In Brief

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 March, 2009, 12:00am

Party expels corrupt official for misconduct

Mi Fengjun, a former vice-chairman of Jilin's provincial people's congress, has been expelled from the Communist Party and removed from official positions due to 'serious misconduct', Xinhua reported yesterday. Mainland media reported last week that he was disqualified from representing the province in the National People's Congress. A Central Commission for Discipline Inspection investigation found that Mi, 66, had taken bribes, possessed state-owned property and bought villas from state-owned companies at below market rates.

Car proposal for housing fund

Guangdong CPPCC delegate Zeng Qinghong has proposed allowing people to use their contributions to a voluntary housing fund to buy their first car. Mr Zeng, deputy chairman and manager of the Guangzhou Automobile Group, said people not planning to buy homes, or those who had already bought one, should be permitted to use their contributions to buy a vehicle.

Peony set to be national flower

Beijing is expected to declare the peony the national flower in time for the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China, says CPPCC member Zong Licheng. The peony is the symbol of the Tang dynasty (618-907), which many regard as the peak of Chinese civilisation, he told Nanfang Daily.

Simplified characters attacked

A CPPCC delegate from Tianjin has called for a nationwide return to the use of traditional Chinese characters, the Nanfang Daily reports. Pan Qinglin said simplified Chinese characters should be phased out in 10 years as this would help to unite Taiwan and the mainland, and because simplified characters violated Chinese writing.

Working week 'should be cut'

The five-day working week should be cut to 41/2 days to improve efficiency and cut costs, said CPPCC delegate Zhang Xiaomei. The West China City Daily quoted Ms Zhang as saying that a shorter week would result in a more modern and developed society. It would also allow people to spend more time with their families.