PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 August, 2011, 12:00am


Vessel ready for record dive after Pacific tests

China's manned submersible, the Jiaolong, is returning to shore after completing five test dives in the Pacific Ocean, reaching 5,188 metres during its deepest dive, the State Oceanic Administration said. The Jiaolong and its three crew embarked on the mission on July 1 from the city of Jiangyin in Jiangsu and is expected to return between August 17 and 18. The test mission will pave the way for a record-breaking 7,000-metre test dive next year. The submersible completed 17 dives in the South China Sea between May 31 and July 18 last year, reaching 3,759 metres on its deepest dive. Staff Reporter

Rules tightened on panda exhibitions

China issued new regulations yesterday to restrict panda exhibitors in order to protect the endangered animals, Xinhua said. The State Forestry Administration said on its website that from September 1, non-artificially-bred pandas may no longer be used for exhibition purposes. Pandas under the age of two or older than 25 are included in the ban. Exhibition organisers should provide proper facilities, adequate funds and human resources, and obtain proper licences before holding exhibitions. Organisers will have to arrange annual physical checks of their pandas and keep records of their medical histories. They will be prohibited from collecting blood or semen from their pandas during exhibition periods. Staff Reporter

7b yuan scheme to improve rural health care

The Ministry of Finance will earmark 7.15 billion yuan (HK$8.66 billion) to improve rural health care. The money will go to 31 provincial-level regions to update health care infrastructure and facilities. Staff Reporter