Around China

Updated: 2013-05-24 07:12

(China Daily)

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Successful dive confirmed

The China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association said on Thursday that Qianlong No1 completed a successful dive of 4,159 meters in the South China Sea in May. The dive was a major boost to efforts to explore the ocean floor and carry out research. Qianlong No1 is 4.6 meters long and 1.6 meters wide, weighing about 1.5 metric tons. The submersible is designed with a maximum diving depth of 6,000 meters and a continuous traveling time of 24 hours.

Policy supports 'green' cars

A new subsidy aims to promote the use of energy-saving cars, China Securities Journal reported on Thursday. The previous policy, which expired at the end of last year, provided a subsidy of 50,000 yuan ($8,150) to automakers for every hybrid vehicle sold, while 60,000 yuan was provided for every electric vehicle sold. Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei said in March that a new subsidy policy for energy-saving cars would be implemented in the first half of 2013.

Railway Corp issues bonds

China Railway Corp, a spin-off of the former ministry of railways, issued the first batch of bonds on Thursday to fund railway construction projects and buy trains. The company issued 20 billion yuan ($3.23 billion) in five-year bonds through an auction, marking the company's first bond issuance since its establishment in mid-March. The bonds will become tradable on May 27 and mature on May 24, 2018. China Lianhe Credit Rating Co - a Chinese rating agency - rated the bonds AAA, the top level in its nine-grade rating system.

Patrolling near Diaoyu Islands

A Chinese marine surveillance fleet - Haijian 66, 46 and 26 - was patrolling waters near the Diaoyu Islands on Thursday, according to a statement released by the State Oceanic Administration. China's Ocean Development Report 2013 said the possibility of conflict between China and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands is increasing. China has carried out consistent patrols in waters near the islands since September when Tokyo "nationalized" three of the islands. The SOA has been releasing updates on the patrols since then.

More efforts in drug prevention

China needs to put more effort into teaching young people not to use drugs, rather than just strengthening programs to help drug abusers, experts say. Prevention and treatment is not keeping up with drug use trends in Asia, said Chris Chapleo, scientific and clinical affairs director, at the first conference of national youth substance abuse in China, an event organized by the China Association of Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment. Statistics show that students in renowned middle and high schools are less accessible to drug dealers, thanks to the education campaign promoted by the government.

Courts expect to use more jurors

Courts are hoping to double the number of jurors in the next two years to 200,000, said Shen Deyong, executive vice-president of the Supreme People's Court, at a meeting on the development of the juror system on Thursday. Courts at all levels are encouraged to use more jurors, Shen said, adding that jurors should at least outnumber judges, but the ratio can vary depending on local conditions.

No virus found in poultry farms

The H7N9 bird flu virus has not been detected in poultry farms, with positive samples mainly coming from live poultry markets, the Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday. The ministry has "basically" finished collecting and testing nearly 900,000 samples from across most parts of the country. Of the total, 53 samples were found positive with H7N9. Fifty-one positive samples were from 18 live poultry markets. The other two were from wild pigeons. Experts believe live poultry markets pose more danger and farms should step up efforts to guard against the virus.


Death toll rises to 33 in blast

All 20 people who were missing after an explosives plant blast in Shandong province on Monday morning have been confirmed dead, bringing the death toll to 33, the local rescue headquarters said on Thursday. Public security authorities were able to confirm the deaths of the missing people through DNA tests. The blast at the plant owned by Poly Explosives (Jinan) Co in Zhangqiu also injured 19 people.


Scientists find H7N9 origin

Research from Chinese scientists said the H7N9 bird flu virus originated from poultry or wild birds in East China. Scientists from Shanghai-based Fudan University investigated and analyzed the virus through advanced bioinformatics, and concluded that the virus's two major proteins HA and NA are both from East China. Previously, some experts from China and overseas said HA, the subtype of H7, was from ducks in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, while NA, subtype of N9, was from fowl in South Korea.

Metro obscenity campaign boosted

Shanghai police have intensified a campaign against candid photography and acts of obscenity, on the metro as the hot summer approaches. Reinforced electronic surveillance and stepped-up patrols in the subway carriages and stations will be carried out. A 24-year-old man was held in administrative detention by police on Monday after he tried to photograph a woman with his mobile phone. Four cases of indecency and two cases involving intimate pictures of women have been investigated this year.


Police bust soccer betting gang

Police in the Guangdong provincial capital detained 157 suspects amid a crackdown against illegal soccer gambling. More than 132 million yuan ($21.29 million) has been frozen in bank accounts as police targeted a major soccer betting syndicate in the Pearl River delta, according to the Guangzhou bureau of public security on Thursday. "It is the largest illegal soccer betting gang busted on the mainland so far, and the crackdown has helped consolidate Guangdong's great achievements in fighting underground soccer gambling," police said.

Storm warnings coming to Foshan

The southern coastal province of Guangdong, which is frequently struck by typhoons, tornados, raging storms and other natural disasters, is planning to build the country's first tornado research center in Foshan. Luo Qiqing, deputy director of the Foshan meteorological agency, said the city is the right place to build the tornado research center as it is hit annually by many tornados and the economic losses caused by natural disasters are huge. "We still cannot forecast the disasters correctly," Luo was quoted as saying by Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News.

Oysters tainted by cadmium

Oyster fans might want to reduce their consumption of the mollusks as test results in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, showed they contained excessive amounts of cadmium and other heavy metals. Following a scandal of cadmium-tainted rice in the southern province, China Central Television reported that 1 kilogram of oysters sold at a Guangzhou restaurant, famous for grilled oysters, contained 2 mg of cadmium, 20 times the permitted content stipulated in a national standard drafted by the health authority.


'Bumper summer' expected for wheat

Hubei province, a major grain producing area located in the central region, is expecting a bumper harvest for summer wheat this year, the local agricultural authority said. The wheat harvest is expected to jump by 10 percent from a year ago to 378,500 metric tons. The growing area for wheat has expanded by 26,000 hectares from a year ago while yields per hectare have increased by 7.3 percent. As the province enjoyed relatively stable weather conditions throughout the year, the crop quality was also better than last year.


Man shot after traffic accident

Police in Xinyang, Henan province, are investigating a case in which a man shot another in the waist and escaped. A witness said that on Monday night, a Landrover was hit by a small bus in Xinyang. The Landrover driver got out of the car and quarreled with the driver of the other vehicle. A man got off the bus and shot the Landrover driver. Local police said that the Landrover driver was shot in waist but the injury was not life-threatening, Xinhua News Agency reported. The shooter did not wear a mask but took some protective measures to stop people from recognizing him, police said.

Officials dismissed for abusing power

Three officials in a county in Henan province were dismissed from their posts on Wednesday, nearly three years after a court convicted them for abuse of power. In 2007, Hou Shaojun, deputy director of the bureau of housing and urban-rural development in Luoning county, Song Peng, Hou's colleague, and Niu Hongjun, an official with the department that manages local property rights for real estate projects, abused their power to allow a real estate developer to build and sell residential projects in the county. A court's verdict in 2010 ruled that the three officials had abused their power. However, they remained in their posts after the verdict.