China Digest, December 15, 2012

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 December, 2012, 4:32am


Ancient palace unearthed

Work on a Fuzhou subway station was stopped after construction crews unearthed the remnants of what is believed to be a royal palace dating to Western Han dynasty (206BC-AD8), the Straits Metropolis Daily reports. An archaeological excavation planned for next year is expected to take at least four months. In the meantime, construction of the Pingshan station has been suspended.

11-1/2-year stretch for official

The former director of the Zhangzhou notary's office has been sentenced to 11-1/2 years in prison for taking bribes and other corruption, the Straits Metropolis Daily reports. The official, surnamed Qian, was accused of misusing 360,000 yuan (HK$444,000) in public funds to purchase insurance products. He was also found to have forged documents.


Ex-party chief put on trial

The former party chief of the Lanzhou traffic bureau stood trial on Thursday on charges that he took more than 10.5 million yuan in bribes from road construction firms, the Lanzhou Morning Post reports. Yan Chenglu denied most of the charges, claiming he borrowed the money to help his son purchase a flat in Beijing.

Food for trapped workers

Rescuers have used a 14cm-wide shaft to send food to five workers trapped since Wednesday afternoon in a collapsed tunnel in Lanzhou, the China News Service reports. The five were said to be in stable condition as rescuers battled complex geological conditions. Counselling has also been provided by cable telephone.


Petitioner leaps to death

A petitioner jumped to his death from the fifth floor of the Hainan forestry department in Haikou on Thursday, reports. Li Haiyuan, 44, had been seeking compensation since his 17.8-hectare rubber plantation was taken over by Limushan Forestry in 2009. He wrote a suicide note before visiting the department.

Congressman dies in fall

The deputy director of the Standing Committee of the Haikou Municipal People's Congress died after a fall at his home on Tuesday night, reports. The congress confirmed the death of Chen Qiongbo yesterday morning, without giving further information. Chen, 57, had been in the position since 2007.


Seven held over fatal crash

Seven bus company employees have been put under criminal detention over a fatal crash in Zhengzhou on Sunday, reports. A coach hit another vehicle and careened into a pond, killing 12 and injuring 23 others, of whom five remain in hospital. The driver was among those detained.

Farmer makes fortune

A young entrepreneur who stunned friends and family by quitting his job in Beijing to be a farmer in his hometown of Fan county has made himself a multimillionaire selling organic produce, the Dahe Daily reports. Guo Kejiang, 29, achieved the top score in Puyang city's national college entrance exam in 2004 and attended the Central University of Finance and Economics, one of Beijing's best.


Pupils fall ill after meal

Some 48 pupils were sent to hospital with food poisoning after eating at their primary school in Jingmen city, the China News Service reports. The local publicity office said most of those affected at the Xiangshan Primary School on Tuesday night had eaten the same kind of biscuits but Hubei disease control authorities were still investigating the cause.

Bank manager detained

The former manager of a Gucheng county bank branch affiliated with the Bank of China has been detained on suspicion of defrauding clients out of 120 million yuan, The Beijing News reports. Authorities said Li Mingzhong, 52, started faking bank contracts after taking the job in July last year. He fled on November 21, but was caught by local police 10 days later.


Life in jail for vice-mayor

A former deputy mayor of Xinghua has been sentenced to life in prison by Taizhou Intermediate People's Court for taking 13 million yuan in bribes, the Modern Express reports. Much of the sum taken by Yang Jian consisted of shopping vouchers from a relative who runs a local property firm. Yang returned nearly two million yuan after he was put under investigation. Another four million yuan has been confiscated.

Firm accused of polluting

The Yancheng branch of China Huiyuan Juice has been accused of discharging pollutants without government approval for five years, the National Business Daily reports. The plant received approval to dump pollutants last month but had been doing so since 2007. The company ignored a stop-work order from environmental authorities in May, blaming local government's "low efficiency" in issuing the approval.


Health chief sent to prison

The former director of a health centre in Laoling city has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for stealing 210,000 yuan, the Procuratorial Daily reports. Zhou Jinhong wrote false invoices for medical equipment and pocketed the money.

Green legal landmark

A 7.4-million-yuan illegal dumping judgment by the Dongying Intermediate People's Court represents environmental officials' first legal victory in Shandong province, the China News Service reports. The court found a transport firm, a solvent producer and an individual surnamed Wu liable for contaminating 4.4 hectares of soil by dumping 260 tonnes of waste water in July last year. Local residents complained of dizziness, nausea and asthma.


Deputy directors locked up

Two former deputy directors of the environmental protection bureau in Jiexiu city have been jailed for taking bribes from polluting firms, the Legal Daily reports. Gao Runsheng was sentenced to eight years for taking 1.76 million yuan, while Bai Shihe received a three-year sentence for taking 65,000 yuan.

Death penalty for burglar

Two robbers have received sentences of death and life in prison from Jinzhong Intermediated People's Court for a burglary, reports. The pair stole nearly 11 million yuan from the home of former Shanxi Coking chairman Bai Peizhong last year, of which 840,000 yuan was found to have been gifts to Bai and his wife. Bai faces party probation of a year.


Hotel death accidental

Police have ruled out foul play in the case of a 42-year-old who fell to his death from the 11th-floor of a Neijiang hotel last Saturday, the West China Metropolis Daily reports. Police said the man probably fell by accident. He was on a business trip from Zigong city.

Bribe-taker behind bars

The former director of the Fushun county social security bureau was sentenced to 13 years in prison for taking 5.4 million yuan in bribes, reports. In addition to Xiong Ming, the Zigong People's Procuratorate said 13 officials from the bureau were tried for taking bribes totalling 1.6 million yuan.