China sets occupational pension standards for government employees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KATHMANDU

>>  China vows support in development of Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal

By Santosh Ghimire

A Chinese official has expressed readiness to provide China’s support in the development of Gautam Buddha’s birthplace, Lumbini, during a meeting with Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav.

Wang Zuoan, director of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs, made the remarks when he called on the Nepalese president on Sunday of April 5.

On the occasion, Yadav thanked the Chinese government and the people for their continued support in Nepal’s socio-economic development, an official at the President’s Office told Xinhua.

In a separate meeting between Wang and Nepal’s Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Deepak Chandra Amatya on Sunday, the two discussed Nepal-China cooperation in the culture sector, an official at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told Xinhua.

Wang, who arrived in the Nepalese capital on Sunday for a three- day visit, toured Lumbini on the same day and he is expected to offer donations to the local people on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW DELHI

>>  India, China can join hands in humanitarian operations: expert

By Wu Qiang

India and China can work together in humanitarian operations like that which they have carried out in Yemen, said a senior Indian strategic analyst on Monday of April 6.

Lt. Gen. Ramesh Chopra said the rescue operation by Chinese navy vessels off Yemeni coast has helped many Chinese and foreign nationals, including Indians, to evacuate from the strife-torn nation.

Indian navy has also helped Indians and foreigners depart the country.

“Both nations can cooperate in this humanitarian and compassionate venture. They have done so in the past with regard to cooperation and coordinated operations in counter piracy in the Aden sector and off the coast of East Africa,” he said.

“Specifically, the navies including the coast guard of the two countries should carry out joint operations wherever warranted. Similar would be the case with the air force of both countries,” said the expert.

“In fact, The National Disaster Management Agency of India and corresponding organizations of China should pool in their resources whenever necessary.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJIJNG

>>  China holds Senior Officials’ Meeting of Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation

By Pan Jie

The first senior officials’ meeting of Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation was held on Monday of April 6 in Beijing and senior officials from China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam discussed the concept paper for establishing the Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism, including its objectives, direction and priority areas.

Establishing the Lancang-Mekong River Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism, which is conducive to maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting development and prosperity, serves the common interests of the six countries and meets the common aspiration and expectation of our peoples, said Chinese vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin, co-chairing the meeting with Deputy Permanent Secretary Noppadon Theppitak of the Foreign Ministry of Thailand.

China proposed to hold a foreign ministers’ meeting and a meeting of senior foreign affairs officials in 2015 during the China-ASEAN Summit held last year in Myanmar, which received positive response from the relevant countries.

The Lancang-Mekong River runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and serves as a natural bond that links the six countries together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOKYO

>>  Historical revisionism exposed in Japan’s newly reviewed textbooks

By Liu Tian

Historical revisionism was exposed in Japan’s new textbooks for junior high school reviewed by the Education Ministry, according to the review results released by the ministry on Monday of April 6.

Some reviewed textbooks to be used in the next year, in line with the country’s increasingly right-leaning politics under the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, revised their expressions over Japan’s wartime atrocities during the World War II and colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.

On the infamous Nanjing Massacre committed by the then Japanese Imperial Army, some reviewed textbooks stated that “captives and civilians were involved in” the tragedy and “casualties were exposed,” compared to the original words like the Japanese Army ” killed many captives and civilians.”

Contents stated that “the Japan’s atrocity was condemned” were also deleted from some reviewed school books.

More than 300,000 Chinese people were killed by the Japanese army in Nanjing after they occupied the then China’s capital on Dec. 13, 1937.

On the land survey during Japan’s occupation of Korea, current books stated that the move was “under the banner of modernizing Korea,” but the reviewed pamphlets read like the move was “with the purpose of modernization.”

In efforts to shake off the Japanese military’s responsibilities, the reviewed textbooks also whitewashed the facts that Japanese troops forced many Okinawans committed collective suicide at the end of the Okinawa battle during WWII by saying many Okinawans “fell into hopeless situation of suicide.”

Meanwhile, the newly reviewed textbooks added Japanese government’s stance and claims over territorial disputes with its neighboring countries. About 18 type of the reviewed book say the disputed territories are Japan’s inherent territories.

Hidenori Fujita, an education expert at the Kyoei University, told reporters that such one-side statement is something that can not be justified and the one-side interpretation would prompt hostility among students toward neighboring countries, referring to the textbooks’ statement over the territorial disputes.

He added that the review by the ministry would force publishers to conduct self-review over the wartime atrocities in their textbooks as they are worried about ultra-right and conservative voices.

Japan’s relations with its neighboring China and South Korea are frayed due to territorial and historical disputes, but signs of improvements in their ties are still weak with right-wingers here, including officials and lawmakers, always trying to deny and whitewash Japan’s wartime wrongdoings. Textbook revision is one of their awkward means.

South Korea has blasted Japan for the textbook revision due to territorial disputes. South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Japanese government is being provocative again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO

>>  Chinese-led team from Stanford reports major breakthrough in aluminum battery development

By Ma Dan

A Chinese-led research team from Stanford University announced they have developed a rechargeable and high-performance aluminum battery that could be a safe alternative of conventional batteries.

Aluminum is considered as an attractive material for batteries, but commercially viable aluminum battery has previously not existed, contended the researchers in an academic paper published in the online edition of Nature on Monday of April 6.

Previous researches into aluminum battery have failed to produce meaningful results, mostly due to the challenge of finding proper materials for cathode and electrolyte to ensure the battery running after repeated cycles of charging and discharging.

By using aluminum for anode, graphite for cathode and an ionic liquid as electrolyte, the Stanford scientists claim they are able to create aluminum-ion battery which is fast-charging, long- lasting, inflammable, inexpensive and flexible.

“This is really a breakthrough in developing the rechargeable aluminum battery, because previously aluminum battery that is rechargeable essentially is not in existence, especially with the performance that we are having today, ” said Hongjie Dai, research team leader and professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, which is located at Stanford, the U.S. state of California.

He said that their aluminum battery is very safe because the ionic electrolyte is nonflammable and aluminum and graphite are also quite safe and much less reactive than lithium. It’s safer than the widely used lithium-ion battery, which can be a fire hazard.

Videos provided by the team show that to test the safety of the battery, the researchers drilled through the aluminum battery pouch and it was still running for a while without catching a fire.

Besides safety, the aluminum battery developed by the Stanford scientists has other major advantages, according to the researchers. For example, the battery can be charged and discharged very quickly. It can be charged in a matter of one minute, while it takes hours to charge the lithium battery that most smartphones and laptops use.

The aluminum battery can withstand over 7,500 charge-discharge cycles without losing any capacity, while a typical lithium battery lasts about 1,000 cycles. Another feature of the aluminum battery is that it can be bent or folded without causing damages to it or flammability problems.

“This was the first time an ultra-fast aluminum-ion battery was constructed with stability over thousands of cycles,” the paper said.

According to the researchers, the battery now operates at about two volts reversibly and that’s a record for rechargeable aluminum battery. They believed that the aluminum battery can be a safe alternative to alkaline battery and many other commercial batteries in wide use today.

The aluminum battery may also be used for electrical grid to rapidly store and release energy, said Dai, who noted for these future applications, however, the technology still needs to be improved to increase the energy density of the aluminum battery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOSCOW

>>  Russia official proposes course on Eurasian integration in joint educational program with China

By Igor and Peng Tianxiao

A course on Eurasian integration should be included in educational programs of the Russia-China joint university, a high-ranking Russian official said on Monday of April 6.

“We should try to work out a pilot course on Eurasian integration, which could be included into the program of the joint Russia-China university,” Sergei Naryshkin, speaker of the Russian State Duma, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

Hailing cooperation between Russia and China, Naryshkin said the two countries enjoy “privileged strategic partnership” in all directions, while noting that both Moscow and Beijing are the engines of various integration projects like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Last year, China and Russia inked an agreement on creating a joint university in Shenzhen, a booming coastal city in south China’s Guangdong Province, in an attempt to boost cultural and educational exchange between the two sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SINGAPORE

>>  New CEO appointed for China-Singapore joint developer

By Bao Xuelin

Liew Choon Boon has been appointed as new CEO for the Sino-Singaporean Tianjin Eco-City Investment and Development Co., Ltd. (SSTEC), the developer for the joint project between the governments of China and Singapore in Tianjin, announced Keppel Corporation on Monday of April 6.

Liew Choon Boon will take over the baton from SSTEC’s outgoing CEO, Ho Tong Yen, with effect from July 1. Liew will hold his position as Advisor on Eco-City matters in Singapore’s Ministry of National Development (MND) concurrently, said the release.

Currently a Senior Director in MND, Liew has held a range of senior positions in policy and operational areas in Education, Law, Defence, Community Development and Information, Communication and the Arts, said Keppel Corporation.

Keppel Corporation CEO Loh Chin Hua welcomed Liew Choon Boon onboard SSTEC. He said Liew has been heading MND’s Eco-City Project Office since 2013, and is familiar with the project.

“Having served in several capacities and ministries in the Singapore Government, he brings diverse and insightful experience to the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City,” said Loh.

Loh also thanked outgoing CEO Ho Tong Yen for his contributions to the Sino-Singaporean Tianjin Eco-City project in the past four years.

The project is government-to-government between China and Singapore to build a modern green township. SSTEC, master developer for the Eco-City, is a joint venture between a Singapore Consortium led by the Keppel Group and a Chinese Consortium led by Tianjin TEDA Investment Holding Co., Ltd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SINGAPORE

>>  Ex-China tour guide disqualified for assets worth 40 mln Singapore dollars

By Ma Yujie

A former China tour guide, who is embroiled in a legal tussle over the assets of wealthy 87-year- old widow Chung Khin Chun which is worth 40 million Singapore dollars (29 million U.S. dollars), has been disqualified to inherit her assets, a local court said on Monday of April 6.

Yang, 41, met Chung as her private tour guide in Beijing in 2008. He moved to live with her in 2009 and later became a Permanent Resident in Singapore. In the lady’s previous will in 2010, she claimed Yang as the sole executor and trustee and also the beneficiary of her entire estate.

The case has been under spotlight as Hedy Mok, the niece of the widow, sued Yang of taking advantage of her aunt last September. As Chung, who has no children, was diagnosed with dementia last year, focuses have been on whether she has the ability to make the will at that time.

The court on Monday recognized Chung’s new will, which was made in December last year, to take over the previous one. Under the new will, most of her assets would go to charity, and Yang is disqualified to take over her assets.

Yang’s lawyer Daniel Zhu said he has applied for permission to meet with his client next week for further decisions, according to Channel NewsAsia.

Yang has been in custody on remand since Oct. 31 last year. He is facing over 300 charges, including two criminal breach of trust charges for allegedly misappropriating 1.1 million Singapore dollars (803 million U.S. dollars) from Chung.

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLOMBO

>>  Chinese tourists to Sri Lanka grow by 84 pct in March

By Uditha Jayasinghe

China remained the second largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka growing by 84.5 percent in March when compared with the previous year, latest data released here on Monday of April 6 showed.

Chinese tourist arrivals of 28,798 in March 2014 expanded to 53, 135 in 2015, which is a 84.5 percent increase.

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals rose 18.0 percent in March this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.

Overall, the month recorded 157,051 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 133,048 arrived in March 2014.

In the first three months of this year, 478,838 tourists visited the island, an increase of 13.6 percent compared to the 421,501 recorded for the same period in 2014.

Chinese tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka kicked off the New Year positively growing by 8.9 percent in January.

In the first month of 2015, Chinese arrivals grew to 11,735 from 10,779 in January 2014.

Chinese tourists to the tiny island in the Indian Ocean have risen rapidly over the last two years with 2014 ending at an all- time high. In 2013 only, 54,288 Chinese tourists visited Sri Lanka but the numbers ballooned to 128,166 by the end of last year growing an impressive 136.1 percent, according SLTDA.

Only tourists from India outstrip numbers from China. China already has the highest growth rate of any country.

Since the end of a three-decade war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals have boomed reaching over 1.5 million last year and attracting earnings of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars, according to the Central Bank.

The tropical island is aiming to attract 2.5 million arrivals by 2016, buoyed by fast increasing numbers from China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China lost to Netherlands in women’s ice hockey worlds

By Xu Zheng

IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship DIV I Group B got underway in Beijing on Monday of April 6 with hosts China losing to the Netherlands 3-2 after penalties in its opening game.

DPR Korea, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands and China are participating in the tournament, which will run through April 12.

The Chinese team, who called back five veterans including former captain Sun Rui, opened scoring 12:25 into the first period when Sun was assisted by teammates Zhang Mengying.

The Netherlands leveled the game with Mieneke de Jong scored in 22:29 but unstoppable Sun again fired from the left in the 30:54 to make it 2-1.

The Netherlands came back strongly in the third period and make it 2-2 with Keijzer Cloe’s goal in 41:23.

China controlled the game during the overtime but squandered several scoring opportunities. In the shoot-outs, Dutch Julie Zwarthoed buried the winning goal giving her team a 3-2 win.

Earlier on Monday, Hungary defeated DPR Korea 5-1 while Slovakia beat Italy 4-3 in another shoot-out game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Company confirms China’s first corporate bond deposit default

By Zhang Zhongkai

A listed Chinese restaurant company confirmed a landmark default on a corporate bond due Tuesday of April 7, marking the country’s first case of deposit payment default of publicly issued bonds.

The Cloud Live Technology Group Co., Ltd., formerly Beijing Xiangeqing Group, which primarily provides Hunan, Guangxi and Guangdong cuisines, confirmed Monday they were unable to pay due deposits and interests of a corporate bond due on April 7, with a shortfall of 241 million yuan (39.3 million U.S. dollars), according to the company’s announcement on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

The company said it would continue to raise money from third parties through credit financing.

The trustee firm, Guangfa Securities, will take responsive action in line with related regulations to protect investors’ interests if the default continues unsolved after 30 working days.

The company suspended trading in its Shenzhen-listed shares last Tuesday and will continue the suspension until the problem is solved, according to the announcement.

Shanghai Chaori Solar, a domestic solar panel maker, failed to meet an interest payment on one billion yuan’s worth of bonds last March. A state-owned bank later bailed it out and prevented what would have been China’s first domestic bond interest default.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China sets occupational pension standards for government employees

By Zhang Zhongkai

China announced detailed standards of occupational pension for government employees on Monday of April 6 as a move to build a multi-level and sustainable pension mechanism.

The welfare fund, as a supplementary part of the basic pension system and commercial insurance, will require a government department to pay 8 percent of its total salary amount and a government employee to contribute 4 percent of one’s taxation-based salary, according to an announcement released by the State Council, China’s cabinet.

The benchmark of payment base is the same with that of the basic pension and the fund sources also include related investment yield and other legal contributions.

The fund will be left to qualified institutions such as securities houses, asset management companies, insurers to manage the pension and conduct investments.

The introduction of occupational pension is expected to retain talents as recent reforms in the basic pension system for government institutions might compromise their employees’ welfare.

China started pilot reform programs in government organizations to require them pay social insurances and pension fund like other private employers in 2008 to promote social fairness. Before that government employees only had to pay income tax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANCHANG

>>  China’s largest freshwater lake expands by half in 4 days

By Wu Zhonghao and Lü Dong

Heavy rainfall in east China has expanded the country’s largest freshwater lake by more than half in the four days ending on Monday of April 6, according to authorities.

Thunderstorm and heavy rainfall in parts of east China’s Jiangxi Province has led water level of Poyang Lake to rise 1.6 meter, or 15 percent to 12.57 meter since Thursday, while the lake’s surface area expanded more than half to 1,660 sq km, the provincial bureau of hydrology said.

The swollen lake will benefit restoration of plantation and fishing resources and boost the lake’s shipping capacity, according to the bureau.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANJING

>>  Two arrested for polluting China’s world heritage waterway

By Liu Weiwei and Wang Ruoyao

Two Chinese men have been arrested for allegedly discharging hazardous acid waste into the Grand Canal, a World Heritage site, according to local procurators.

The suspects were accused of releasing the waste into the Suzhou section of the canal, the world’s oldest and longest artificial waterway, since October, 2013, the procuratorate in Wuzhong District, Suzhou City, east China’s Jiangsu Province, told Xinhua on Monday of April 6.

The two used waste acid to produce a water-purifying agent and then deliberately allowed the used material, stored in a leaky container, to enter the waterway which is only 10 meters from the container, according to the procuratorate.

Local environmental protection authorities ordered them to stop production of the agent in December, 2013. However, the suspects continued to collect waste acid from other factories, which paid them, 120 to 150 yuan (about 20 to 24 U.S. dollars) per ton, for disposal of the waste.

As of February, 2015, they obtained around 90,000 yuan from factories and simply let the waste leak into the canal.

Their trick was discovered by the local police last year after monitoring data showed abnormal fluctuation of water quality in the canal.

In June, 2014, UNESCO included the Grand Canal, with a history of more than 2,400 years, in the World Heritage list. The 1,011-km-long waterway, runs from Beijing to Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province, is the largest civil engineering project before the Industrial Revolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Chinese banks feel the pinch of economic slowdown

By Wang Yaguang

Profit earned by China’s major banks grew at the weakest rate in years as growth in the world’s second-largest economy slipped to a 24-year low in 2014.

Profit growth for China’s five biggest banks all slowed to single digits last year, with net profit in Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) up 8 percent, its first single-digit profit rise after an expansion of 14.52 percent in 2013.

Net profit of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank as well as Bank of Communications rose 5.07 percent, 8.22 percent, 6.1 percent and 5.72 percent in 2014, respectively. The growth was down from 10.17 percent, 12.35 percent, 11.11 percent and 6.82 percent registered in 2013, Monday’s Money Weekly reported.

Combined net profits of the five banks reached 927.09 billion yuan (151.24 billion U.S. dollars) in 2014, close to 60 percent of that made by the entire industry.

Meanwhile, bad loans were on the rise, with non-performing loans (NPL) at the five banks all exceeding one percent, which will remain a challenge for the industry in 2015, the magazine said.

NPL ratio of China’s entire banking industry rose to 1.64 percent as of the end of last year as economic growth slowed and some local governments and companies grappled with debt problems.

The magazine cited Song Xianping, head of risk control with ABC, as saying an average NPL ratio of between two and three percent would be an industry trend as the Chinese economy enters a “new normal” of slower growth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  China should set up housing bank to aid property market: official

By Zhang Zhongkai

China should establish a national housing bank to optimize use of China’s housing provident fund and stimulate the sluggish market, according to officials with the fund.

It’s time for China to establish a policy-based housing financial institution, or a national housing bank to boost housing demand to stabilize economic growth, said Zhang Qiguang, head of the housing provident fund supervision department with the Ministry of Housing and Urban/Rural Construction.

The property sector is still one of the key driving forces to power the world’s second largest economy and sudden market contraction may trigger risks related with overcapacity, debt default and shadow banking, Zhang wrote in the Economic Observor paper on Sunday.

He pointed out China’s real estate market has experienced structural changes.

Some cities are inundated with inventory while in others demand for better houses and from rural residents moving to urban areas is rising. Real estate is no longer the top investment choice for many families and cash-strapped banks keep a tight rein on loan interest rates out of profit concerns.

The article proposed integrating the local housing provident fund regulators into a national housing bank to offer low-interest-rate housing loans to help middle and low income families afford houses.

It will also reduce financial burden on commercial banks and facilitate interest rate liberalization.

The articles also suggested including rural workers who seek jobs in urban areas into the housing provident fund system and offer government support to help them purchase houses.

The Chinese government established the housing provident fund mechanism in 1998, which combines a 401(K)-like savings and retirement account with subsidized mortgage rates and price discounts to provide a channel through which an employee could afford to buy a house.

China has 342 local housing provident fund regulation stations across the country with more than 3.7 trillion yuan (603 billion U.S.dollars ) in all accounts.

The Chinese central bank and another two government organs announced minimum down payments for first and second home purchases using the housing provident fund, which offers urban residents lower rates than those of commercial banks, were lowered to encourage housing purchases last Monday of April 6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHANGHAI

>>  Shanghai reports another H7N9 human infection

By Cao Bing and Qiu Yi

China’s financial hub Shanghai reported a human infection of the H7N9 strain of bird flu, local health official said on Monday of April 6.

The 37-year-old patient, identified by her surname Chen, was from neighboring Jiangsu Province and diagnosed with the disease on Monday. She has been hospitalized but in critical situation.

Shanghai reported another human infection on Saturday.

The 52-year-old patient, surnamed Wang, is receiving treatment and is in stable condition.

H7N9 is a bird flu strain first reported to have infected humans in March 2013. H7N9 human infections generally peak in winter and spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUZHOU

>>  3 injured in chemical plant blast in E China

By Hu Su and Lü Dong

 

Photo taken on April 6, 2015 shows the scene of a chemical plant blast in Zhangzhou, southeast

China’s Fujian Province.   Photo by Zhang Quangui

 

 

Three people were injured in a chemical plant blast in east China’s Fujian Province at around 6:56 p.m. on Monday of April 6, provincial authorities said. All the three people are being treated at a hospital, the provincial bureau of workplace safety said, without specifying the extent of their injuries.

Some 430 firefighters are battling the fire in Zhangzhou city. This is the second accident in 20 months at the same facility that produces paraxylene (PX), an industrial chemical used for making fiber and plastics.

Windows were broken at a gas station one km away from the blast site. No one at the gas station was injured or dead, authorities said, adding that all have been evacuated.

Pictures posted by netizens on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter show flames and fumes rising from a plant, with witnesses reporting strong tremor felt as far as 50 km away from the blast. PX plants are highly controversial projects in China.

All the proposed plants have met strong public opposition in recent years. China’s environmental minister urged during the country’s annual parliamentary session in March that construction of PX projects be scientifically decided and must pass environmental impact assessment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZHENGZHOU

>>  19 injured after flung off recreational facility in China

By Shuang Rui and Lü Dong

A total of 19 people were injured after being flung off a recreational facility in central China’s Henan Province on Monday of April 6, local authorities said.

Nineteen people were flung off the recreational facility at a local commercial street in Changhuan county after the facility’s spin cracked. One person was critically injured while the rest sustained slight injuries. All of them are being treated in the hospital, the publicity department of Changhuan county said.

The facility has been closed and its owner detained by police.

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUNMING

>>  7 killed, 29 injured in SW China road accident

By Wu Xiaoyang and Lü Dong

A coach bus overturned on an expressway in southwest China’s Yunnan Province at around 6:00 p.m. on Monday of April 6, leaving seven people dead and 29 injured, local authority said.

The coach was heading to the provincial capital Kunming when it hit the guardrail and overturned at a segment of an expressway in Nanhua County.

Three passengers died at the scene and another four died on the way to hospital. All the 29 injured were treated in a local hospital.

Authorities are looking into the cause of the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHENGDU

>>  Strong gales kill 7, injure 37 in SW China

By Chen Di and Wang Ruoyao

Strong winds, accompanied by heavy downpour, killed seven people and injured 37 others in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, local authorities said on Monday of April 6.

The gales, with the maximum speed of 38.5 meters per second, swept through Wusheng County, Guang’an City, from 10 p.m. of Saturday to 7 a.m. of Sunday, a spokesman with the county’s publicity office told Xinhua.

Twenty of the injured are being hospitalized, the spokesman said, without elaborating on precise causes of the casualties.

The disaster damaged 14,500 rooms and 3,000 hectares of farmland, as well as affected traffic, power supply and communication, inflicting direct economic losses of about 120 million (about 19.2 million U.S. dollars).

Life in the disaster-hit area has since returned to normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HARBIN

>>  Two dead in NE China colliery flooding

By Guan Jiantao and Wang Ruoyao

Two people died after a coal mine flooded in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province on Sunday, local authorities said on Monday of April 6.

The accident occurred in Changfeng coal mine, Xinxing District of Qitaihe City, when eight miners were working underground. Six of them managed to escape from the shaft, according to a statement from the district government.

Yuan Changlong, owner of the coal mine, had attempted to conceal the accident, but locals reported it to local authorities about 3 p.m., according to the statement.

Yuan has been held by the police.

The coal mine has been targeted by an provincial overhaul on small collieries. It was ordered to stop production by the government, however, the owner asked the miners to go into the shaft for repair work without government permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUANGZHOU

>>  Seven drown in S. China

By Zan Yijia and Wang Ruoyao

Seven people drowned in a reservoir on Sunday of April 5 in south China’s Guangdong Province, said local authorities.

The accident happened around noon when a 17-year-old girl fell into the reservoir, located in Chaoyang District, Shantou City, after she washed hands with the water, according to a statement from the provincial emergency response office.

Seven of the girl’s relatives, including her parents, younger brother and younger sister, attempted to rescue her. But six of them, along with the girl, drowned, according the statement.

The bodies of the seven victims were salvaged at around 4 p.m. The family just finished sweeping tombs before the tragedy occurred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANNING

>>  Forest fire rages in south China, casualties unknown

By Cao Bing and Xu Haitao

A forest fire that broke out on Sunday of April 5 continues to rage in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local authorities said. No casualties has been reported.

The blaze broke out in a forest in Youjiang District of Baise City at 5:25 p.m. on Sunday. The burned area of forest has reached up to 300 mu (20 hectares) as of now.

A liquefied gas station was threatened due to the strong wind. Two fire trucks were dispatched to the scene. The fire around the station was extinguished at around 6:20 p.m.

More than 50 firefighters are working to put out the blaze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANJING

>>  1 killed, 4 injured in Chinese university lab blast

By Chen Gang and Lü Dong

A university laboratory blasted on Sunday of April 5 in east China’s Jiangsu Province, leaving one student dead and four others injured, the university said on its microblog.

The blast occurred around 12:40 p.m. at China University of Mining and Technology in Xuzhou City. The four injured are being treated.

Police are looking into the cause of the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NANCHANG

>>  Hailstorms kill four in E. China

By Yuan Huijing and Wang Ruoyao

Hailstorms have killed four people and forced relocation of more than 2,800 people in east China’s Jiangxi Province, said the provincial civil affairs department.

As of 9 a.m. on Monday of April 6, the adverse weather that started since Thursday has affected 260,000 people in 24 counties and inflicted direct losses of 150 million yuan (about 24 million U.S. dollars), according to statistics from the department.

Three of the victims were killed by lightning and the other was killed by a tree that fell due to strong gales, said the department.

The disaster toppled 525 rooms and damaged 13,800 hectares of farmland, it said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING

>>  Cold front to chill most parts of China

By Wang Yaguang and Yu Wenjing

A cold front sweeping across China will cause strong winds and plunging temperatures in most regions, the national observatory forecast on Monday of April 6.

Temperatures will fall by up to 10 degrees Celsius in Jiangsu and Guizhou provinces as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Monday and Tuesday, while northeastern provinces will see drops by up to six degrees Celsius, the National Meteorological Center said.

Heavy rain is forecast for Hunan, Guizhou and Guangxi on Monday, with some of these areas are expecting rainstorm or hail, it said.

The observatory said a new cold front will start to affect some regions along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River from April 12, bringing temperatures down by up to eight degrees Celsius.

Affected by frequent cold fronts, during the next 10 days, average temperatures in China’s central and eastern regions will be one to three degrees lower than that of previous years, it said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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