China Digest

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2012, 3:31am



Luxury spending falls

Consumption of luxury goods in Guangzhou has been declining since February due to an economic slowdown, according to officials with the provincial chamber of commerce, the Guangzhou Daily reports. Some high-end brands have offered considerable discounts, but sales growth has slowed this year.

Dengue fever case

A Zhuhai woman, 76, has the first confirmed case of dengue fever in the city in five years, reports. Disease control authorities are on alert after an outbreak in 2007 infected 25 people. A hospital has been designated to accept patients who contract the disease, which is commonly transmitted by mosquitoes.


Temple gates to be moved

The province will spend more than 200 million yuan (HK$244 million) to move three gates to a Taoist temple, which is a Unesco cultural heritage site, as they are threatened by rising waters, The Beijing News reports. The Yuzhen Temple, located on Wudang Mountain, is about 600 years old, but it is at risk of water that is rising in the nearby Danjiangkou reservoir, which is part of the nation's south-north water-diversion project. The gates will be moved higher up the mountain.

Minimum wage to rise

The provincial government will raise the minimum wage in Hubei by 13 per cent annually until 2015, the Changjiang Times reports. The effort is in line with national targets for the 2011-2015 period. Last year, the minimum wage increased by 22 per cent across the country. HUNAN

Cameras to watch schools

Changsha police say high-definition cameras have been installed close to all primary and middle schools in the city as part of efforts to monitor crimes, the Sanxiang City Express reports. The city detained 1,315 criminal suspects during the past year.

Cards cheat suspended

The Zhuzhou Administration for Industry and Commerce has confirmed that worker Zou Xiling, has been suspended and is under investigation after allegedly being caught cheating at cards at a restaurant in Liling , reports. Zou, who handled telephone complaints for the administration's Liling bureau, allegedly made about 120,000 yuan by using specially made playing cards.


Personal assets 'disclosed'

About 600 government officials in Xuzhou's Jiawang district have disclosed information about personal assets in a push for greater transparency among authorities, the Xinhua Daily reports. However, the newspaper reported that some items submitted by officials were identical, prompting suspicion that assets were not properly or fully disclosed.

Pay comparison warning

An official with Nanjing's statistics bureau warned against comparing the city's average salary to that of people in cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou , the Shanghai Business Daily reports. Nanjing is third, behind Guangzhou and Beijing, on a list of the highest average salaries among provincial capitals and major municipalities. The official said the comparisons were meaningless because each city gathered salary information differently. SHANDONG

Restaurant customers ill

Ten people became ill after eating food containing toxic industrial salt at a restaurant in Liaocheng on Sunday afternoon, Qilu Evening News reports. All 10, including a boy aged eight, were rushed to hospital for treatment after turning pale and becoming nauseous. Some remained in intensive care yesterday. It was unclear whether the restaurant was to be punished over the incident.

Deadly chemical blast

The death toll from an explosion at a chemical plant on Saturday evening in Hengtai county, Zibo , has risen to three, with seven people injured, reports. Two workers previously reported missing were found to have died in the accident, which occurred when a hydrogen peroxide production unit exploded.


Water reports rejected

Water authorities in the city have rejected media reports that pollution in the Yangtze River would significantly reduce the sustainability of the river as a source of drinking water, reports. The bureau said the claims, largely attributed to experts such as a political adviser, lacked scientific proof, and that the water quality around the mouth of the river, where the Qingcaosha reservoir was completed last year, had remained at levels which were stable for years. But some analysts said the reservoir would remain a viable source of drinking water for only between 10 and 20 years, as a result of increasing pollution upstream.

Brain course 'scam'

About 30 children, aged between seven and 17 years, recently attended a 10-day training course that promised to realise their right-brain potential, at a cost of 109,000 yuan. Some parents later complained to police that the course, offered by a businesswoman, was a scam and that the only thing their children learned was how to cheat, the Dongfang Daily reports.


Datong goes back in time

Datong has spent more than 10 billion yuan since 2008 to restore ancient architecture in the city, the News Express reports. When he took office in 2008, Mayor Geng Yanbo called for renovations on all the city's ancient walls and temples, and he said all modern buildings must be removed from certain old areas. His aim is to restore the city to the way it looked during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), in hopes of attracting more tourists. Some street names have even been changed back to their former names, using historical records.

Aged numbers expand

The number of people above 60 years old has grown by more than 1 million in the province during the past decade, the Shanxi Evening News reports, citing the latest census figures. The province has aged rapidly during the span. While the total population grew by just under 10 per cent, the number of people over 60 surged by more than a third.


Weather warnings warning

People in Tianjin who are caught issuing unauthorised weather warnings may be fined up to 50,000 yuan, according to new regulations on the prevention of weather-related disasters, reports. The new order stipulates that only weather stations and the city government are allowed to issue forecasts and weather warnings. Fines may range from 5,000 to 50,000 yuan for an individual or organisation.

New airport terminal

Construction of a second terminal at Tianjin Binhai International Airport will be completed by June 2014, the Tianjin Daily reports, citing the airport director. The new terminal, at a cost of about 5 billion yuan, will cover 248,000 square metres and increase annual traveller capacity from 7.55 million at the end of last year to more than 25 million.