid to survivors, three days after tremors devastated an area of Southwest China's Yunnan province.

A 3.7-magnitude aftershock on Saturday evening killed one person, bringing the death toll to 81. Two earthquakes, with magnitudes of 5.7 and 5.6, hit Yiliang county, Zhaotong city, on Friday .

More than 800 people were injured and thousands of homes collapsed, according to the county authority.

The central government has allocated 1.05 billion yuan ($160 million) to disaster relief, while the Ministry of Civil Affairs has sent 10,000 emergency tents in addition to the 11,000 tents provided by Yunnan's Department of Civil Affairs.

No.6:Mo Yan honored at Nobel ceremony

The 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature winner Mo Yan of China (center) is applauded after receiving his prize during an award ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday.

Winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine, physics, chemistry, literature and economics received their awards from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at the ceremony, which was followed by a gala banquet.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the European Union in the Norwegian capital of Oslo earlier in the day.

The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony for 2012 started at 4.30 p.m. local time (1530 GMT) with the Swedish royal anthem "The King's Song." Mo Yan, dressed in black tailcoat, went slowly up to his seat on the stage with the other Nobel Prize winners.

No.7: Ma re-elected Taiwan leader, mainland reiterates 1992 Consensus

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou was re-elected Taiwan leader Saturday and pledged to work for cross-Strait ties in next tenure.

Ma extended appreciation and gratitude toward his supporters at a large gathering held in the KMT headquarters in Taipei, which was packed by swirling campaigning banners, stunning trumpet and hectic crowds amid a heavy rain.

Downpour did not dampen supporters' enthusiasm while tens of thousands of people shouted "Go for it" or "I love you" in front of the KMT campaigning headquarters.

The crowd echoed with thunderous cheering when Ma shouted on the stage, "Congratulations to your all, we win!"

Ma attributed the victory to the policies his team has made to fight corruption and maintain peace.

No.8:Shenzhou-9 Mission

In the first half of 2012, China has for the first time become the global leader in the number of space launches. China carried out ten space launches, Russia - nine, and the United States in third with eight.

Last year China was ahead of the United States for the first time. The Asian giant had launched 19 carrier rockets, while the U.S. only 18. At the same time, China was far behind Russia. Last year 32 carrier rockets were launched from Russian space launch sites. Two more rockets were launched from the French tropical Kuru spaceport and one from the sea launch platform belonging to the Russian-American joint venture “Sea Launch”.

No.9:China submersible breaks 7,000-metre mark

A manned Chinese submersible broke through the 7,000-metre mark in an ocean dive on Sunday, state media said, setting a new national record for China.

The "Jiaolong" craft dived 7,015 metres (23,015 feet) in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean on its fourth dive since arriving in the area earlier this month, the official Xinhua news agency said.

"This shows the performance of the submersible is stable," mission chief commander Liu Feng told state television aboard the ship supporting the submersible.

"The level of our technical personnel is getting better and better."

The Jiaolong -- named after a dragon from Chinese mythology -- carried three people deep into the Mariana Trench, the deepest place in the world.

No.10:Mayor elected in China's newly established Sansha city

The newly established city of Sansha in the South China Sea elected its first mayor Monday afternoon.

Xiao Jie, 51, head of the Hainan Provincial Agriculture Department, was elected mayor in the first session of the first Sansha Municipal People's Congress held on Yongxing Island, the government seat of the city.

Xiao was also appointed secretary of the Sansha Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Fu Zhuang, 56, deputy director of Hainan Provincial Civil Air Defence Office, was elected director of the standing committee of Sansha Municipal People's Congress, the city's legislative body.

2012 Year Review: World

No.1: Obama reelected for four more years

US President Barack Obama was re-elected president on November 6, put over the top by the crucial battleground state of Ohio following the most expensive election in U.S. history.

"You made your voice heard, and you made a difference," Obama told supporters.

"I will return to the White House more inspired and more determined than ever," he said. 'We've got more work to do."

"This happened because of you. Thank you," Obama tweeted to supporters. It was retweeted more than more than 318,000 times, a record.

Mitt Romney was silent for more than an hour after Ohio was projected for Obama. But he then conceded in a phone call to Obama.

No.2: Putin back to Kremlin

"We have won!" Putin claimed with tears in eyes. "We won thanks to the support from the vast majority of our voters."

He said this was "a pure victory," which was gained in an "open and honest battle," and calling on all Russians to unite around the interests of the people and the country.

"This was a test of (our) political maturity and independence. We have shown that no one can bestow anything upon us," the prime minister was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.

Medvedev told the crowd: "Our candidate is leading confidently, and I have no doubts that we will win. All of us really need this victory."

No.3: Assad beseiged in Syrian crisis

The civil war in Syria is slowly shredding the Damascus suburbs, turning the outlying towns and villages into terrifying battlegrounds.

It has taken the Syrian rebels more than 20 months, and a war that has already killed at least 40,000 people to come this close to the capital.

One of the reasons that President Bashar al-Assad has not been toppled like the Arab Spring leaders of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen is that he has a strong base of support. Rebels have found to their cost that some of the suburbs are doggedly loyal to Mr Assad, and refuse to allow the anti-government forces to pass through.

And yet back in the center of the capital, there was still faith in the embattled leader.

Focus: Houla massacre

No.4: The London Olympic Games

The 2012 Summer Olympics was a major international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games.

It took place in London, United Kingdom, from 27 July to 12 August 2012.

The Games received widespread acclaim for their organisation, with the volunteers, the British military, and public enthusiasm praised particularly highly.

The opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, received widespread acclaim. During the Games, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, winning his 22nd medal.

The Chinese mainland took 38 gold medals, 27 silver medals and 23 bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

No.5:Palestine gets upgraded UN status

With a majority vote, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, granting Palestine the status of an observer nation in the organization.

138 countries, including China and Russia for the resolution and 19 states against it including Israel and the U.S. with the rest of the member countries abstaining.

The adopted document reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the independence of the State of Palestine with its territory based on the 1967 borders.

Recognition as a state will allow the Palestinian National Authority to apply to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, with lawsuits against the Israeli occupation of its lands.

No.6: US ambassador to Libya killed

The U.S. ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and three State Department officials were killed on September 11 in a targeted rocket attack, after riots over a U.S. film depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud.

The assault came as the envoy sought to reach safety during a vicious Salafist assault on the American consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, leading to a fierce five-hour fight that saw Libyan security withdraw under the intensity of the gunfire, according to Libyan officials.

The attack was later labeled as a planned terror act and condemned by US president Obama, Secretary of State and Defense secretary.

Related: Anti-US protests sweep Middle East

No.7: Bumpy road for first democratically-elected president in Egypt

Mohamed Morsi was sworn in as the new president of Egypt in June after the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak.

He promised to lead "a modern, constitutional, national and civil country."

"Egyptians today have established their new life with freedom," he said, adding that "Egypt has institutions with loyal people who know the meaning of respecting the constitution and the laws."

However, protests have plagued his presidency in recent days as he gave himself more power in a new decree.

Supporters and opponents of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi held rallies across the country, reflecting a bitter division among the nation.

No.8: Kim Jong Un's first year as DPRK leader

Kim Jong Un, third and youngest son of Kim Jong Il, was officially declared the supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea following the state funeral for his father in December 2011.

In his first year as top leader, he replaced several top military officials, including Ri Yong-Ho, who was expelled from all his posts as army chief DPRK.

In July, state TV reported for the first time in a brief and otherwise routine announcement that Kim Jong Un is married, ending weeks of speculation about a beautiful woman who has accompanied him to public events.

On December 12, Pyongyang successfully launched a long-range rocket in defiance of international outcry.

No.9: Ex-Tokyo governor ignited Japan's island dispute with China

The wave of anti-Japanese protests that swept across China in September can be traced back to April, when the governor of Tokyo announced plans to buy Diaoyu Islands.

He did so without the apparent knowledge or approval of the Japanese government.

Spying an opportunity to assert Japanese control over the islands, Governor Shintaro Ishihara launched an online appeal fund to buy them from their private owners.

Donations poured in, prompting a sharp rebuke from China and forcing the Japanese government to wade into the dispute with its own offer.

Japan's "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands have reignited tensions between the two neighbors.

No.10: Psy/Gangnam style

"Gangnam Style" is a K-pop single by South Korean musician PSY. The song was released on July 15, 2012. As of December 10, 2012, the music video has been viewed over 927 million times on YouTube, and is the site's most watched video.

The phrase "Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral and have influenced popular culture since then.

It became a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different groups, organizations, and individuals. By the end of October 2012, the song reached the number one position in more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

2012 in Spotlight: Pictures of the year

  • President Hu Jintao shakes hands with newly-elected General Secretary Xi Jinping

    President Hu Jintao shakes hands with newly-elected General Secretary  Xi Jinping
  • Mo Yan honored at Nobel ceremony

    Mo Yan honored at Nobel ceremony
  • China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning

    China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning
  • 75th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre commemorated

    75th anniversary of Nanjing Massacre commemorated
  • 2012 Yunnan earthquakes

    2012 Yunnan earthquakes
  • J-10 fighter at Airshow China

    J-10 fighter at Airshow China
  • Heavy rain hit Beijing on July 21

    Heavy rain hit Beijing on July 21
  • Aircraft carrier style

    Aircraft carrier style
  • Prince William,Princess Kate and Prince Harry seen during Queen's jubilee celebrations

    Prince William,Princess Kate and Prince Harry seen during Queen's jubilee celebrations
  • Kim Jong Un makes his first public speech

    Kim Jong Un makes his first public speech
  • Fort Pierce pizza man hugging Obama

    Fort Pierce pizza man hugging Obama
  • Sarkozy and his wife leave the presidential palace after election loss

    Sarkozy and his wife leave the presidential palace after election loss
  • Cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off Italy

    Cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off Italy
  • Chavez wins reelection while battling cancer

    Chavez wins reelection while battling cancer
  • 10-year-old Palestinian girl killed in Israeli strike

    10-year-old Palestinian girl killed in Israeli strike
  • Taxis seen after Sandy slams New Jersey

    Taxis seen after Sandy slams New Jersey