China Digest, September 12, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 September, 2012, 3:45am


Toilets subject to nose test

The municipal government issued new sanitary standards for hospital toilets on Monday, the Beijing Daily reports. The standards, for the first time, clarify previously ambiguous requirements, such as frequency of cleanings. Hand sanitisers must also be supplied in all facilities, and a toilet shall be deemed unclean if people are able to find it with their noses.

Bid to lure talent home

In a bid to tap into a broader talent pool, the municipal government has made five senior posts available only to Chinese currently living and working overseas, Xinhua reports. The jobs include directors of tourism planning, tourism marketing and trade development planning. Qualifications include holding a PhD from a reputable university, being no older than 55, and having worked at overseas research institutes, law firms or multinational companies.


War survivors sue Japan

More than a dozen survivors of the Japanese bombing of Chongqing during the second world war filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government on Monday, demanding financial compensation, Xinhua reports. Fifteen plaintiffs, the oldest aged 91, filed the lawsuit in the municipality's high court. They say the Japanese government committed war crimes, and they are seeking compensation ranging from 1.5 million yuan (HK$1.84 million) to 80 million yuan. More than 180 other survivors of the bombing have sued the Japanese government since 2005, but this was the first suit brought before a court in China. Japan bombed the municipality from 1938 to 1944, killing and injuring more than 30,000 people, according to the Chinese government.

General's home a cigar bar

The former home of a well-known general during the second world war will be converted into a high-end cigar bar. But criticism of the plan has been rife online, with some saying the government is being unpatriotic at a time when tensions are high between China and Japan because of territorial disputes, the Chongqing Economic Times reports. The home, located in central Chongqing, belonged to Li Gengu, who was the local air defence commander during the war. The home will undergo thorough renovations that meet commercial development requirements.


No worms in milk

Dairy giant Mengniu refuted a claim on Monday that live worms were found in a carton of its milk, the Beijing Times reports. A woman in Fujian said she found several white worms in milk that she drank at a hotel in Longyan last month. A waitress had poured the milk from a Mengniu carton. The woman and her husband later tested positive at hospital for high levels of parasitic bacteria. The couple sought 100,000 yuan from Mengniu, but the company refused, saying it wasn't possible for worms to survive the milk-sterilisation process, in which temperatures can reach 137 degrees Celsius.

Seven hikers rescued

Seven adventurers from Shanghai, including four expatriates from France and Russia, are safe after being lost in the mountains of Fujian for more than two days, the Xinan Evening News reports. The group started hiking about 20 kilometres from Fuzhou , the provincial capital, on Saturday morning. They were expected back by 6pm that evening, but rescuers found them at 8pm on Monday.


Shenzhen supports school

A total of 460 children from 11 countries and regions are now studying at the Shen Wai International School, Shenzhen's first international school to use funds from the municipal government, the Shenzhen Economic Daily reports. The students, including some from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, are aged three to 19. The school offers 23 classes from kindergarten to high school, and eventually plans to enrol 1,080 students. The municipal government has invested more than 230 million yuan in the school since April 2010.

Investment for Guangzhou

More than 100 well-known domestic companies attended a two-day conference this week intended to lure more enterprises and investment to Guangzhou, reports. Contracts were signed for 13 projects, worth a combined 44.3 billion yuan. About half of the companies present were state-run.


Water for drought relief

Nearly 800 million cubic metres of fresh water will be diverted annually from the Yellow River to Shijiazhuang by 2014 to help alleviate a persistent water shortage in the provincial capital, Xinhua reports. The effort is part of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project. City officials said it would cost more than 10 billion yuan to build the pipelines and other infrastructure, but they expected it to be a permanent solution to the water shortage.

Keeping tabs on elderly

Civil servants will visit every resident over the age of 80 in the province this year to ensure that they are still alive and able to receive a monthly financial subsidy that the government will begin to pay by the end of the year, Xinhua reports. It was unclear how much the subsidy would be or how many people could be eligible for it, but the provincial government stressed the importance of establishing a comprehensive monitoring system. Recipients will be visited twice a year to prevent families from collecting subsidies after a recipient's death.


200 cameras for roads

Shanghai plans to add 200 new cameras a year to help crack down on traffic violations and improve law enforcement, the Shanghai Youth Daily reports. The cameras will be strategically placed at crossroads and places with frequent congestion and traffic violations, as well as in transportation hubs. Police will use advanced high-definition cameras that can capture not only number plates, but also the driver's image. Some 1,900 cameras are in use on city roads.

Stir over 'fake' renovations

Several buildings in the Shenyuli Lane neighbourhood, built in the 1930s, have been demolished and will be rebuilt to look the same, in order to keep the area's aesthetic qualities while removing structural problems, rot and overcrowding, the Oriental Morning Post reports. However, the reconstruction plans for the 8,000-square-metre neighbourhood in Zhabei district have caused heated debate, with some residents calling the new buildings fake.


Mine blast kills 3

Three people were killed and six others were trapped underground yesterday after a natural gas explosion at a coal mine in Wanyuan city, Xinhua reports. The accident occurred at 11.30am on Sunday at the Yongsheng coal mine. Thirteen of the 24 workers in the mine were pulled to safety soon after the explosion. Two others were found yesterday. The mine owners were detained, while rescuers continued their search.

Egg prices on the rise

The price of eggs in Chengdu has risen 15 per cent in the past month, reports. Prices have climbed as demand for eggs rises ahead of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on September 30 this year. Prices are similarly higher across the country. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the average price of eggs was 9.06 yuan per kilogram on August 23, up 1.14 yuan from August 1.