China Digest

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2012, 7:50pm


Highways to charge by weight

Provincial transport authorities will start charging vehicles on six expressways based on weight rather than type, the Western Economic Daily reports. Vehicles will be divided into five weight classes, with the lightest being charged 0.35 yuan (43 HK cents) per kilometre and those over 20 tonnes charged 2 yuan per kilometre. Cheaper monthly passes will be issued to local residents. It was not clear when the new scheme would be introduced.

Girls take environmental trip

In a symbolic gesture of intercity co-operation in environmental protection, three girls took a bottle of water from West Lake in their home province of Zhejiang and poured it into the Yellow River on Sunday, the Lanzhou Daily reports. The trip was organised by the newspaper and management authorities of the lake.


Home appliances discounted

Several home-appliance retailers in Shenzhen are offering discounts of up to 10 per cent on items such as rice cookers and microwaves as part of a 40-day promotion that was launched on Friday by the China Household Electrical Appliances Association, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reports.

Rise in cabs' fuel surcharge

Shenzhen increased its taxi fuel surcharge from 2 to 3 yuan on Sunday - the fourth adjustment since March, the Nanfang Daily reports. As the price of oil has fluctuated, the surcharge has gone from 3 to 4 yuan in March, back to 3 yuan in June, then to 2 yuan last month. Some customers are complaining about the frequent fluctuation, while taxi drivers claim it could drive customers away.


Axeman holds former wife

A man took his ex-wife hostage with an axe at her mother's house in Xinxiang on Saturday, leading to a stand-off with police, reports. Police said he was trying to get back together with her. Stealthy officers were eventually able to subdue the man, whom they said was mentally unstable. The woman was not injured.

Family tragedy on reservoir

A mother was killed and her daughter seriously injured when they crashed while riding a craft similar to a jet ski in the Luhun Reservoir in Luoyang on Saturday, the Dahe Daily reports. They crashed into a concrete tower in the reservoir where no warnings for boaters were posted. Residents said the watercraft can be rented without an operator's licence.


Good intentions spark panic

A woman who left a bank card and money at an ATM in Nanjing on Sunday fled in fear when a Good Samaritan chased after her in an attempt to return the items, the Nanjing Morning Post reports. The man went back to the bank and turned in the money and card, which were later returned to the woman. She expressed her gratitude for his help.

Child dies in escalator fall

A five-year-old fell to his death while playing on an escalator at a shopping mall in Taizhou on Saturday, the Modern Express reports. A lawyer interviewed by the newspaper said that both the mall administrators and the boy's parents should share the blame.


Blast kills four, traps 21

A natural-gas explosion killed at least four coal miners and trapped 21 others at an underground quarry in Baishan city yesterday morning, reports. A total of 95 miners escaped, but rescuers were at the scene in the afternoon trying to save the others. The mining company was said to be operating legally. Provincial leaders called for safety checks at all mines across Jilin .

Wedding broadcast online

The first wedding to be broadcast live online in Changchun took place on Sunday evening, reports. The couple was selected by a local company to receive the 20,000-yuan wedding streamed online. The ceremony took place at a local restaurant and the couple were happy that their family members who could not attend were able to watch. The company, which said it specialises in "cultural innovations", plans to offer the promotion to one lucky couple every month.


More get access to tap water

The percentage of rural residents in Shaanxi with access to tap water has risen from 40 to 72 per cent since last year, the Shaanxi Daily reports. Additionally, 14 million people in rural areas have been given access to safe drinking water since a campaign was launched by provincial authorities in 2006. A total of 7.2 billion yuan has been invested to build more than 22,000 water-supply stations and 101 centres that monitor water quality.

Bid to address drought woes

Xian authorities want to develop seven wetland areas and 28 lakes over the next decade to address drought problems and improve the local ecosystem, the Xian Evening News reports. Officials said the city was facing a severe water shortage, with each resident having access to about a third of the water available to others in the province, and a sixth of the water available to others across the nation, on average.


Crackdown on small mines

Provincial officials have suspended operations at several coal mines with low production yields, and security inspections will be carried out over the next month, with improvements expected, the Dazhong Daily reports. The order came after six accidents at small mines this year killed at least seven people. The accidents occurred at mines that produce less than 30 tonnes of coal a year. Those mines and others were all temporarily closed on Thursday for a month.

390,000 jobs promised

In an effort to alleviate poverty problems in rural areas of Shandong , provincial human resource officials said they will create about 390,000 jobs for labourers over the next three years, the Dazhong Daily reports. The positions will be offered through job fairs held by more than 1,500 companies and institutions.


Aftershock rocks quake zone

A 3-magnitude aftershock hit Keriya county in Hetian yesterday morning, China National Radio reports. It was the latest tremor since a 6.2-magnitude quake hit the county on Sunday and could be felt 130 kilometres away. No injuries or property losses were reported.

Move to protect wetlands

An ordinance protecting wetlands across Xinjiang will take effect on October 1 and require legal approval for the construction of any buildings or roads planned in those areas, reports. Animals in wetlands will also be protected by law. Fines of up to 50,000 yuan will be issued for violations. The proportion of wetlands in the autonomous region has reportedly dropped from 2.8 million hectares 60 years ago to about 1.48 million hectares now.


Archway collapses on couple

The decorative Hefang Street Archway in Hangzhou collapsed on Sunday, killing an elderly couple and injuring a 62-year-old woman, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. The 11-year-old wooden landmark was said to have been in disrepair, and support beams on the sides had become weak. The archway, about 10 metres high, was located in an historic area with several well-known businesses.

Hanging death in custody

Police said a 50-year-old man died at a police station in Wuyi county after hanging himself with an electrical wire on Saturday, the City Express reports. The man had been taken to the station for questioning in connection with an illegal construction project and for fighting with others. The death was still under investigation. One of the man's former colleagues said he had a reputation for being a kind-hearted and optimistic person.