Xinhua News Agency

China Digest

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 September, 2012, 3:40am


Floods damage Great Wall

Portions of the Great Wall in the province suffered severe damage because of heavy rain and flooding over the past two months, Xinhua reports. The worst-affected parts were in Zhangjiakou , where a 36 metre long section from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) collapsed and posed a threat to the nearby arched Dajing Gate - one of the wall's largest gates. Similar damage occurred in areas such as Laiyuan and Yi counties. Provincial relic-protection authorities said the actual damage may be greater than has been established.

Cold threat to crops

Northern parts of the province such as Zhangjiakou and Chengde will likely be hit with a cold snap next week, according to official weather forecasts, Xinhua reports. The temperature is expected to dip as low as minus 2 degrees Celsius by Wednesday, threatening to freeze crops that weren't already killed by similar cold last month.


Public jobs gender bias

A large gender imbalance among government employees in Henan severely undermines the government's administrative efficiency, according to a survey by the provincial civil service bureau, Xinhua reports. More than 80 per cent of government employees were men. The survey also found that fewer than 25 per cent of civil servants in the province were under 35.

Food firms are warned

Zhengzhou has issued warnings to 55 food manufacturers this year for violating safety regulations, Xinhua reports. The violations, mostly among small businesses, ranged from insufficient quality inspection to injecting pork with water to artificially inflate its weight. Any company that is warned twice will lose its licence.


Bid to boost monkeys

An effort is underway at the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve to increase the fertility rate of snub-nosed monkeys, one of the rarest animals in China and famous for its golden fur, Xinhua reports. The monkeys mate year-round, but pregnancy occurs only from August to October, so the central government has commissioned scientists to study the animals in hopes of improving fertility. There are about 1,200 snub-nosed monkeys left, making them rarer than giant pandas.

Drought lasts two years

More than 10 cities and counties, such as Suizhou and Xiangyang , have suffered the worst drought on record in the province, lasting two years, Xinhua reports. More than 4 million people are suffering from famine and little drinking water. Weather forecasts indicate no relief in sight for this month.


Staff named and shamed

The district government of Donghe, Baotou , shamed six employees for various workplace violations, the Baotou Daily reports. The civil servants were caught missing work, playing computer games or chatting online. Their names were published in an internal circular in a bid to improve the government's image.

Stepfather jailed for rape

A man in Wulanchabu was sentenced to 10 years in jail by a court this week for raping and impregnating his underage stepdaughter, Xinhua reports. The court found that the man, 50, raped the 15-year-old for more than a year, as she shared a bed with him and her mother. He threatened to not pay for the victim's education if she didn't agree to sex as the mother slept.


Holiday gifts sack threat

Ahead of national Teacher's Day on September 10, provincial education authorities have informed teachers from kindergartens to universities that they could be fired if they accept gifts or money from students or parents for the holiday, the Liaoning Daily reports. The government called on schools to closely monitor gift-giving and to discipline teachers who take valuable items or large sums of money.

Traffic fines scrapped

Shenyang traffic police are doing away with fines for some infractions, the Liaoshen Evening News reports. A list was published on Thursday of traffic violations for which drivers would no longer be fined, including driving with doors open, using mobile phones, putting view-obstructing decorations near the windscreen and not wearing safety belts in downtown areas. Police said they were trying to be "more humane" in law enforcement.


Industrial plans rejected

Provincial environmental protection authorities rejected proposals for 13 industrial projects in the first half of the year because serious environmental problems were found in the plans, the Shanxi Evening News reports. Most of the projects were plants that were flagged for high energy consumption, heavy pollution discharge or being too close to residential areas.

12 jailed for chopping trees

Twelve people in Ningwu county, Xinzhou , were sentenced to up to 10 years in jail in connection with the chopping down of more than 70,000 small spruce trees in a forest reserve last year, Xinhua reports. Most were farmers hired to fell the trees and carry them a few kilometres down a hill, where they were sold to a dealer for only 0.05 to 0.1 yuan per tree. They were mostly infant spruces planted within the last few years. The dealer was sentenced to 10 years and fined 20,000 yuan (HK$24,500), and most of the farmers received one year in jail.


Downpour warning

Provincial meteorologists issued a storm warning yesterday for all of Sichuan , as about 30cm of rain was expected in some cities between yesterday and Sunday, raising the risk of flooding and landslides, the Huaxi Metropolis Daily reports. The government advised tourists not to enter mountain regions during the bad weather.

Pump prank backfires

A worker at a furniture-manufacturing company in Chongzhou was hospitalised last week with serious injuries after a colleague stuck a pressurised air pump up his anus, the Huaxi Metropolis Daily reports. The victim said it happened while they were cleaning. The colleague said the factory should be held responsible for the accident, because he wasn't properly trained on how to use an air pump. The factory said the workers were playing a game while their supervisor was away, so it was not considered a work-related injury.


Fake plates swoop

Municipal traffic authorities impounded more than 1,000 vehicles with fake or covered number plates on Thursday, the City Express reports. More than 1,500 police officers set up 300 checkpoints on almost every major road. The vehicles will remain in government pounds until their owners provide proof that the vehicles weren't smuggled or stolen, and that they are properly registered.

Busy month for city

Tianjin will host 10 large-scale events and meetings this month, including the 2012 National University Games and the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the New Champions, the Tianjin Daily reports. The city hosted 107 conferences and trade fairs in the first seven months of this year, representing an increase of 18 per cent over the same period last year.