China Digest, February 21, 2013

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 February, 2013, 3:55am


Exam cheat sentenced

A 23-year-old woman has been given a one-year suspended jail sentence in Chaoyang district for illegally obtaining state secrets when she bought answers to a national higher-education exam, the Beijing Evening News reports. It was the first case reported in Beijing in which cheating on an exam was ruled to be a theft of state secrets. She spent 500 yuan (HK$616) in April on answers to the exam.

Alert over 'traffic fines'

Police are warning drivers of a new text-messaging scam in which swindlers claim to be police from other provinces and say that the targeted victim's car was photographed breaking a traffic law in another province, reports. Text recipients are told to pay the designated fine by depositing money into a bank account.


Cultural zone by 2020

The State Council plans to build a zone dedicated to culture and innovation in Gansu , to promote cultural prosperity and support underdeveloped regions, reports. The zone's location has not been set, but after its completion in 2020, the local cultural industry is expected to account for more than 5 per cent of the province's annual GDP.

20 years for taking bribes

The former director of land and resources in Longnan city has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for taking 880,000 yuan in bribes and failing to explain how he had more than 5 million yuan in personal assets, the Lanzhou Morning Post reports. Qi Minqing , 53, was arrested in September 2010 for taking the bribes between 2006 and 2007, when he was head of Wenxian and Huixian counties.


Boss fired for lax staff

An official in charge of market supervision and management in Longhua district, Shenzhen, was removed from his post because his subordinates slacked off upon their return from the Lunar New Year holiday, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reports. During a spot check on Sunday, some staff were found eating rice dumplings and chatting about mahjong while on duty. Another supervisor was also removed and all civil servants caught slacking were either fired or issued warnings.

Shenzhen's hazy January

January was the smoggiest month in Shenzhen since 2006, with more than 21 "hazy" days recorded, the Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reports. The worst stretch was the two weeks between January 6 and 19. By comparison, Beijing recorded 26 such days in January.


Man stabs mother

A man in his 20s has been detained in Tongxu county, Kaifeng for brutally attacking his mother on Friday night after they quarrelled at a local hospital, reports. Witnesses said the man used a fruit knife to stab and cut his mother several times, on her head and stomach. The report said the man also attacked his father on February 10.

Drunken man crashes taxi

A man was detained in downtown Zhengzhou on Tuesday night after drunkenly stealing and repeatedly crashing a taxi with a terrified female passenger inside, the Dahe Daily reports. The taxi's driver stopped when he noticed the man quarrelling with another taxi driver, and the drunken man jumped in the taxi and took off. He crashed into three cars and a divider before the taxi stopped in an ornamental flower bed along the street a few minutes later.


Recite poem for free entry

About 10,000 tourists received free entry to the Yueyang Pavilion in Yueyang during the Lunar New Year holiday, by reciting a poem written 968 years ago by a famous writer and politician paying tribute to the structure, China News Service reports. The poem is about 400 characters long, and visitors had 10 minutes to recite it. Tickets normally cost 80 yuan a person.

Seven airports planned

Provincial authorities plan to build seven new airports across the province by 2015, in a bid to make Hunan the main transport hub of the central and southern regions, the Sanxiang City Express reports. Hunan currently has five airports.


Metro extends to suburbs

Construction will start this year on two new metro lines that would serve suburban areas of the city, the Shanghai Evening News reports. Line 17 would run west to Qingpu district, and an extension to line 5 would reach Fengxian district in the south. The city has more than 425km of subway, and the total is expected to surpass 600km by 2015.

2012 sees rise in births

More than 220,000 babies were born in Shanghai last year, or 25.61 per cent more than in 2011, according to local population authorities, the Shanghai Morning Post reports. More than 8 per cent of the babies were their parents' second children.


Quarrel leads to stabbing

A 26-year-old man has been arrested in Yibin for killing a woman after they quarrelled on the street, the West China City Daily reports. The incident occurred around 4am on January 26, when the woman became offended because the man had told her she was beautiful and smelled nice. She called some friends but he responded by stabbing her in the back.

Shut down for selling guns

A private retailer's shop in Jintang county, Chengdu , has been shut down for selling imitation rifles powerful enough to break a beer bottle from 15 metres away, reports. Several students from local middle schools bought the guns for 1,100 yuan each.


High schools to get subsidy

Every school in areas of average or above-average altitude in the region will receive between 2,600 and 2,800 yuan in subsidies to pay for the students' tuition and boarding fees, reports. The annual subsidies are paid by local governments and are meant to help children of farmers and herdsmen. The total payout last year was 1.23 billion yuan, up from 361 million yuan in 2008.

Tourism boosts revenues

Tibet received more than 2.78 million tourists during the Lunar and Tibetan new year holidays, which started one day apart this year, Xinhua reports. Tourists helped bring the area more than 200 million yuan in income.


Pregnancy shocks parents

The parents of a 12-year-old girl were shocked to learn their daughter was eight months pregnant, reports. The girl had been living with her grandparents in Henan province while they worked in Hangzhou , and the family was reunited for the Lunar New Year holiday. The child's grandparents had no idea she was pregnant. A man in his 60s, from the village where the girl had been living is under investigation in connection with the incident.

Wager over dirty river

The editor of an official website in Cangnan county, Wenzhou , said on his microblog on Tuesday that he would pay the director of the county's environmental protection bureau 300,000 yuan to swim in a local polluted river for 30 minutes, reports.