CONGRESS BRIEFING

Chinese parliamentary sessions 2014

National People's Congress Briefs, March 10, 2014

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 3:26am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 March, 2014, 6:02pm

'Tibet is not Kunming'

A Tibet standing committee member said the Kunming railway attack would not affect the autonomous region and sought to emphasise stability there - despite a track record of unrest and self-immolations against Chinese rule. Baima Chilin said Tibet had a unique geography and culture, so incidents like the March 1 attack by Xinjiang separatists were unrelated. He also said, "There had not been a single self-immolation case in Tibet", without specifying a timeline. Keira Lu Huang

 

SmileAngel faces probe

The Red Cross has launched an investigation into its affiliate, the SmileAngel charity, for alleged funds misuse, Civil Affairs Minister Li Liguo said. The probe into 70 million yuan (HK$87 million) in donations used by SmileAngel, founded by singer Faye Wong and husband Li Yapeng, comes as laws on social organisations are being reformed. The ministry will review the probe's results before making it public. Victoria Ruan

 

Key changes for exams

Education Minister Yuan Guiren said the number of state-required subjects in the national university entrance exam would be reduced under a new reform. He also told state radio on Sunday that English would remain in the test, and that the same questions would be given to arts and science-focused students. Andrea Chen

 

Praise for baby islands

A top official has supported the pilot testing of centres for abandoned babies as a "brave experiment", despite numerous criticisms. "Abandoned baby islands" are being tested in 10 provinces. Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo said the project had more pros than cons, despite a surge in illegal abandonments in big cities and worries they will encourage parents to leave their newborns to others' care. Li said the government was aware of the risks and would monitor the trials. Victoria Ruan

 

Kunming's hospital crisis

Kunming Mayor Li Wenrong said 15 of the 29 civilians who died in the March 1 railway attack have been cremated, while 116 of the 143 injured were still in hospital - with one in serious condition. On Saturday alone, doctors conducted more than 100 operations, Li said. Many of the doctors worked non-stop for more than 40 hours on patients recovering from severe injuries and mental trauma. Officials and volunteers were helping the post-crisis efforts. Keira Lu Huang