China Digest, December 14, 2012
No love for these pandas
A large panda statue recently erected in the middle of a Wanjing area traffic circle has draw fire from local residents, Beijing Times reports. Motorists say the statue of two pandas, which was on South Guangshun Road, blocks their views while others simply call it an eyesore. Local authorities said they would work with the traffic management department to find a solution.
City's 5.2 million vehicles
Beijing added 206,000 new vehicles in the first 11 months of the year, bringing the total number of registered cars to 5.2 million, China News Services reports. The municipal traffic management bureau said growth has slowed significantly since the city adopted a number plate lottery early last year. The lottery will continue next year, despite recent speculation to the contrary.
Irate over asset disclosure
Baishiyi town in Chongqing's Jiulongpo district ordered 37 village officials to disclose their personal assets, including income, property and cars, First Financial Daily reports. They are also requested to list returns from investments by their spouses and children, which brought strong opposition from some village officials.
Chongqing's economic output is expected to grow by 13.9 per cent this year, Chongqing Daily reports. The Chongqing Economic Information Centre said the 13.8 per cent growth in the first nine months of this year was lower than 16.4 per cent during the same period last year, due to the global economic slowdown and domestic challenges. It predicted the city's economy would also grow by 14 per cent next year.
Teacher kicks student
A kindergarten teacher has been detained for 15 days and fined 500 yuan (HK$616) for kicking and injuring a five-year-old pupil last week, the Gansu Daily reports. The boy's mother discovered bleeding in his genital area after she picked him up from school on December 6. He was sent to hospital and received three stitches. The teacher, on the job for 10 years, said she lost her temper when the boy failed to behave.
Death for milk poisoner
The Supreme People's Court affirmed tough sentences for a Pingliang couple convicted of poisoning milk, killing three infants and sickening 35 others, Xinhuanet reports. After a quarrel with colleagues at a dairy farm, Ma Xiuling and Wu Guangquan twice put a toxic nitrite in milk produced by co-workers in April last year. Ma, the wife, was sentenced to death, while Wu was sentenced to life in prison.
Pay cut sparks strike
More than 600 workers have been on strike since Monday to protest a 40 per cent pay cut at the Foshan shoe factory, Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The Nanhai Xianghe Shoe Company was once one of the city's leading shoemakers and a major tax contributor. The workers suspect the company may be seeking to relocate to Chengdu, in Sichuan province.
Manager jailed for bribe
Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court has sentenced a former manager at a local travel agency to two-and-a-half years in jail for bribing a local official, Yangcheng Evening News reports. Huang Yuanping made a 850,000 yuan down payment on a flat for Zheng Guowei, the former secretary to Huadu district party chief. Zheng, who had helped the travel agency expand, is still under investigation.
Big catch is net loss
A Beihai fisherman lost 2,000 yuan after trying to repair a Porsche Cayenne he "caught" earlier this month, gxnews.com.cn reports. It is believed the luxury vehicle, which retails for more than one million yuan, was dropped into the sea by smugglers about two years ago. Ma spent more than 6,000 yuan to transport it to a repair plant, but could sell it for only 4,000 yuan.
Memorial for organ donors
The Guangxi Zhuang ethnic autonomous region will build a memorial garden to honour people who have donated their organs after death, the China News Service reports. The memorial garden, which, according to the Red Cross Society, has already received the names of 42 donors, will be open before the Tomb Sweeping Festival in April. Another 200 have volunteered to be donors.
Seven years for bribes
A former top official from Haikou's free trade zone has been sentenced to seven years in jail by the Haikou Intermediate People's Court for taking bribes, Southland Metropolis Daily reports. Lu Yunfei, who was the deputy chief of the free trade zone, accepted a total of 2.8 million yuan from local property developers between 1998 and 2002.
Major drug bust
Hainan police have detained 11 suspects in the largest drug bust in the province's history, Legal Daily reports. Police confiscated more than 12kg of ketamine, 11kg of methamphetamines, 128 ecstasy pills and other drugs, as well as a fake pistol. Police say they also cut off a cross-province drug dealing route between Hainan and Guangdong.
Teacher accused of killing
Jintan police have accused a 37-year-old female art teacher of strangling a sixth-grader to death out of anger at the boy's mother, the China News Service reports. The police believe the woman attacked the child on campus on Wednesday because she had become enraged at his mother, who was a friend and teaches music at the school, for circulating details about her recent divorce among colleagues.
Young cadre promoted
Twenty-four-year-old Shi Lei has been named the deputy secretary of Nanjing's Youth League committee, the youngest city official to hold that rank, Southern Metropolis Daily reports. Reaching such a post at a young age is rare for Communist Party cadres, but Shi has been working as a village official in Qixia district since graduating from Tsinghua University in 2008. He was also a delegate to the 18th national party congress.
The Jinsha River Bridge in Panzhihua remains unusable after a cable supporting the road deck suddenly broke free on Monday evening, China Radio International reports. The road deck fell into a V-shape and commuters feared it would collapse. Police have cordoned it off and repairs are underway.
Quick thinking teachers
Teachers managed to safely evacuate more than 300 children within five minutes after a fire broke out in a Luzhou kindergarten on Wednesday, Western China Metropolis Daily reports. None of the children were injured. The teachers broke water pipes in an effort to control the blaze after attempts using extinguishers failed. The fire was eventually put out by firefighters.
Jail for investment scheme
Dehong Intermediate People's Court found five women guilty of illegally raising 680 million yuan in a failed investment scheme, China News Services reports. Wan Jing was sentenced to life in prison for coordinating efforts to solicit investments in oil and gas facilities from more than 100 investors between 2004 and last year.
The Yunnan provincial disciplinary committee denied an online report accusing a senior official of building illegal rooftop structures for his mistress, City Times of Kunming reports. The committee said its director married the woman in 2008, and the official has built an eight-square-metre study room for her daughter and a six-square-metre laundry room on top of his flat.