China sets up first high security bio lab







>>  Xi congratulates Zambian president on inauguration

By Yang Jingzhong

Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory message to his new Zambian counterpart, Edgar Lungu, on the latter’s inauguration as head of state of the southern African country.

The Chinese and Zambian peoples enjoy profound traditional friendship, and bilateral win-win cooperation in various fields has borne rich fruit, Xi said in the January 26 message.

China, Xi added, attaches great importance to developing relations with Zambia, and stands ready to work with Zambia to lift their friendly and cooperative relationship to higher levels, so as to bring more benefits to both peoples.

Lungu was sworn in as Zambia’s sixth president on January 25.







>>  The West’s green eyes on China-Africa win-win cooperation

By Zhu Junqing

China-Africa cooperation has long been subjected to vile slanders from the West, even as its nature of mutual benefit has been repeatedly proved and widely acclaimed.

In the latest evidence of the win-win feature, the African Union and China signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to boost cooperation on Africa’s infrastructure, which has become a bottleneck hindering the development of the promising continent.

Yet the deal, which like numerous others is conducive to Africa’s sustainable development, did not stop the mud-slinging by biased Western media, which resorted to such terms as “neocolonialism” to smear China’s goodwill.

Such claims, sensational as they sound, are pure calumny and have no market both in Africa and across the world. And behind the slanders — at least some of them — are a pair of green eyes full of selfishness-born jealousy and frustration.

Deeply aware that poor infrastructure is its short slab, African countries have long decided to prioritize infrastructure development to speed up its modernization drive.

According to the World Bank, an extra 93 billion U.S. dollars is needed every year over the next decade to bridge the infrastructure deficit alone in Africa.

Yet the rich Western world has not been particularly helpful, partly because of its capital restrictions. As the Economist magazine has pointed out, new rules for insurance firms and pension funds in Europe penalize long-term illiquid investments, such as roads, ports and railways. But such projects are exactly what Africa desperately needs.

On the other hand, decades after the independence of African countries, the West still has not disabused itself of the anachronistic, parochial intention to keep Africa as its backyard.

Thus when China, a time-honored friend of Africa which used to be poor and backward but has now grown into a giant with deep pockets, rich experience and mature technologies, came out with a truly helping hand, many in the West had their eyes glow green.

Up to now, China has completed 1,046 projects in Africa, helping build 2,233 kilometers of railways and 3,530 kilometers of roads, among others. These projects have substantially improved the African people’s daily life and facilitated the African countries’ socioeconomic development.

The West, however, does not have to only sit on the side sulking and throwing muck. China alone is not enough to meet the development needs of Africa, which needs all the help it can get.

Yet in their dealings with Africa, Western countries should learn both from history and from China. Only by treating Africa with respect and equality and bearing in mind the interests of the African people can they go far on the land of hope.







>>  Welcome Malaysia to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiatives: Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia

By Zhao Bochao

As an important partner of China in the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Malaysia enjoys all the necessary conditions to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiatives, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The Belt and Road Initiatives were put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping during his overseas visits in 2013, which include the Silk Road Economic Belt — from China via Central Asia and Russia to Europe, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road — through the Strait of Malacca to India, the Middle East and East Africa.

“In response to China’s proposals, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that these initiatives demonstrate China’s strong leadership and commitment to a stronger and more prosperous Asia Pacific region. As a friend and partner in the pursuit of peace and prosperity in the region, Malaysia welcomes China’s views, ideas and engagement,” Huang said.

The ambassador said that Malaysia has incomparable advantages in the cooperation of the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. “The relations between Malaysia and China were elevated from strategic cooperation to comprehensive strategic partnership during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Malaysia in 2013,” he said, adding that the bilateral relationship between the two countries is now witnessing its best period in history.

Moreover, Huang said that as an important point and transfer station on the ancient Maritime Silk Road, Malaysia is located at the center of Southeast Asia and holds the Strait of Malacca, which makes its traffic very convenient. The two sides are also committed to build the upgraded China-ASEAN free trade area, he added.

Huang said that China and Malaysia also have solid foundation in their cooperation. “The economies of China and Malaysia have high degree of strategic interdependence,” he said.

The bilateral trade volume between China and Malaysia has already exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars, amounting to one fourth of the total trade volume between China and the ASEAN countries, he said, adding that China has already participated in the construction of some railway projects in Malaysia.

The ambassador said that the Belt and Road Initiatives do not only focus on the economic area, but also cover the fields of culture, education, energy and environment protection. “China and Malaysia have made some deployment for this,” he added.







>>  Chinese New Year festivities in Thailand to be highlighted with celebrations of Thai princess birthday

By Surasak

Chinese Thai citizens in the heart of Bangkok plan to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year and Her Royal Highness Princess Chakri Sirindhorn is scheduled to attend the festival.

During Friday’s public address broadcast on the radio nationwide, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the residents of Chinese descents in Yaovarat area, also known as China Town, will organize a very special event on February 19 to celebrate the 60th birthday of the princess.

The Thai princess will be 60 years old on April 2.

“HRH Princess Chakri Sirindhorn is highly respected and beloved not only by the people in Thailand but also by those in China,” said Gen Prayut.

This year’s Chinese New Year festivities in China Town, where the princess has visited yearly, will be highlighted with the planned celebrations of her birthday, according to the prime minister.

China Town is situated next to the so-called Rattanakosin Island where a large number of foreign tourists visit and stay.

Most of the Yaovarat residents have engaged in wholesale and retail businesses daily since the time of King Rama V the Great over a century ago.

The area which is usually heavily congested will be cleared of auto traffic during the planned celebrations on February 19.

Meanwhile, Thailand plans to promote Muay Thai, originally known as the Thai kick-boxing, as a national martial art alongside other tourism campaigns throughout this year, the prime minister said.

Foreigners who may have viewed Muay Thai bouts anywhere will not only be taught to fight in style of the Thai martial art, but also learn how to pay homage just before a bout kicks off, he said.

“Muay Thai boxers traditionally perform magnificent, distinctive gestures and dances on the ring during the homage- paying rituals which should be promoted as part of the Thai martial art,” he commented.







>>  Porsche to recall 28 Spyder cars in China

By Zhang Zhengfu and Xu Bo

Porsche China will recall 28 of its 918 Spyder model vehicles on the Chinese mainland due to faulty components on the front axles, the national quality watchdog announced on Saturday of January 31.

Recalled cars were made from February 25 to September 22 of 2014, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement posted on its website.

Due to manufacturing errors, the functionality of the lower control arms from a certain delivery batch on the front axles can not be permanently guaranteed, according to the statement.

Porsche said it will replace the defective components for free so as to eliminate safety hazards, and for safety concerns it suggests customers stop using their cars before the replacement.

The recall process is scheduled to start on March 16 this year.







>>  NBA star Payton starts his China tour with clinic in Fujian

By Fu Min and Chen Wang

Nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton tipped off the festivities and the inaugural NBA Chinese New Year Celebration Season of Giving initiative in China on Friday of January 30 with a basketball clinic with underprivileged students in southeast China’s Fujian Province.

Payton also had traditional Chinese New Year meal – dumplings – with the students at the Ankai School in Lianjiang County.

“I am so happy that I can come to such a remote place to see the students playing basketball,” said Payton.

Payton will next head for Shanghai to visit the children at the NBA Yao Basketball Club, conduct a basketball clinic for a group of Special Olympics athletes and share in the joy of the holiday by giving out special NBA Chinese New Year gifts.

Payton’s tour is part of the NBA tribute from Feb. 20 to March 5 with its biggest ever Chinese New Year celebration.







>>  China opens second circuit court in a week

By Wang Jian, Fan Chunsheng, Guo Likun and Luo Sha

China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) inaugurated another circuit court on Saturday of January 31, the second in a week, in its latest efforts to reform and branch out so as to bring justice to the doorsteps of ordinary people.

The court, based in Shenyang, capital city of northeast China’s Liaoning Province, will primarily handle major administrative, civil and commercial cases that will be heard by the SPC in the northeastern provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, according to the SPC.

The First Circuit Court of SPC, covering the provinces of Guangdong and Hainan, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was inaugurated in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, Wednesday.

The establishment of the circuit courts are part of a reorganization designed to better allocate workloads across the country’s court system. Both courts will begin taking cases from Sunday.

The circuit courts are adjudicatory organs designated by the SPC. Their judgements, orders and decisions equal those of the SPC.

All judges working in the circuit courts will be selected and sent by the SPC.

Sun Jungong, spokesman of the SPC, said the location of the circuit courts were chosen based on local social and economic development and judicial work.

The second circuit court is located in Shenyang because of a high volume of disputes fueled by the structural transformation of the economy in the old industrial base.

President of the Shenyang circuit court Hu Yunteng said the establishment of the circuit courts can better protect the rights of litigants by preventing lawsuits from being interfered with by local protectionism.

He said they will help the SPC headquarters better concentrate on more policy-oriented work by reducing the need to deal with lawsuits.

The jurisdiction of China’s local courts is largely consistent with administrative divisions and the promotion of judges and finance of courts are influenced by local administrations. There have been concerns that local governments may interfere in court rulings.

Li Yalan, a lawyer with Longdian law firm in Heilongjiang Province, said the inauguration of the circuit court is good news to both the litigants and lawyers, since it can help save litigation costs and prevent the interference of local governments.

Cui Dezhong, a farmer in Xinmin City of Liaoning Province, has been petitioning for years over alleged unjust treatment to his sons from local authorities. He said he was excited to hear the news of the circuit court as it will save him the money and energy it takes to travel to Beijing.

“I will go to the court tomorrow and hopefully it will help solve my problems,” he said.

The SPC circuit courts are part of the legal reform package adopted at the fourth plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee in late October 2014.

The SPC said they will help the public file cases in local communities and get their disputes solved more quickly and locally. They will also free up the SPC headquarters to concentrate on judicial policies and trying more complex cases.

The newly-inaugurated courts are also expected to act as test grounds for the country’s judicial reform.

“As a significant step in judicial reform, the circuit court system could pioneer institutional changes for wider and deeper reform,” Ma Huaide, vice president of the China University of Political Science.







>>  Top political advisor stresses rule of law in managing religious affairs

By Guo Likun

Chinese top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng has called for efforts to administer religious affairs in accordance with the law.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks during an inspection tour in Baoding City in north China’s Hebei Province between Jan. 29 and 31, with religious work as one of his focuses.

“Religious work should be advanced along the legal track and in accordance with religious laws,” Yu said while visiting the city’s churches and temples.

He encouraged religious circles to contribute to economic and cultural development, and social harmony.

The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) religious policy of respecting religious freedom must be carried out. The rights and interests of religious circles must be protected, he said.

Underscoring the importance of adhering to the principle of independence and self-governance, Yu asked Catholic circles to “withstand the infiltration of overseas-based forces to ensure that the leadership of religious organizations is firmly in the hands of people who love the country as well as their religion.”

He also called for better efforts to foster a team of patriotic clergy, especially the young and middle-aged, to promote healthy development of Catholicism in China.

During his tour, Yu also visited companies and factories.

He asked them to shift gears to adapt to the economic “new normal” of slower speed, higher quality and more innovation, while promoting development in a more sustainable and low-carbon way.







>>  China Minsheng Bank president files resignation letter

By Fang Dong and Li Yanxia

China Minsheng Bank President Mao Xiaofeng has requested resignation from his position “for personal reasons,” the bank announced on Saturday of January 31.

Mao has filed a letter to resign from his posts as director, president and other roles in the bank’s special committees, according to a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

“China Minsheng Bank has noticed media reports concerning president Mao Xiaofeng. As far as the bank knows, the matter is of a personal nature and is unrelated to bank operations,” the statement said.

Board chairman Hong Qi will temporarily take his place as president as determined by the board, the bank said.

The response came shortly after rumors circulated on social media that Mao had been taken away by the disciplinary inspection department to “assist with investigations.” The rumors did not specify when he was taken away.







>>  China Minsheng Bank: president’s matters unrelated to operation

By Zheng Zhengfu and Li Yanxia

China Minsheng Bank responded Saturday to reports that its president Mao Xiaofeng had been taken away by discipline watchdog, saying the matter is of a personal nature and unrelated to the bank’s operation.

“China Minsheng Bank has noticed reports concerning president Mao Xiaofeng. As far as the bank knows, the matter is of a personal nature and is unrelated to bank operations,” a bank spokesperson said.

The response came hours after rumors circulating on social media that Mao had been taken away by disciplinary inspection department to “assist with investigations.” The rumors did not specify when he was taken away.

“The bank’s other directors, supervisors and senior executives are all on their posts, working in normal conditions. And the operations of our bank are all normal,” the spokesperson said.

“Concerning the specifics about Mao, please take bank’s announcement as the standard,” the spokesperson added.

The share price of the bank that is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange closed 1.66 percent down to 9.47 yuan (1.52 U.S. dollars) on Friday of January 30.







>>  Chen Hao elected governor of China’s Yunnan Province

By Wang Jian, Bai Jingli and Hou Wenkun

Chen Hao was elected governor of southwest China’s Yunnan Province on Saturday of January 31.

Chen, born in February 1954, was elected to post at third session of the 12th Yunnan Provincial People’s Congress, the local legislature.

He had served as vice governor and acting governor of Yunnan since October last year.







>>  76 percent of China’s luxury consumption happens overseas: report

By Wang Jian and Wang Cunfu

Chinese consumers purchase 76 percent of their luxury goods while overseas, a report published on Saturday of January 31 said.

Chinese people’s domestic consumption of luxury goods was 25 billion U. S. dollars in 2014, down by 11 percent from the previous year, while their luxury consumption in overseas market grew by more than 9 percent annually to 81 billion U.S. dollars last year, said a report issued by the Fortune Character Institute, an organization specializing in lifestyle studies of the rich in China.

The figure showed 76 percent of Chinese consumers’ luxury consumption occurred overseas last year, meaning China is facing an outflow of luxury consumption, Zhou Ting, dean of the institute, said.

The overall consumption of luxury goods by Chinese consumers registered an annual growth of 4 percent, growing to 106 billion U. S. dollars last year.

China remained the top buyer of luxury goods last year, with the Chinese consumers’ purchasing making up 46 percent of global luxury sales, the report said.







>>  China sets up first high security bio lab

By Guo Likun

China completed its first high level biosafety laboratory on Saturday of January 31 after more than a decade of construction.

The lab, based in Wuhan, capital city of central Hubei Province, will be used to study class four pathogens (P4), which refers to the most virulent viruses that pose a high risk of aerosol-transmitted person-to-person infections.

Its completion was hailed by the country’s top science think tank as crucial in the fight against epidemics such as Ebola.

Launched after the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, the lab was jointly built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Wuhan municipal government. Most of its technology and equipment was imported from France, which cooperated closely with China in its design.

The Wuhan P4 lab enables China to join just a handful of developed countries operating such facilities to help handle the most virulent pathogens.

The lab is important for China’s public health defense system, said CAS president Bai Chunli.

“It will play crucial role in enhancing the country’s ability to prevent and control new epidemics as well as to develop related vaccines,” he said.

The Ebola outbreak has killed nearly 8,800 people out of 22,000 known cases, almost all of them in the West African countries Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

Chinese researchers plan to use the new P4 lab to conduct research that includes working on the Ebola virus, according to the CAS.







>>  China Mobile eyes 5G technology

By Fang Dong

China Mobile, the country’s largest 4G mobile network operator, has began development on the next generation of mobile internet following the success of 4G, a senior executive of the company said on Saturday of January 31.

Xi Guohua, chairman of the board for the telecom giant, made the announcement during the 13th China Enterprise Development Forum held by the Development Research Center of the State Council.

The move suggested the company is trying to maintain its leading position in an increasingly heated competition among the country’s three and only telecom service providers.

However, Xi did not unveil more details on the ambitious strategy.

China Mobile outperformed its two rivals, China Unicom and China Telecom, in the 4G race after getting official approval to launch services based on TD-LTE standard by the end of 2013, nearly half a year ahead of the latter two.

China Mobile had 90 million 4G subscribers last year with 240 million cell phones sold and 700,000 base stations built, data from the company showed.

The other two operators did not release relevant data but media reports said even their combined figure cannot compete with China Mobile.

In addition, Xi said the successful development of TD-LTE improves China’s research capability and equipment manufacturing.

China co-launched Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) in 2011 with telecom operators from other countries to promote the 4G technology in the world.







>>  Tibet offers reward to anti-terror tip-off

By Wang Jian, Liu Hongming and Wang Shoubao

Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region will offer up to 300,000 yuan (48,003.8 U. S. dollars) to whistle blowers with clues concerning violent terror attacks in a move to promote stability in the region, local authorities said on Saturday of January 31.

According to a document published by the regional public security department, the reward will cover tip-offs on overseas terrorist organizations and their members’ activities inside China, the spreading of religious extremism, terror related propaganda, those producing, selling and owning weapons, activities that help terrorists cross national borders and terror activities via the internet.

People can report tips through the “110″ emergency line or go to the police department to report in person.

Awards will vary based on the significance of the tip-offs. Anonymous tip-offs will not be rewarded and the safety of the tipsters will be protected, the officials said.

The document said people who falsely accuse others and spread fabricated information will be investigated for legal responsibility.






>>  China’s first all-Tibetan language film released

By Wang Jian, Li Hualing and Xu Xiaoqing

China’s first film with dialogue purely in Tibetan opened in cinemas across Tibet on Saturday of January 31.

The two-hour “Tibet Sky”(or “Phurbu & Tenzin”), was filmed on the Tibetan plateau with an all-Tibetan cast. It narrates the life of Tenzin, child of a serf-owner, and Phurbu, serf of Tenzin, from the liberation of Tibet in the 1950s until the 1980s.

Screenwriter Alai, a Chinese novelist of Tibetan descent, said the script was modified 17 times in order to more authentically reflect Tibetan culture.

Tibetan actor Lawang Norbu said the film respects the history and reality of Tibet, which will help the audience understand a real Tibet. He said he hoped that the film will be introduced to audiences around the world.

Earlier in 2014 the film was released with Chinese subtitles in places such as Shanghai, Sichuan and Guangdong.

Ren Zhonglun, producer of the film, said, “We will further improve the content of the film based on the feedback of the Tibetan audience in order to better present the history of Tibet.”

“We plan to translate the film into different languages such as German, French, Italian and Japanese and have it released around the world,” Ren said.







>>  China increases subsidies for rural medical insurance

By Guo Likun and Hu Jie

Medical insurance subsidies for China’s rural residents will increase this year, the country’s health authority has said.

Under the new rural cooperative medical program, the annual government grant for each rural resident will rise from 320 yuan to 380 yuan (60.79 U.S. dollars), the National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a circular.

Under the program, rural residents will pay 30 yuan more. They will pay a 120 yuan-per person premium, bringing the total financing for each person to 500 yuan.

The government will also take moves to make sure the program’s reimbursement rate for outpatient and hospitalization expenses stay at around 50 and 75 percent, respectively.

China launched the rural insurance scheme in 2003 in a bid to ensure that the country’s vast number of rural residents have access to affordable medical treatment and to reduce disease-triggered poverty.

More than 800 million people have joined the new rural cooperative medical program, the commission’s figures show.

To reduce risk and ensure fairness, the government will use the fund to buy insurance for those with serious diseases and punish those who abuse the fund.







>>  China’s social security fund yield outpaces GDP growth

By Fang Dong

China’s economy slowed to a 24-year low in 2014, but this was not the case for the country’s social insurance fund, new official data showed.

The assets of the Social Security Fund (SSF) were valued at 1.24 trillion yuan (around 200 billion U.S. dollars) last year, increasing 11.43 percent year on year, faster than the GDP growth, an official with the national council for the SSF said on Friday of January 30 during the China Wealth Management 50 Forum.

Entrusted assets that totaled less than 300 billion yuan under the fund’s management were not included, according to the council.

Wang Zhongmin, vice president of the council, said the fund’s investment in stocks surpassed the market average. Private equity and direct investment, representing only a small proportion, also brought yearly yields of more than 10 percent.

The fund’s yearly ratio of return averaged 8.5 percent over the past 14 years, data showed.

Wang predicted the fund will keep growing due to a recent pension reform that would require both public and private employees to contribute to the pension fund.

The council will use new tools and innovation to improve its portfolio in the future, Wang said.







>>  Profit of China’s food sector edges up

By Liu Xinyong

China’s major food companies saw combined profits up by 1.2 percent from a year earlier to 758.14 billion yuan (123.54 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, latest data showed.

The growth slowed from a pace of 13.3 percent reported in 2013, the National Bureau of Statistics said Saturday in a statement.

The drop in profit growth came amid the slowdown of China’s economy. The country’s gross domestic product expanded 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest pace since 1990.

Revenue from the main business of food companies rose 8 percent to 10.89 trillion yuan last year, while they turned in 924.15 billion yuan in total taxation, 7.2 percent more from the previous year.







>>  2 more H7N9 cases in south China’s Guangdong, one dies

By Yao Yuan and Xiao Sisi

The number of H7N9 human cases in south China’s Guangdong Province reached 30 since the start of the year with two more cases reported, local health authorities said on Saturday of January 31.

A 48-year-old man from Jieyang City died on Thursday and was later confirmed infected of the bird flu, the provincial health and family planning commission said in a statement.

Another 9-year-old girl from Shanwei City was confirmed infected on Friday. She is in stable condition after medical treatment, the statement said.

Health experts have warned that Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong, has entered the high-incidence period for bird flu, which usually crops up in winter and spring seasons.

A series of human infection reports and the belief that most cases come from exposure to infected poultry have led to the culling of thousands of chickens in Guangdong and Hong Kong this year.

Several cities in Guangdong have also taken measures to restrict live poultry trade to curb the spread of the disease, raising concerns about the impact on the industry.

In addition to Guangdong, Shanghai, Fujian, Jiangxi and Zhejiang in east China have all reported human cases of H7N9 this winter.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in March 2013.







>>  Factory blast kills 6 in north China

By Yao Yuan, Zhang Lina and Wang Long

Six workers were killed and three others injured after an explosion ripped through a factory workshop in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Saturday morning of January 31.

The accident happened at a wood panel factory in Genhe City at about 6 a.m., according to the regional administration of work safety.

Fire fighters have managed to put out the fire caused by the explosion, the administration said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.







>>  Seven die in east China coal mine flooding

By Wang Jian and Jiang Gang

The death toll from a coal mine flooding in east China’s Anhui Province has climbed to seven, with one more body retrieved by rescuers on Saturday of January 31.

The accident happened at the Zhuxianzhuang coal mine in Yongqiao District, Suzhou City, at 6:55 p.m. Friday when 34 miners were working underground. Twenty-seven miners managed to escape while seven others were trapped, according to the Huaibei Mining (Group) Co. Ltd., the owner of the coal mine.

The last body was found in the shaft by rescuers around 11 a.m. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The Zhuxianzhuang coal mine is a key state-owned coal mine that started operation in the 1980s.







>>  East China factory blast kills 2, injures 4

By Pan Linqiang, Chen Hao and Wang Jian

Two people were killed and four others were injured after a factory explosion in east China’s Shandong Province on Saturday of January 31, local authorities said.

The blast happened during an equipment overhaul in a plant of the Yehua Coking Co. Ltd. in Luozhuang District of Linyi City around 7:55 a.m. Two people died on the spot and the four injured have been sent to hospital, according to the local government of the district.

The cause of the accident in under investigation.







>>  Smog to hit north, central China

By Liu Xinyong

Smog will shroud some northern and central regions in China from Saturday night to Tuesday, the country’s national observatory forecast.

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) said in a statement that some northern regions, including Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, as well as the region between the Yellow River and Huaihe River will see light to moderate smog in the next three days, with some parts in heavy smog.

From now to Sunday, a vast part of central China will also see light smog.

The NMC added that smog will reach the heaviest level on Monday of February 2, while a cold front is going to disperse this round of smog from north to south starting Tuesday.

However, a new round of smoggy weather will last between Thursday and Friday, it forecast.







>>  Winter storms wreaks havoc in central China

By Yao Yuan, Li Changzhenga and Zhou Nan

Days of blizzards and icy rain have disrupted traffic, collapsed houses and decimated crops in central Chinese provinces, local authorities said.

Hubei Province on Saturday reported direct economic losses of 160 million yuan (25.6 mln U.S. dollars) after 188 houses collapsed and 28,000 hectares of crops were affected by the snowstorm that started on Tuesday of February 2.

The snow has affected 336,000 people, 495 of whom had to be relocated, according to the Department of Civil Affairs of Hubei Province.

Snows and rains also continued to pelt Hunan Province, which neighbors Hubei, blocking several highways and cutting vegetable supplies in cities.

Guizhou Province in southwest China also issued warning of ice-coated road as a result of freezing rain. Its traffic and police authorities have initiated emergency responses to ensure traffic flows on highways.

Central and southern parts of China often see snow and freezing rain in January, creating complications for the annual Spring Festival travel rush, when China’s road and railway systems struggle to cater to hundreds of millions of passengers heading home for family get-togethers.

The rush period this year will begin on Feb. 4 and last until March 16. The Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, falls this year on Feb. 19.









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