China Digest, January 21, 2013

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 5:32am


Village boss hit for graft

A former village party secretary in Miyun county has been charged with taking more than 4.65 million yuan (HK$5.74 million) in bribes, the Beijing Times reports. Xiang Mingxing is accused of taking the money from property developers between November 2007 and July 2011, in exchange for lowering the amount of compensation that the developers had to pay to people whose land had been seized for development.

Dad jailed for baby's death

A two-year-old girl from Daxing district has died in hospital 10 days after she was kicked off a bed by her father, who was angry at her for crying, The Beijing News reports. Doctors called the police when the father brought the girl to hospital, and he was detained. She died last week. The man's wife had run off, taking the toddler's twin brother with her.


Fee refunds for parents

Provincial education authorities have refunded more than 46.4 million yuan to 3,254 families that paid "sponsorship fees" in September to secure spots for their children in public kindergartens, the Yangcheng Evening News reports. The families paid an average annual fee of 14,259 yuan, but the illegitimate fees have since been banned by the government. Many kindergartens use the practice to offset budget shortages.

Three held for libel

Shenzhen police have confirmed that they detained three people in the city for making libellous postings online about an official with the Shenzhen Press Group, the China News Service reports. The organisation had issued a statement saying that the men were detained 10 days ago, but police had not confirmed this. One of the men was an employee for the press group, but their motives were unclear.


Hotel in hot water for snub

A hotel manager in Wuhan has apologised to a sanitation worker who was refused a glass of hot water at the hotel on Saturday morning, the Chutian Jinbao reports. The manager said a staff member who demanded that the street cleaner leave the hotel's kitchen was reprimanded, as it is the hotel's policy to provide free hot water and microwave access to sanitation workers.

Farmers' income grows

The disposable income of Hubei farmers increased by 10.5 per cent last year to 7,851 yuan, a slightly higher increase than the national average of 10.2 per cent, the Hubei Daily reports. For the third consecutive year, the average increase in disposable incomes of farmers surpassed those of urban residents, by 0.4 percentage points.


26,000 flats for the poor

Changsha completed the construction of 26,332 affordable homes for low-income families last year - or about 4,700 more units than were called for in the city's annual plan, reports. The city has built more than 200,000 affordable apartments in the last five years, and more than 180,000 households have moved in.

Light sentence for thief

A university student in Changsha has been sentenced to 4½ months of detention for looting 3,000 yuan worth of goods from a Japanese department store during an anti-Japan rally in September, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. The Yuhua District People's Court said the student was given a light sentence because prosecutors and his university pleaded for leniency on his behalf, noting that he was a good student who came from a poor farming family.


Resident's double trouble

Police in Shenmu county, Yulin, have revoked a former deputy bank chief's second permanent residency registration in the county, which she used to register her ownership of more than 20 apartments in Beijing, China Central Television reports. The 49-year-old woman is also a representative to the Yulin Municipal People's Congress. She admitted online to possessing two permanent residencies, and then police admitted to an oversight when registering the woman's residency - they missed a note saying she went by two names. She told media that she thought it would be auspicious to have a second name.

Grandpa jailed for murder

An 80-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Ankang for killing his bedridden roommate in an elderly home, the Huashang Daily reports. The two began sharing a room in early March, but they soon had many disputes. On March 11, the angry octogenarian took a hammer to his roommate's head, killing him. The court said that since the convicted man was older than 75, he was not eligible for the death penalty.


Car-plate sales zoom

The car-plate auction price in Shanghai hit a record high this month, as the cheapest number plate fetched 75,000 yuan - almost 6,000 yuan more than the cheapest plate sold last month, the Labour Daily reports. The price surged as the city cut back the supply of number plates to 9,000 - 300 less than the previous month. It was the lowest monthly total sold in nine months, while the number of bidders increased from 18,244 last month to 20,857. Analysts also attributed the latest boom to increased demand ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, a benchmark month for car sales.

Crime cases increase

Shanghai prosecutors handled 334 cases of corruption or bribery involving 400 people last year, 6.1 per cent more than the year before, the Oriental Morning Post reports. Moreover, 43 people were investigated for dereliction of duty in 38 cases, marking a 19.4 per cent increase from 2011. Additionally, 40,345 people were charged in criminal cases - one-third more than the year before.


Mahjong overload

A 24-year-old woman in Chengdu will have to undergo surgery to repair a tendon she tore in her shoulder while playing too much mahjong, China News Service reports. She played for eight hours straight on January 11, and when she awoke the next morning she had acute pain in her shoulder and it was sitting higher than her right one. Her marathon session followed an even longer stretch of mahjong over the New Year's holiday, when she played at least five hours a day for a week straight.

Illegal factories dangerous

More than half of the 17,600 manufacturing-related safety accidents in the province last year involved illegal production and sales, the Chengdu Evening Post reports. A total of 3,493 people died in all of the accidents, resulting in economic losses of 540 million yuan.


Murder case revisited

The Zhejiang High Court has reopened a 1995 murder case in which four men received suspended death sentences and another got life imprisonment, Xinhua reports. Police said they found the real murderer last year when investigating a case unrelated to the robbery 18 years ago. The five men have been in jail since.

Crackdown on fireworks

Provincial police have confiscated 280,000 boxes of illegal fireworks during a crackdown that began on December 15, reports. Police have teamed up with quality-supervision and safety officers to inspect 175 factories and shops that make or sell fireworks, and 405 potential hazards have been corrected.