China Digest, February 16, 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 February, 2013, 4:34am


First-class dumping

Six Chinese passengers were forced off a KLM flight after they argued with cabin crew and refused to fasten their seat belts on Wednesday, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. The passengers, due to fly first-class from Beijing to Amsterdam, boarded the plane late and refused to turn off their mobile phones or fasten their seat belts. One woman passenger also insulted the crew, a witness said. The captain refused to take off until the six were taken off the plane by security officers.

Fraudsters jailed for life

Beijing No1 Intermediate People's Court handed down life sentences on Thursday to a Beijing man, 63, and a Hubei man, 60, over a five million yuan (HK$6.1 million) fraud, the Beijing Times reports. The pair posed as secretaries of state leaders in November 2010 and conned a victim into investing the money as a shareholder in a new bank. The victim called police a month later after learning the two were imposters.


Multiple broken bones

A man, 19, broke multiple bones after jumping from a sixth-floor flat in Shenzhen on Thursday following an argument with his parents, the Shenzhen Economic Zone Daily reports. The man, from Hunan , was visiting for the Lunar New Year holiday. He landed on a second-floor terrace.

Nabbed on internet

A Guangzhou city administration and law enforcement officer was suspended from duty after a picture of the office car parked outside a restaurant during the Lunar New Year holiday was widely circulated on the internet, Xinhua reports. The report said the officer was not on duty during the incident.


Fireworks injure 63

A total of 63 people, many of them children, were injured in fireworks accidents in Nanning from last Saturday to Thursday morning, the news portal reports. On Saturday night, Lunar New Year's eve, 23 people were hurt.

Computers go to loanshark

Liuzhou police have detained a man who stole eight computers from the company where he used to work to pay a loan shark, China News Service reports. The man borrowed 2,000 yuan to give to his parents for the Lunar New Year but could not pay it back. He was detained at home.


Rush for exam seats

When others were still enjoying the Lunar New Year holiday, students planning to sit postgraduate entrance exams were back on campus to study, with the competition for seats so fierce that they started queueing from 2am on Thursday, the Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reports. A student who returned at 4am found that all the seats had been taken.

Holiday losing lustre

More than 90 per cent of internet users who participated in a Xiaoxiang Morning Herald poll said they felt the Lunar New Year holiday was less exciting than it used to be, but 43 per cent said it was still their favourite holiday. More than 28 per cent said they went back to their home towns for the Lunar New Year.


Fireworks by the tonne

Nanjing produced 1,267 tonnes of firecracker debris from last Saturday to Thursday and 260.5 tonnes on Thursday alone, the fifth day of the Lunar New Year and traditionally the day to welcome the god of wealth, the Yangtse Evening Post reports. The setting off of fireworks at midnight on Wednesday sent pollution readings soaring.

Not quite so rosy

The price of roses soared on Thursday, Valentine's Day, but a professor at Nanjing Agricultural University said they were "100 per cent rosa hybrida", the Xinhua Daily reports. Lu Jianguo said there were only a few kinds of natural rose and they were harvested only once a year, mostly for use in the fragrance industry. The roses sold in markets were hybrids.


Naked man on runway

Nanchang's Changbei International Airport was forced to shut for about half an hour on Thursday night after police reported an intruder on the runway, China National Radio reports. A naked man was found hiding in a ditch. The airport reopened at 11pm.

Residents make own oil

Small oil-pressing workshops have emerged again in Jiangxi as residents seek ways to avoid recycled kitchen oil, known as gutter oil, Xinhua reports. A workshop owner said demand was high and he charged only a small amount for processing. Many residents got their oil from peanuts or rape seed they had grown themselves.


Rain dampens tourists

Days of rain led to a record low turnout for the city's tourist attractions on Thursday, the Labour News reports. Only 700 tourists visited Century Park and 3,200 visited Shanghai Wild Animal Park. The number of visitors to Fengjing ancient town in the city's southwestern suburbs was down by half compared with Wednesday.

Trains at full stretch

Shanghai's railway authorities added 192 train services on Thursday to cope with the first peak day of passengers returning from their home towns, the Oriental Morning Post reports. The bureau said 22.85 million passengers had taken trains since the start of the Lunar New Year, up 8.1 per cent on the same period last year.


'We need our official cars'

Honghe Autonomous Prefecture propaganda chief Wu Hao said it was not practical to ban officials below ministry level from using government cars, reports. Wu, a department-level official, said that a complete ban was not practical and other measures should be taken to tackle the problem of excessive spending on public cars.

Six die in crashes

Six people died and seven others were injured in six car accidents between 9am on Thursday and 9am yesterday, reports, citing a statement from the provincial government. In all, 75,581 cars were inspected during that period, with 8,221 found to be in breach of traffic regulations.


Valentine weddings quiet

Hangzhou's city government arranged for staff to be on duty for marriage registrations on Thursday, Valentine's Day, even though it was a public holiday, but only nine couples turned up to use the service, the Today Morning Post reports. Last year each district office saw more than 2,000 marriage registrations on Valentine's Day.

Woman run over twice

Lishui police are investigating the death of a woman, 21, who was knocked over by a car twice on Wednesday night, the news portal reports. A witness said three men got out of the car, smelling of alcohol and did not try to save the woman or her dog, which also died. A man told police he was the driver but later said the car had actually been driven by its owner. The owner denied seeing the woman or running her over twice.