Former PLA General’s trial possibly in private: expert





>>  Philippines takes wrong road in trying to force arbitration: Chinese diplomat

By Jennifer Ng and Zhao Jiemin

A senior Chinese diplomat on Tuesday of April 1 slammed the Philippines’ move to seek international arbitration on a territorial dispute between the two countries, saying it was not conducive to solving the issue.

China was committed to resolving its disputes with the Philippines through bilateral negotiations, which had proved successful in settling territorial and maritime disputes with other neighbors, said Sun Xiangyang, charge d’affaires at the Chinese embassy in Manila, citing three reasons why China did not accept the arbitration.

Under international law, China had every right not to accept the arbitration initiated by the Philippines, Sun said.

He said the dispute was principally over islands, which were not covered by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Moreover, in accordance with the convention, in case of disputes over territory, maritime delineation and historic title or rights, a signatory to the Convention may refuse to accept the jurisdiction of any international justice or arbitration as long as it makes a declaration, Sun said.

So far, 34 countries have made such declarations based on this provision. China made its declaration back in 2006, he said.

Thirdly, resorting to arbitration did not meet people’s expectations for friendship in both China and the Philippines.

Sun said, under normal circumstances, submission of a dispute to international arbitration required agreement between the two parties concerned. Yet, the Philippines had failed to notify the Chinese side, not to mention seeking China’s consent, before it initiated the action.

The Philippines, in disregard of China’s position, had insisted on going ahead with the arbitration, he said.

“What the Philippine side did seriously damaged bilateral relations with China. We find it very hard to understand these moves of the Philippines and we are deeply disturbed by and concerned with the consequence of such moves,” Sun said.

“We hope that the Philippine side will correct its mistake and come back to the right track of resolving the disputes through bilateral negotiation,” he added.

The Philippines on Sunday submitted nearly 4,000 pages of memorial to the Arbitral tribunal on the dispute with China over the South China Sea.







>>  China urges U.S. to stop Ren’ai Reef remarks

By Cui Wenyi

China on Tuesday of April 1 urged the United States to stop its irresponsible remarks on the Ren’ai Reef and its encouragement of provocation by countries involved in disputes over the sovereignty of the reef.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the comments at a daily news briefing when asked to respond to U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf’s remarks on Monday.

In Washington, Harf accused China of “provocative and destabilizing action,” saying the the United States urged China to refrain from further provocative behavior by allowing the Philippines to maintain its presence on the Ren’ai Reef.

Hong reiterated that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and adjacent waters, including the Ren’ai Reef.

China will not allow the Philippines to seize the Ren’ai Reef in any form and will resolutely safeguard its legitimate rights, he said.

The Philippines grounded a warship near the Ren’ai Reef in the South China Sea in 1999 and has since refused to retrieve it. In a recent statement, the Philippine side claimed that the stranded ship has served as a permanent installation. It has also repeatedly attempted to deliver construction materials and build on the reef.

Hong said that the actions of the Philippine side are leading to the escalation of tension between the two countries at present.







>>  China concerned about Japan’s arms exports readjustment

By Liu Dongkai

China is greatly concerned about Japan’s decision to lift a ban of nearly half a century on weapons exports, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday of April 1.

The Japanese cabinet on Tuesday officially approved new principles on arms exports to replace the old ones, which were enacted in 1967 and virtually ruled out arms exports.

The new principles allow Japan to export weapons under certain circumstances and pave the way for the country to acquire more advanced weapons and military technologies through joint development with its allies.

Analysts say that the relaxation of weapons exports is part of the Abe administration’s move to gut Japan’s pacifist constitution and build on its military capacities both at home and internationally.

Hong said at a daily briefing that Japan’s policy changes in military and security areas have a direct bearing on the security environment and strategic stability of the region, as well as on the direction of Japan’s future development.

“We hope the Japanese side can draw profound lessons from history and pay attention to the security concerns of its Asian neighbors,” he said.

The spokesman expressed hope that Japan can respond to the call of the times, pursue a path of peaceful development and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability.







>>  EU-China Research Center opens in Belgium

By Shuai Rong

The College of Europe on Tuesday of April 1 opened an EU-China Research Center in the historic city of Bruges in northwest Belgium, a new move promoting collaboration among scholars specialized in EU-China relations.

“Funded by InBev-Bailler Latour Fund, the EU-China Research Center aims to study the rapidly developing relations between the European Union and China by critical analysis and academic research,”said Jing Men, the director of the EU-China Research Center.

“In particular, the center seeks to undertake high-quality research from an interdisciplinary perspective on topics of major importance in the field of EU-China relations, produce publications, organize conference and promote cooperation between scholars specialized in EU-China studies,” she added.

Following the inauguration ceremony, the EU-China Research Center, together with other institutions of the College of Europe, organized a seminar on “China’s Reform and Its Impact on the EU and the World” which will last two days.

Founded in 1949, the College of Europe is the first and one of the most reputed institutes of European studies with about 400 postgraduates from over 55 countries.

The college also has its “China Library” inaugurated last Friday, providing around 10,000 books and audio-visual publications in six languages which were donated by China’s State Council Information Office.







>>  We have to become more Chinese in thinking,

says European tourism expert

By Paul

European tourism experts said successfully attracting Chinese tourists was not just a matter of crossing the language barrier, but also of thinking of their culture and customs, according to a press release issued on Tuesday of April 1.

Addressing the Chinese Friendly Cities tourism conference in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, the president of Chinese Friendly International Kurt Grotsche said “we have to become more Chinese in our thinking” to tap the Chinese tourism market.

With about 100 million Chinese citizens expected to make an international trip in 2014 alone, the Chinese Friendly organization raises awareness of the needs of Chinese tourists globally.

Zaragoza recently became a “Chinese-friendly” city, joining the growing list of cities and tourist attractions such as the famous Thyssen Museum in Madrid, which are adapting to cater more specifically to Chinese visitors.

This can range from having more Chinese food on menus, employing Chinese-speaking staff and making information available in Chinese.

Man Yee, senior trainer in the organization, said destinations needed to “offer the possibility to make tea in the hotel room or to have noodle soup at breakfast. These are differences which allow Chinese tourists to feel as if they are at home.”

2013 saw more than a 30 percent rise in the number of Chinese visitors to Spain.

In order to raise further awareness of Spain as a tourist destination in China, Chinese Friendly project manager Jingru Bai recommended that digital channels be used.

“No tourist strategy should overlook the power of blogs or fan trips as leaders in helping to form opinion,” Jingru Bai said.

The meeting discussed other important aspects of Spanish tourism such as gastronomy and shopping.

Several key shopping sites in Spain such as Madrid’s Las Rozas Outlet Shopping Village have already begun tailoring themselves for Chinese visitors.







>>  China, Myanmar hold media talks in Yangon

Key media representatives of China and Myanmar held media talks in Yangon on Tuesday of April 1, focusing on the topic of “Exchange and Cooperation between Media Sectors of China and Myanmar in Changing Era”.

Participants agreed that the two countries’ media should exchange more, communicate more to further enhance cooperation, jointly share media resources, create good public opinion environment to make efforts for the two countries’ brotherly friendship.

The conference was presided over by Chinese Ambassador Yang Houlan.

Deputy Director of the Information Office of the State Council of China Cui Yuying made deep exchanges with responsible persons of the media.

Cui pointed out in her concluding address that this ” Experience China”– Myanmar tour activity, in addition to the cultural performance, TV film show and building “China Pavilion”, plays an important part of carrying out exchange and cooperation between the media circles of the two countries.

As part of the activities, in mid-March this year, the Information Office of the State Council of China and the Myanmar Information Ministry organized reciprocal visits of media persons of the two sides.

She stressed the importance of further strengthening the exchange and cooperation between the media sectors of the two countries which can enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

She expressed the belief that the activities would play an active role in promoting media exchange and expanding cooperation in information and culture sectors.







>>  China, Myanmar sign agreement on supply of TV series films

The Film and TV Program Database of the State Council Information Office of China and Myanmar Shwe Than Lwin Media Co Ltd signed an agreement at the Sky Net TV here Tuesday on supply of TV series films and documentary films to Myanmar side for telecast.

Of the films, that of Chinese TV series ” Contradiction of Spouse” in Myanmar language version has been launched in Sky Net channel since March 26.

The film “The Legend of Music”, jointly shot by China and Myanmar, will be broadcast on April 14.

In addition, 11 other special feature films and documentary films have been created in Myanmar version to be broadcast by the Sky Net.

The film show of Chinese TV series in Myanmar has indicated that the two countries’ cooperation in the sector has reached a new level.







>>  Housing, China’s slowdown could trip up New Zealand economy – IMF

By Liu Jieqiu

The International Monetary Fund said New Zealand’s economy is stronger, but warned the Auckland housing market and a sharp slowdown in China could still pose a threat to its growth.

In its annual stocktake, the organization said the New Zealand economy’s prospects have improved because of the rebuilding of Christchurch and high global commodity prices.

It predicts growth will be about 3.5 percent this year.

While house price growth has eased slightly due to lending restrictions, the IMF said it could still damage the financial system if there’s an economic shock.

The IMF also said a slowdown in China could hurt the economy, though it doesn’t believe that’s imminent.

The organization has endorsed the New Zealnd government’s debt- reduction plan to ensure the country is in good shape to withstand any nasty shocks in the future, Radio New Zealand reported on Tuesday of April 1.







>>  China provides leadership training to more senior Fijian officials

By Liu Peng

China has approved 20 more senior Fijian officials for leadership training in Beijing and Shanghai in mid-May, the Fijian government said on Tuesday of April 1.

Parmesh Chand, permanent secretary for Fiji’s Public Service Commission, said the theme for this year’s training is again on ” Leadership Building,” and the teaching program will involve lectures, field visits and group discussions. All expenses including round trip airfares, meals, accommodation, tuition and in-country transportation will be borne by China, he said.

The course is prepared for Fiji’s senior officials, particularly those involved in formulation of policies, implementation of projects and overall decision making, according to Fiji’s Ministry of Information.

Fiji is deeply appreciative of the ongoing assistance from China in the area of training and capacity building for the South Pacific island country’s senior officials, Chand said.

Training and exposure in China is greatly assisting in the Fijian government’s reform program to enhance the capacity of its senior officials for improved levels of service delivery to ordinary Fijians, he added.

At least 45 senior Fijian officials have undergone leadership training in China since last September. In line with the Fijian government’s plan, by the end of 2015, as many as 300 officials from the government and statutory bodies will travel to China to receive leadership training.







>>  Chinese premier, foreign leaders to attend Boao Forum

By Yang Yijun

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2014 next week, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei announced on Tuesday of April 1.

Themed “Asia’s New Future: Identifying New Growth Drivers,” the conference will be held in south China’s Hainan Province from April 8 to 11.

During his stay from April 8 to 10, Premier Li will make a keynote speech at the opening ceremony, Hong told the ministry’s daily press briefing.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Kazakh Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Jung Hong-won, Prime Minister of Laos Thongsing Thammavong, Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob, Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam will attend the forum, Hong said.

Simultaneously, prime ministers of Australia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Namibia and Timor-Leste will make official visits to China at the invitation of Li, said the spokesman.







>>  Taiwan protesters in face-off over trade pact

By Yao Yuan, Li Hanfang, Wu Jihai and Yu Junjie

Nearly 1,000 Taiwanese people joined a demonstration in Taipei on Tuesday afternoon of April 1 in support a cross-Strait trade pact, urging students to quit Taiwan’s legislative building.

“We want the pact! We want jobs!” shouted the protesters toward the students across a heavy police cordon. Occasional scuffles broke out between the two rival groups and police.

Led by a labor group, the crowd had planned to march into the legislative building and persuade the students to leave, accusing them of disrupting democracy.

A protester said the students do not represent the majority of Taiwan and have kidnapped policy-making by illegally taking over the legislative chamber.

Chang An-lo, president of Taiwan’s Unionist Party, gave a speech calling the occupation of the legislature “dangerous”.

The demonstration ended at about 5 p.m., but Chang warned of a return if police do not disperse the students.

Hundreds of students stormed into the legislative chamber on March 18 in protest at what they see as undemocratic tactics used by the ruling Kuomintang to ratify the pact between China’s mainland and Taiwan.

Student protest leaders have issued demands including rejecting the pact, passing a law to monitor future cross-Strait agreements and convening a “citizens’ constitutional meeting.”

Having failed to reach an agreement with the authority, protest leaders called for more people to join a sit-in on Sunday. At least 100,000 people answered the call.

The student protest, however, has encountered more opposition in recent days. Thousands of people rallied in Taipei on Saturday to call for social stability and resumption of legislative operations.

Taiwan’s leader Ma Ying-jeou on Tuesday said the authority had done all they could do regarding the students’ demands. He called it unnecessary to enact the supervision law before the review of the pact and refused to withdraw it. He had earlier agreed to a detailed review of the pact and a scrutiny mechanism.







>>  Chinese vice premier stresses reform, innovation

By Liu Lu

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli has stressed the need for reform and innovation in order to cope with challenges and promote sustainable development of the country’s economy.

Zhang made the remarks during an inspection tour of the cities of Langfang, Cangzhou and Baoding in north China’s Hebei Province on Monday and Tuesday.

He visited enterprises and an environmental monitoring station, and held a symposium with business executives to solicit opinions and suggestions.

Zhang said China has maintained a stable economic situation since the beginning of this year and there have been positive economic developments.

However, the overall economy at home and abroad is complicated and China should remain alert to difficulties and risks generated by economic downturn, he warned.

Zhang urged full implementation of the tasks raised by the government work report in March, and called on the public to maintain confidence in achieving this year’s economic and social development goals.

The vice premier reiterated the need to expand consumption, accelerate construction of key projects, attract more private investment and stabilize imports and exports.

China will deepen reform, streamline administration, delegate more power to lower-level governments, optimize economic structure, strengthen environmental protection, and solve long-existing conflicts and emerging problems, Zhang vowed.

Approving of Hebei’s economic and social achievements, Zhang called on the province to develop in a scientific and environmentally friendly way in accordance with the instructions of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

“The province should steadfastly resolve excessive production capacity, resolutely fight air pollution and solve the people’s problems,” he said.

Zhang also expressed his hope that enterprises can enhance management over the market and promote economic restructuring so as to maintain healthy economic growth.  







>>  China authorities begin new anti-graft inspection

By Hu Longjiang

Chinese central authorities have begun a new round of nationwide discipline inspections to uncover corruption.

The inspection, the third round since the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) new leaders were elected late in 2012, will carry out regular inspections in 10 provincial-level areas including Beijing, Tianjin and Xinjiang, the CPC’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said on Tuesday of April 1.

Different from the two previous rounds, inspections will be conducted in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Shanghai-based Fudan University, and China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation.

The inspection aims to uncover corruption and inappropriate working practices and will check on implementation of socialist democracy and other policies.

The CPC began routinely sending teams to oversee the performance of officials in 2003, and the practice was formally written into the Party’s Constitution five years later.

During the two inspections since last May, inspectors uncovered a number of corrupt officials.







>>  More officials in Hubei probed for discipline violations

By Li Pengxiang, Tan Yuanbin and Cheng Lu

Four more officials are under investigation in central China’s Hubei Province for discipline violations, local authorities said on Tuesday of April 1.

Liu Muzhen, chairman of E’zhou City Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, was removed from his post for a “serious violation of discipline”, according to the website of the local Communist Party discipline watchdog.

The website also confirmed three other officials were under investigation, including Yu Xinguo, director of the economic and information commission of Wuhan City, Wang Hongqiang, deputy director of the standing committee of the People’s Congress of Yichang City, and Zhang Qinyun, member of the party committee and general manager of Hubei Daily Media Group.

One day ago, a provincial official was sacked and another from Huanggang City in Hubei put under investigation.







>>  Army disciplinary inspectors identify problems: PLA Daily

By Ren Ke

Army disciplinary inspectors have identified problems in Beijing and Jinan military area commands, the flagship newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reported on Tuesday of April 1.

A PLA Daily article said Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), held a meeting on Friday, hearing reports from inspection teams.

Disciplinary teams were sent to Beijing and Jinan military area commands from Dec. 10 to March 13. It was the first round of inspections sent by the CMC.

Focusing on anti-graft work, inspectors found issues concerning cadres’ self-discipline, construction projects, land transfers, low-income housing projects and medical systems among other areas.

The disciplinary organ of the CMC has told related departments to rectify problems.

At the meeting, Xu said the army’s disciplinary inspection system should be strengthened as it is of strategic importance for the building of the army.

Xu said Party committees of large units and their members should be the focus of inspection work, and more effort is needed to tackle corruption in areas where it is prone.







>>  Former PLA General’s trial possibly in private: expert

By Wang Di

The trial of former senior military logistics officer Gu Junshan might not be held in public, a legal expert said in an article published in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily on Tuesday of April 1.

Gu, former deputy head of the General Logistics Department of the PLA, was charged with embezzlement, bribery, misuse of state funds and abuse of power by the military procuratorate on Monday.

The case may involve production and procurement of logistics equipment in the army, which belong to military secrets, said Yu Xiao in the report.

Cases involving military secrets concern national security and are not allowed to be tried in public in accordance with laws, said Yu, adding it is an international judicial practice.

Under Chinese criminal procedure law, the court should give reasons in public for hearing the trial privately, Yu said.

All legal procedures must be strictly enforced and supervised by the procuratorial organ and the higher level court, said the report.

Yu said the military court will complete a review and accept the case within seven days.

The military court will form a collegial panel, deliver a copy of the indictment to the defendant and his counsel ten days ahead of the trial, the legal expert in the army said in the report.

“The investigation and trial against Gu is important and will have an active and far-reaching impact on cracking down on graft in the PLA,” Yu added.







>>  China issues guide for government information disclosure

By Liu Tong and Fu Shuangqi

The Chinese government on Tuesday of April 1 issued a guideline to improve transparency in several key areas such as environmental protection and land use.

China will step up its efforts in tracking and disclosing information concerning environmental protection, said the State Council document published on the central government’s official website.

According to the document, the government will inform the public better about air quality, water quality and details of environmental impact assessments for planned big projects.

It will also push forward information disclosure related to nuclear safety and press big polluters to actively publicize information about their pollutant discharges, it said.

The calls come in the wake of Premier Li Keqiang’s opening address at the annual session of the National People’s Congress in March, in which he “declared war” on pollution.

But aside from pollution, Tuesday’s guideline also covered other areas of government work in which improved information disclosure is needed.

They include management of public land, a topic which has triggered a number of disputes and protests in recent years.

Under the guideline, governments will better disclose information about requisition of public land as well as transfer of use rights of farming land and public land for construction projects and mining.

The government will allow the public to check and inquire about land requisition and do a better job to inform concerned parties in a demolition program about compensation policies, according to the guideline.

Information concerning administrative approval, budgets and final accounts, government spending on receptions, cars and overseas trips is likewise highlighted in the statement.

It also urges more concerted actions between government departments to avoid “official rumors,” referring to inaccurate and contradictory information released by different departments.







>>  Voting starts to select top ten heroes

By Yu Junjie

China’s web users on Tuesday of April 1 started voting for grassroots individuals or groups vying to be named as one of the country’s top ten local heroes in the first quarter.

Initiated and sponsored by Xinhua News Agency, netizens selected the heroes via the agency’s official website, microblogs and mobile applications.

The candidates in the first quarter include Zhang Guangxiu, a most devoted village official, who kept the villages and her duties in mind even after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Other candidates include He Yanjun, an obstetrician who took the initiative to work in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and won praises of the local people, as well as Hu Huiyue, a grandma teacher dedicated to special education, taking care of 102 mentally disabled children over a period of 16 years., the official website of Xinhua, will profile the candidates from Tuesday.

Stories will also run on Chinese social websites Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo.

The vote, held since 2010, is conducted quarterly to promote ordinary people’s good deeds and improve moral awareness.







>>  Ministry orders respectful honoring of martyrs

By Cheng Zhuo

China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs on Tuesday of April 1 urged local governments to honor Chinese martyrs with well-organized activities, ahead of the country’s annual Tomb-Sweeping Day on April 5.

The ministry published a circular on public memorial activities for martyrs that stipulates the organizers, procedures and other requirements of such events.

“Public memorial activities to commemorate martyrs should be held on Tomb-Sweeping Days, National Days and other important anniversaries,” the circular said.

A statement issued by the ministry said that some local authorities’ poorly organized memorial activities with hasty procedures and lack of due courtesy have undermined the promotion of martyrs’ spirits.

According to the circular, civil affairs agencies at county level or above are responsible for the planning of such commemorations and the events should be organized and carried out by local governments.

Public commemorations should be held at martyrs’ memorial sites and attended by representatives of local Communist Party of China committees, government departments, military units and public organizations, the document said.

Martyrs’ relatives, representatives of veterans, soldiers and teachers and students of local schools may also be invited, it added.

Procedures mandated in the circular included announcing the opening of ceremony, singing the national anthem, reading memorial eulogies and presenting flowers.

The circular stressed that such events should be carried out in a solemn and respectful manner while maintaining frugality.







>>  China lets market decide railway freight price

By Zhang Zhengfu

China is to allow the market to decide rail freight prices, the country’s top economic planning body said on Tuesday of April 1.

Freight prices on the Zhunchi Railway, linking Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Region and Shanxi Province in north China, will be determined independently by operators, customers and investors, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in a statement.

This is the first time China has opened up prices of rail transportation, said the NDRC.

The 180-kilometer railway, which is under construction and scheduled to begin operations in the first half of this year, will mainly carry coal.

Shi Lixin of the NDRC’s Institute of Economic System and Management called the move a “milestone” in railway reform, with a positive and far-reaching impact on the investment and financial reform of China’s railways.

“The move will boost the confidence of social capital to invest in railways and help stabilize expectations,” Shi said.







>>  Court upholds China nose-job killer’s death sentence

By Zhong Qun and Wang Junlu

An east China court has upheld the death sentence of a man who fatally stabbed one doctor and wounded two others at a hospital in east China’s Zhejiang Province in October.

Zhejiang’s provincial Higher People’s Court on Monday dismissed the appeal of Lian Enqing, 33, who stabbed the doctors on October 25 in the ear, nose and throat department of the No. 1 People’s Hospital in Wenling City.

Aside from the doctor who died, another was seriously injured and a third suffered minor injuries in the attack.

Lian was sentenced to death in the first instance trial by the Intermediate People’s Court in Zhejiang’s Taizhou City in January. The court also deprived him of his political rights for life.

Lian had surgery on his nose at the hospital in March 2013. According to Liao Qiao, Lian’s sister, he felt displeased after the operation and claimed to be suffering respiratory problems and discomfort.

While the hospital confirmed that the surgery was successful, Lian felt he was being cheated by the doctors, Liao said.

According to her, from August to October 15 last year, Lian was under treatment at Shanghai Mental Health Center, diagnosed with a persistent delusional disorder.






>>  Policeman’s death sentence appeal heard in SW China

By Han Xiaojing and Pan Qiang

The appeal hearing of a former policeman sentenced to death for killing a pregnant woman in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was heard on Tuesday of April 1.

Guigang Intermediate People’s Court heard the case of Hu Ping of Guigang City, who was sentenced to death for intentional homicide and ordered to pay 73,324 yuan (12,000 U.S. dollars) in compensation to the victim’s family by Guigang Intermediate People’s Court in February.

Police found that Hu was drunk when he shot a woman and her husband, who ran a noodle restaurant, on Oct. 28, 2013. The husband Cai Shiyong sustained minor injuries to his right shoulder, but his wife Wu Ying and their unborn child died after being shot twice by Hu.

In his defense during the first trial, Hu said Cai had tried to grab his pistol before he pulled the trigger. However several witnesses testified that Cai had not attempted to grab the gun until after his wife was shot.

On Tuesday, Hu denied that he shot three times, and questioned the reliability of witnesses Wang and Zhang. He also argued the firearm residue on Cai’s sleeve proved he had tried to grab the gun which caused it to discharge accidentally.

Hu’s lawyer handed over a petition by villagers from Yuwu in Pingnan county, Wu’s hometown, asking for a leniency for Hu, and an “agreement of understanding” drafted by the defendant and signed by the relatives of the victim Wu Ying, including her mother and brother.

Prosecutors did not believe that Cai had tried to grab the gun before his wife was shot and claimed the evidence Hu provided to the court was irrelevant.

The verdict will be announced at another date.







>>  Rainstorms to persist in south China

By Zhu Shaobin

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) warned on Tuesday of April 1 that more rainstorms and strong winds are to hit southern regions from Wednesday.

Chen Zhenlin, a CMA official in charge of emergency disaster relief and public services said the stormy weather will come around again in the southern regions, following torrential rains since March 27.

Guangdong Province and the adjacent Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region both registered record-breaking monthly precipitation in March.

Chen said that south China has entered the flood season since March 30, seven days early compared to other years. He said Guangdong and Guangxi will see up to 160 millimeters of precipitation over the next ten days, while southwest China’s Guizhou Province will also see mostly rainy weather during the period.

Rain and hailstorms since Saturday have brought landslides and flight delays to southern China. In Guangdong province, authorities confirmed on Tuesday that 11 people had been killed while hailstorms have left two dead and more than 3,000 hectares of crops destroyed in Guangxi.







>>  21 dead, 4 missing in S China rainfall

By Cheng Zhuo and Cui Jing

Heavy rainfall in south China over the last few days has left 21 people dead and four others missing, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs on Tuesday of April 1.

As of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, torrential rains in seven Chinese provincial- level regions — Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Chongqing and Guizhou, have affected more than 1.16 million people and forced 17,000 to leave their homes, the ministry said in a statement.

A total of 6,600 people are in need of emergency sustenance assistance, it said, while 1,600 houses have been toppled and 55,000 damaged.

The floods inundated 47,600 hectares of crops and caused direct economic losses of 650 million yuan (105.7 million U.S. dollars), according to the statement.

Since Thursday last week, some areas have witnessed as much as 300 mm of rainfall. There have also been thunder and hailstorms.

Weather forecasts indicated that heavy rain may continue this week.









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