China Digest, December 7, 2012
5 dead in head-on collision
A head-on collision between a cargo truck and a minibus on Wednesday killed five people and injured 16 in Chengnan town, Liuan city, Xinhua reports. Local traffic authorities said three people died at the scene and two others died at hospital. The cause of the accident was still under investigation, but it happened on a national highway without a median divide, and the cargo truck was hauling coal.
Nearly 40 per cent of the petrol and diesel sold at pump stations in Anhui falls short of national quality standards, according to a recent survey by provincial authorities, Xinhua reports. Samples taken from 49 stations throughout the province showed that the problem was worst among small, private petrol stations, with about 60 per cent found to be providing substandard fuel, most of which contained excessive methane and sulphur.
Rude diners on buses
Municipal authorities have been unable to stop passengers from eating on public buses, as there are no laws prohibiting such behaviour, the Chongqing Morning Post reports. Numerous people have complained about the smell and mess that result from people eating on moving buses, but authorities said they have to rely on fellow bus passengers asking people not to eat.
Drug industry growth
The municipal government plans to increase the size of the local pharmaceutical industry threefold by the end of 2017, increasing annual output to about 100 billion yuan, the Chongqing Daily reports. Many production plants of pharmaceutical companies have been moving from coastal regions such as the Pearl River Delta to along the Yangtze River in Chongqing .
Death of a defender
A 101-year-old soldier in Nanjing who fought in defence of the city when Japanese troops invaded 75 years ago has died, leaving just three surviving comrades who fought in the battle, the Modern Express newspaper reports. The four soldiers were among those captured, and they narrowly escaped death by firing squad. Historians and witnesses estimate that about 300,000 POWs and civilians were killed in the Nanking Massacre.
Two cars broke down in Nantong last week after refuelling at a state-owned pump station, because the petrol was 80 per cent water, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. The pump station, run by Sinopec, said the fuel was not properly handled by a station employee before being sold. The driver of one of the two cars, a BMW 720i, has demanded 300,000 yuan (HK$373,000) in compensation from the station, because the luxury car's engine was damaged.
Battling the snow
Dalian authorities deployed about 9,100 workers to remove piles of snow from city streets on Tuesday night, using mostly shovels and brooms, and they worked until dawn to ensure the snow wouldn't cause traffic problems during rush hour, the Dalian Daily reports. The workers also utilised more than 450 trucks and nearly 1,100 tonnes of de-icing salt to clear the streets.
Men dancing badly
Two cross-dressing men were photographed as they pole-danced on a subway train in Shenyang on Wednesday. But not everyone on board enjoyed the show. Some passengers complained that the men, wearing colourful Chinese robes and long wigs, danced horribly, China Radio International reports. The pictures were spread widely online.
No room at the hotpot
Four sanitation workers were forced to leave a hotpot restaurant in Xining on Wednesday afternoon because they were wearing their orange uniforms, the Xihai City Daily reports. The owner first told them to leave because his dishes were too small for their big stomachs, but he later admitted it was because he thought the men were unclean.
Provincial health inspectors went to 46 restaurants and 15 food markets in Xining last week and found that several protected wild animal species were being sold as food, the Qinghai Daily reports. The authorities confiscated more than 160kg of deer meat, two baskets of shark fins, a dozen rare sparrows known as Oriental White-eyes and other animals. Those selling the protected foods were punished, but authorities didn't say how.
Goat gores farmer
A large goat-antelope, known as a takin, broke into a farmer's home in Xian and impaled him in the chest with one of its horns on Wednesday, the Xian Evening News reports. A protected species that is most common in the eastern Himalayas, the takin tried to attack anyone who approached it. Wildlife protection authorities sedated it with a tranquilliser dart and planned to return it to the wild. The injured farmer remained in hospital.
Shivering kids in class
More than 1,000 pupils at a middle school in Fuping county, Weinan, have had no heating in their classrooms this winter, and some parents said their children developed frostbite on their fingers and toes, China National Radio reports. The school told parents that the body heat from 60 pupils in a small classroom was enough to warm the room, even in sub-zero temperatures, but parents suspected that the school was simply trying to save money. The headmaster also kept a coal heater in his office.
Most nursing homes in Kunming refuse to accept people with Alzheimer's disease because it would raise costs and put the homes at risk of legal action, the Chuncheng Evening News reports. A nursing home owner said if an Alzheimer's patient wandered away, the facility would be responsible, and other residents would complain if the nursing home doors were kept locked.
Deadly chain reaction
A 10-vehicle pile-up on a highway in Kunming killed at least 12 people and injured six others on Wednesday, the Chuncheng Evening News reports. Two cars, packed with 11 people, were completed crushed between large trucks, and one truck driver died. Authorities said an overloaded truck failed to slow down when approaching a construction zone and caused a chain reaction of destruction.
Grand Canal preservation
Commercial exploitation could ruin the historical and cultural value of the Grand Canal in Hangzhou, according to experts who want the world's longest man-made canal to be named a Unesco World Heritage Site, Zhejiang Television reports. They criticised the city government for turning a blind eye to the excessive number of restaurants and shops that have sprung up along the canal. Construction began in 605AD during the Sui dynasty (589-617). By the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), the canal spanned nearly 1,800 kilometres to Beijing.
Mice blow up flats
Mice caused an explosion that destroyed two apartments and injured two people in the Xiaoshan district of Hangzhou last month, the Qianjiang Evening News reports, citing findings from a police investigation. A rubber, natural gas hose at the scene featured bite marks from a rodent, and police said mice were responsible for six similar accidents in the city this year, without going into details.