EAST tokamak is designed on the basis of the latest tokamak achievements of the last century, aiming at the world fusion research forefront. Its mission is to conduct fundamental physics and engineering researches on advanced tokamak fusion reactors with a steady, safe and high performance, to provide a scientific base for experimental reactor design and construction, and to promote the development of plasma physics and related disciplines and technologies. EAST device has three distinct features: non-circular cross-section, fully superconducting magnets and fully actively water cooled plasma facing components (PFCs) which will be beneficial to explore the advanced steady-state plasma operation modes. EAST construction and physics research will provide direct experience for the construction of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project (ITER), and play a leading role in high-performance steady-state plasma physics research in the world, and ultimately contribute to the development of ITER and the fusion energy. Compared with ITER, although smaller, EAST is similar to ITER in shape and equilibrium, yet more flexible. During the 10 years for ITER construction, EAST will be one of a few international devices that can be an important experimental test bench for conducting ITER related steady-state advanced plasma science and technology research.

Aiming at long pulse plasma discharges, a series of experimental techniques have been developed or improved on EAST in recent years, such as ion cyclotron heating, plasma diagnostics and control, lithium wall conditioning; the effective heating and current drive were realized under a variety of plasma configurations; and the divertor operation were explored in steady-state mode. These contributed to a lot of achievements on EAST experiments: obtainment of repeatable plasma current of 1MA, the highest parameter on all existing superconducting devices, realizing EAST first scientific goal.Long-pulse diverted plasma discharges of 0.25MA and 100s duration under the central electron temperature of 15 million degrees were realized. This is the longest diverted plasma discharge in the world up to now. H-mode plasma discharge were successfully obtained; Through the further optimization of the operation mode, H-mode plasma discharge reachs 6.4s, with a duration more than 60 times of energy confinement time, realizing quasi-steady state; Important progress has been made on the study of plasma spontaneous rotation experiment and mechanism research of L-H mode conversion.

   EAST project was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in July 1998. Construction started in October, 2000; assembly was finished at the end of 2005, and commissioning was completed in March 2006. Its design, R&D, construction and assembly have been done mainly by scientists, engineers and technicians in the ASIPP.