China Digest, November 19, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 8:30am


Not-so-special Hefei

About 30 per cent of Hefei residents do not think their city has unique architecture, according to a survey released by Hefei University of Technology at an architectural forum on Saturday, the Anhui Business News reports. Buildings across the mainland have long been criticised for looking too similar and lacking features of a region's culture, geology or history.

Worker plunges 31 floors

A 44-year-old construction worker fell to her death from the 31st floor of an unfinished building in Hefei on Saturday, reports. Her colleagues said she was not wearing a safety harness.


Smokers 'beat woman'

Police in Chaoyang district are investigating a case in which a Shanghai tourist said she was beaten up at a cafe on Thursday because she tried to stop two men and a woman from smoking, The Beijing News reports. The victim said there were posters inside the cafe designating it as a smoke-free area, but when she asked the three people next to her to stop smoking, they refused and became angry when she took their picture.

Green light for new court

Central authorities have approved the addition of a third intermediate court in the city, to ease some of the burden placed on the two existing courts, and the new court will open next year, reports. The workload placed on intermediate courts in Beijing has increased rapidly over the past decade. By comparison, Chongqing has five intermediate courts.


Gamer wins payout

An online gamer in Jiangbei district has agreed to pay 25,000 yuan (HK$30,800) in compensation to another man who sued the gamer for not following through on an agreement to sell him an online game account for 12,000 yuan, reports. Earlier this year, the plaintiff purchased the account for 12,000 yuan because the character had reached a high level in the video game. But several days later the original owner changed his mind and asked the game company to lock the account.

Son assisted suicide

A man has been sentenced to three years in jail in Pengshui county for giving his mother a bottle of pesticide that killed her, reports. The woman was seriously injured when she was knocked down by a motorcycle a year ago, but a local clinic could do nothing to help her. The man said his mother asked him several times to help her commit suicide, and he finally agreed because he could not bear to see her in pain.


Maid pawned boss's Rolex

A maid has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined 10,000 yuan by the Doumen District People's Court in Zhuhai for stealing a Rolex watch from her employer, the Information Times reports. She stole the 114,400-yuan watch in April and didn't show up to work the next day. She later pawned the watch for 78,000 yuan.

Massive projects unveiled

The province plans to spend 198 billion yuan in the next three years on 189 infrastructure projects, the Nanfang Daily reports. More than 2,700 kilometres of railway, especially for high-speed trains, will be built, bringing the total length of the province's rail network to about 5,000 kilometres.


Schools upgraded

A total of 30 primary schools in central Zhengzhou and five primary schools in the city's suburbs, have been expanded or renovated this year to create a more "comfortable and healthy environment" for children, the Zhengzhou Daily reports. Construction is also expected to finish on five other schools this month, according to municipal education authorities. Meanwhile, 8,000 primary school teachers have been ordered by authorities to attend training to improve their teaching skills.

Lecherous coach 'sorry'

A few days after it was revealed that a volleyball coach in Shanghai had been sexually harassing players, a similar incident was reported in Henan by the boyfriend of one of the professional volleyball players on the provincial team, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. The boyfriend wrote on his microblog last Thursday that his girlfriend's coach sexually harassed her and other players last year, and that the coach was drunk at the time. The boyfriend said the coach later apologised to the girl and her teammates.


Driver runs over boys foot

Police are looking for the driver of a car that ran over the foot of an eight-year-old boy last Thursday while he waited for a bus in Changsha , the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The boy was standing in the street with classmates when the accident occurred. The female driver, however, did not apologise and gave the boy just 10 yuan before driving away. He was brought to hospital and treated for a broken foot.

Mao tribute in stone

A large stone slab featuring an inscription said to be the earliest known manuscript of Mao Zedong was unveiled on Saturday at his former middle school in Changsha, the Hunan Daily reports. Mao wrote the manuscript in 1912 while he was a student at the school. The piece is about reform during the Qin dynasty (221-207BC).


Police parade purses

Police in Xincheng district, Xian, used their official microblog on Saturday to post pictures of 32 recovered purses that had been stolen from women, in an attempt to find the owners, the Sanqin Daily reports. Police recovered the purses by a man who allegedly grabbed them while riding his motorcycle. The man was arrested on Wednesday. Police said he made off with 30,000 yuan to support a drug habit.

Tree removal 'temporary'

Greenery officials in Xian have defended the disappearance of nearly 20 trees in Yanta district, saying their removal was necessary for a subway construction project, reports. Several people said on Saturday that their trees had mysteriously been uprooted, without any notification. Greenery officials said that the trees, some of which are about 20 years old, had been replanted elsewhere but would be returned after the subway is completed.


Record price for car plate

The average price for a car registration plate reached 66,946 yuan this month, setting a new high, the Oriental Morning Post reports. The price of car plates declined to 55,800 in June, but has since risen steadily each month as the car market continues to boom. A total of 9,500 car plates were sold on Saturday with some 19,000 drivers vying for a plate.

Taiwan beckons tourists

At an international tourism fair in Shanghai on Saturday, about half of the hundreds of people who visited a booth promoting travel to Taiwan said they planned to visit the island in the near future, the Labour Daily reports. Rather than focusing on the promotion of popular sites, such as the Ali Mountain scenic area and Sun Moon Lake, the island's tourism authorities are instead focusing on introducing people to small southern towns with indigenous minorities. About 1.9 million mainlanders visited Taiwan during the first nine months of the year .