China Digest, November 23, 2012

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 November, 2012, 2:11am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 November, 2012, 3:13am


Woman sues hospital

A woman in her early 30s is suing a psychiatric hospital in Beijing for keeping her against her will for three days in June at the request of her parents, the Legal Weekly reports. Her parents wanted her to break up with her boyfriend, but when she refused, they hired four people to forcibly bring her to Huilongguan Hospital. The case is the first of its kind after the adoption of a new mental health law in China last month that prohibits mental health facilities from keeping patients against their will unless the person is a danger to themselves or others. She is demanding 200,000 yuan (HK$247,000) from the hospital.

Muslim pilgrims fly in

A total of 315 Chinese Muslims arrived in Beijing on Wednesday aboard the country's last chartered flight for this year's pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Xinhua reports. More than 13,800 Chinese made the journey on 41 flights this year. The pilgrimage to Mecca is a Muslim religious tradition that any able-bodied Muslims who can afford to must do at least once.


Net protester released

An internet user in Yangjiang city has been released after spending 13 days in detention this month for posting critical comments online and trying to organise a bumper-sticker campaign to protest against a plan by city authorities to charge car owners an annual fee of 400 yuan, the Nanfang Rural News reports. Police said the man was inciting unrest.

Explosion injures seven

An explosion at a metal-processing plant in Shenzhen on Tuesday severely injured seven workers, the Daily Sunshine reports. Static electricity ignited a dense cloud of aluminium dust. The injured were badly burned, and the explosion was so loud that several workers briefly lost hearing. The factory, located in Baoan district, was reprimanded earlier this year for failing to meet safety standards, and local officials admitted that the factory has not been properly supervised.


Fake tombs charges

Four senior officials in Midong village, Zhengzhou, have been charged in connection with swindling money from provincial authorities by lying about the number of tombs in the village, the Legal Daily reports. Henan authorities are planning to remove tombs across the province to free land for farming, and local governments are being paid subsidies to compensate the families of people whose tombs are removed. The four officials allegedly forged documents for 100 tombs that did not exist, receiving 380,000 yuan.

Job fair drive

Provincial education authorities are planning to hold 160 job fairs from last month to June, in an attempt to help unemployed recent graduates find work, the Dahe Daily reports. More than 480,000 university students graduated in Henan this year, but 20 per cent remain unemployed.


TV station wins Psy

South Korean pop star Psy, famous for his Gangnam Style song, will perform in Changsha for Hunan Television's annual New Year's Eve show, after the broadcaster beat several other mainland TV stations to secure Psy's appearance, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The station spent more than a month trying to convince Psy to headline the show.

Mine deaths pair jailed

Two managers of a mine in Chenzhou were sentenced on Tuesday to three years in jail, after a court in Jiahe county found them responsible for a colliery gas explosion in March that killed six people, the Sanxiang City Express reports. Four government officials have been sacked because of the blast.


Yangtze bridge opens

The Taizhou Yangtze River Bridge will be opened to traffic on Sunday in Taizhou after nearly five years of construction, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. The project cost 9.37 billion yuan and includes  62 kilometres of road. 

Home is 7,000 years old

Carbon dating shows that a recently discovered archaeological site in Suqian city where primitive man used to live is between 7,000 and 8,300 years old, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. Compared with sites previously unearthed in the Anhui, Shandong and Henan region, the new site is the largest. It was divided into two sections by a trench, and one side was used for burials. A total of 92 graves have been discovered.


Boiler blast kills six

A natural-gas boiler exploded in a residential complex in Xianyang on Tuesday, causing the three-storey building to collapse and killing six people inside, Xinhua reports. Victims included tenants and property management staff. One person was sent to hospital with undisclosed injuries. The cause of the explosion was under investigation.

Beating photo 'is real'

Authorities overseeing Xian's Economic and Technological Development Zone have admitted that a photograph circulating online is real, and it shows seven urban management officers using wooden sticks to beat up two residents at a construction site, reports. The pictures first appeared on, a popular web portal, early this month and sparked public anger. Authorities declined to give additional details and said the case was under investigation.


Jail for medicine theft

A man aged 26 was sentenced on Tuesday to 10 years in jail for stealing five kilograms of a rare type of traditional Chinese medicine, worth 1.44 million yuan, from a pharmacy in the Pudong New Area on May 24, the Shanghai Evening News reports. The man, from Shanxi province,  the medicine, which is made from a fungus that grows on a species of caterpillar, then fled to Beijing and broke into three other drug stores, stealing goods worth more than 20,000 yuan. Beijing police caught him at his residence there and recovered 4.31kg of the fungus.

Excess packing law passed

Locally registered companies may be fined up to 50,000 yuan if they sell goods with too much packaging, the Wenhui Daily reports. The new law was passed on Wednesday and takes effect in February. Authorities are trying to cut down on waste.


Octofroggy avoids plate

Four extra legs saved a bullfrog from becoming a meal at a restaurant in Hebei district, Tianjin, on Wednesday morning, reports. Cooks who were preparing a dish containing bullfrogs noticed one had eight legs, including four under its belly. Rather than cook it, they decided to keep it as a pet in a fish tank. The restaurant manager said he had never seen a frog with eight legs, and he suspected that the mutation may have been caused by hormones being illegally added to the animal's food.

Hunt for stork killers

Police have been ordered to find the culprits behind the mass poisoning of oriental white storks in the Beidagang Wetland Nature Reserve. On Wednesday, 13 storks were released after their recovery following treatment. Earlier this month, at least 22 storks, members of an endangered species, were found dead in the. Police suspect that poachers tried to kill them and sell them to restaurants.