China Digest, February 14, 2013
The head of a Beijing public hospital's trade union has been charged in Haidian district with embezzling one million yuan (HK$1.2 million) to support an online-gambling addiction, the Beijing Times reports. Before being appointed head of the hospital's trade union, where he was in charge of buying gifts and rewarding hospital employees, the suspect had been a doctor for three years. Prosecutors said he became addicted to online gambling in August 2011.
'Sister aided rapist'
A woman has been arrested by police in Daxing district for helping her younger brother rape a woman, the Beijing Morning Post reports. Police said the man was driving the victim to her flat to move some furniture in June when he stopped in a remote place and raped her. The victim pleaded for help from the sister, who was also in the car, but police said she instead helped restrain the woman with a seat belt.
Baby drowns in bathroom
A two-year-old girl in Shenzhen suspiciously drowned in an 80cm-deep container of water on Tuesday while her mother played mahjong with friends, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The girl was alone in a bathroom where the container was located, and she was later found dead inside it, according to police. It was unclear how the toddler got into the container, or what it was there for.
Policeman shoots attacker
A police officer in Zhuhai shot a suspected thief who police say attempted to flee from custody on Tuesday and attack the officer with a hoe, the Yangcheng Evening News reports. The man was shot in the right leg while running at the officer, who said the suspect ignored three warning shots. He had been taken to the police station after officers said he confessed to stealing walkie-talkies from a factory.
More buildings for schools
Guiyang education officials say they strengthened the city's school system last year by building 13 kindergartens and expanding 12 others while building 35 boarding schools in rural areas, and expanding five high schools in urban areas, the Guizhou Daily reports. The city also spent 3.8 billion yuan last year to build 20,000 subsidised apartments for poor families to rent or buy.
Boost for infrastructure
Zunyi is expected to invest 200 billion yuan in infrastructure this year - a 53 per cent increase from last year, the Guizhou Daily reports. The municipality plans to spend one trillion yuan on projects by 2015, according to the chief of the municipal development and reform committee, who called the local economy "investment-driven" in recent years. The total investment in Zunyi from 2006-10 was just 30 billion yuan.
Grand gala audience
The New Year's gala broadcast by Jiangsu Satellite TV on Sunday had more viewers than any of the galas put on that night by the stations' counterparts in other provinces or municipalities, the Yangtse Evening News reports. Total viewership figures were not given in the survey of 45 cities by the television ratings firm CSM Media Research. The gala featured many decades-old songs and various performances and appearances.
Fire kills woman, 96
A 96-year-old woman died in a fire in her room at a senior housing complex in Hanjiang district, Yangzhou , on Tuesday evening, Chinanews.com reports. Firefighters said the whole room was engulfed in fire. The cause was under investigation, and the centre staff contacted the families of other residents so they could be taken home.
Divided by digital devices
Some elderly residents of Shenyang complained that their children and grandchildren were more interested in using their mobile phones and tablet computers than in chatting with family this holiday, Liaoning.nen.com.cn reports. One woman said that seven of the 11 people at her family feast had their noses buried in their devices.
Officials' tenure limited
Authorities overseeing the Shenbei New District development area of Shenyang will recruit five civil servants to serve for three years, making them the province's first government officials not given lifetime contracts, people.com.cn reports. The officials will be paid about 70,000 to 120,000 yuan a year. The district authority said applications may be submitted from February 21 to March 6.
Travel numbers down
The number of travellers leaving Shanghai from Saturday to yesterday - the first four days of the Lunar New Year - was about half the number of people who left for the National Day holiday in October, Eastday.com reports. A total of 740,000 vehicles left on Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, sales at more than 100 major shopping malls increased by 6.5 per cent to 1.93 billion yuan from Saturday to Tuesday, compared with the same holiday period last year, according to commerce figures.
Hurdler Liu 'not retiring'
A spokesman for the Shanghai Sports Bureau has denied a rumour that Olympic hurdler and gold medallist Liu Xiang would retire soon, the Beijing Youth Daily reports. The bureau's director was recently quoted by Xinhua as saying that Liu might start a new "life journey", spurring public speculation that he might stop competing. The spokesman also said that Liu was undergoing rehabilitation in the US. Whether he competes again would depend on how he feels.
Forest fire under control
About 500 firefighters, including many volunteers, battled a forest fire in Shangri-La county, northwestern Yunnan , according to the State Forestry Administration's website. The fire, which started on Tuesday afternoon, was under control by noon yesterday. It was the second serious fire in the same area in less than a week. The county has experienced dry conditions since last year.
High occupancy for hotels
The average occupancy rate in hotels across the province was 69 per cent this week, with some popular destinations, such as Dali , reaching 98 per cent, Yunnan.cn reports. The provincial centre for holiday tourism information said Yunnan received 2.1 million tourists on Tuesday alone, with most travelling to Kunming , Dali and Honghe .
Scenic sights besieged
Most streets in Hangzhou were relatively empty in recent days, but roads near scenic areas have been packed with vehicles, according to the municipal traffic bureau, Zjol.com.cn reports. The traffic jams were particularly bad on Tuesday, despite authorities' measures to ease congestion, such as limiting traffic on some roads to one way and restricting areas where cars could drive, based on their plate numbers. A total of 166 road accidents occurred on Tuesday, but none were serious.
Cinema focuses on Japan
Ten of the 19 production crews working on films or television shows this week at Hengdian World Studios - China's biggest film studio - are producing works on the Sino-Japanese war, the Qianjiang Evening News reports. Last year, 48 crews shot anti-Japanese films or television dramas at the Jinhua city studio.