China Digest, September 17, 2012
Tofu festival jazzed up
A 20th annual three-day tofu festival began yesterday in Huainan, which claims to be the birthplace of the food, the Anhui Daily reports. With public interest waning, an agricultural product festival, an international bicycle race and a business forum on cloud computing have been added to this year's event.
Pair drown in park lake
Two people died when a small electric boat intended for sightseeing capsized on a park lake in Hefei on Saturday, the Xinan Evening News reports. Witnesses reported seeing three men struggling in the water. One body was pulled ashore and another died at hospital. Doctors said the victims had alcohol in their systems. The survivor was held for questioning as it was unclear how the accident occurred.
Patron burned in sauna
A man who suffered serious burns on most of his body in a sauna at a nightclub in Jiangbei district said the club had declined to pay his medical bills, the Chongqing Economic Times reports. He said an explosive cloud of steam engulfed him when he poured water on the hot rocks. The hospital said the burns were extensive and treatment cost 1,000 yuan (HK$1,225). The club's management said there was a notice in the sauna warning customers not to put water on the rocks by themselves.
Exam baffles civil servants
Many people who took a civil service examination on Saturday were left scratching their heads at the test's essay portion about the Confucius Institute, the Chongqing Morning Post reports. Examinees said they expected a more serious topic such as housing prices or food safety, and some had never heard of the non-profit organisation, which promotes Chinese language and culture, with several locations overseas.
Gay couple stir protests
A gay couple from Ningde took wedding photos at ancient religious sites in Quanzhou last week, prompting protests from elderly residents, Fjsen.com reports. The couple - one wearing a bridal gown - embraced and kissed in the city's most famous Taoist, Buddhist and Confucius temples on Thursday. They planned to wed in Ningde next month. Many complained that it was blasphemous behaviour, but some younger people voiced support for the couple. China does not legally recognise same-sex marriage or civil unions.
Baby names getting longer
Finding it increasingly difficult to give newborns a unique name in a country of 1.3 billion people, more and more parents in Quanzhou are giving their children names with four or even five characters instead of the traditional two or three, the Fujian Daily reports. A recent survey by the city's public security bureau showed that more than 13,000 residents had four characters in their names, with most born after 2000.
'Clean air' days set record
The provincial capital recorded 52 "clean air" days this year to Saturday, and the annual total is the most in 20 years, the Shijiazhuang Daily reports. Authorities attributed the increase to factors such as government efforts to reduce pollution and a slowdown that has left many factories idle.
Seven killed in collision
Seven people died and 10 others were injured when a truck and a three-wheeled vehicle collided head-on in Longhua county, Chengde, on Saturday, Xinhua reports. The uninjured truck driver was detained pending a police investigation.
3 hit-and-runs, one victim
An elderly man died after being hit by three vehicles while crossing a road in Dalian on Friday evening, and none of the culprits stopped, the Peninsula Morning Post reports. The incident occurred around 7pm on a road in Hongliang village. Witnesses said the man was knocked down by a truck, and when he tried to get up, he was hit by a motorised tricycle. Soon afterwards, a motorbike ran him over. The victim's family found him dead. Police were looking for the suspects.
80m yuan for pig farms
Nearly 200 farms received a total of more than 80 million yuan from the central government this year to improve conditions for pigs, the Liaoning Daily reports. Most of the money was used to build treatment facilities for their waste, rooms to bathe the animals and drainage systems to keep pigsties dry. Farms with annual production exceeding 3,000 pigs each received 800,000 yuan.
100 mines face closure
The provincial government plans to shut down 100 coal mines by the end of 2015 to improve safety, Xinhua reports. Authorities have asked that all mines upgrade equipment and technology to reduce the number of workers needed underground. The mines will be closed because they are unable to reduce their workforces due to their relatively small size.
Water supply resumed
Water started flowing slowly yesterday from taps in the Changan district of Xian after a major pipeline was severed by construction workers on Wednesday, cutting off supply to about 300,000 residents whose drinking water was subsequently delivered by a fleet of about 50 fire engines, the Xian Evening News reports. Officials said it would be a few more days before the water pressure returned to normal.
Clean-up for National Day
Chengdu launched a two-week clean-up campaign on Saturday to remove rubbish from urban areas ahead of the National Day holiday on October 1, the Chengdu Daily reports. The effort involved more than 1,000 workers.
Students catch knifeman
A group of college students majoring in kung fu chased down a man after he stabbed a security guard who caught him trying to steal a bicycle in Chengdu on Thursday, the Huaxi Metropolis Daily reports. Another student was injured as the man started to flee. The culprit made it more than two blocks before he was caught by the students, who disarmed him before police arrived.
Fines in recycling push
Hangzhou authorities are reviewing a draft regulation involving the proper disposal of rubbish, and citizens who fail to separate their trash properly could be fined, Xinhua reports. Under the ordinance, a person caught throwing recyclables into refuse containers could be fined 50 yuan. The government said the draft may need tweaking.
Wedding guests taken ill
Health authorities in Tiantai county, Taizhou, are investigating a suspected case of food poisoning at a wedding reception on Thursday, after six people were admitted to hospital, Xinhua reports. One person remained in hospital yesterday. Officials cordoned off the restaurant and food samples were sent for analysis.