Posts tagged ‘Sichuan’

15/12/2014

The Chinese Military’s Response to Unannounced Drones: Blow ‘Em Out of the Sky – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Earlier this year, a court in suburban Beijing said it was preparing to try employees of a Chinese drone company on charges of “negligently endangering public safety” after an unmanned aircraft disrupted commercial flights and led the air force to scramble helicopters in response.

The drone flight in question happened on Dec. 29, 2013, in the eastern Beijing suburb of Pinggu. Operated by employees of Beijing UAV Sci-Tech Co., the drone forced several commercial flights to alter their flight paths and caused others to be delayed. According to reports in October, the People’s Liberation Army dispatched helicopters to force the drone down.

In Sunday’s report, the People’s Liberation Army Daily said the drone was in fact shot out of the air.

The shooting came after an unidentified object showed up on military radar, according to the report. Air force commanders ordered several regiments to prepare for battle and dispatched six ground teams to the area where the object was detected. Minutes later, the air force identified the object as a small aircraft and immediately notified the Beijing Military Area Command, as well as the public security bureaus in Beijing and neighboring Hebei province.

A military helicopter was dispatched to investigate further. “The drone continued to ignore warnings and fly in the direction of  Beijing Capital Airport,” the newspaper said. “The Beijing Air Force commander made a firm decision: Avoid densely populated areas and use a shotgun to bring the target down.” (It wasn’t clear from the report what sort of weapon that would be, leaving China Real Time to wonder whether they used a shotgun-like weapon attached to the helicopter or whether a crewmember popped off a 12 gauge through an open window.)

After the helicopter opened fire, the drone fell. As the helicopter descended to check on the drone, it discovered the three operators next to a car. The trio and their car were immediately taken into custody, the newspaper said.

via The Chinese Military’s Response to Unannounced Drones: Blow ‘Em Out of the Sky – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

06/08/2014

China Tells Quake Volunteers: Stay Home, Please – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Feeling charitable? That’s fine—but please stay at home.

That’s the message from China’s State Council, which in the wake of an earthquake in southwest China that killed at least 589 people has urged eager volunteers to stay away from the disaster zone.

In the immediate aftermath of the quake, hundreds of volunteers from across the country traveled swiftly to the site of the quake with the goal of doing good works. One major effect of their presence, though, was car-clogged roads, some of which had already been blocked or reduced to muddy swirls of broken rubble in the aftermath of the quake, which felled tens of thousands of buildings and left more than 2,400 injured.

On Wednesday, state broadcaster CCTV echoed the State Council’s message, saying that authorities needed to dissuade “non-professional rescue organizations, volunteers, tourists etc. from going to the disaster zone.” Doing so, CCTV said, would support the work of quake rescuers.

State media has urged those wanting to assist with the quake relief effort to consider making monetary contributions instead of rushing to Yunnan. Similar outpourings of volunteerism have been blamed for hindering relief efforts in China in the past, notably during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which killed some 87,000 people. In addition to traffic jams, such volunteers also need food and water and can sometimes be a burden on already stretched supplies of the same.

Still, according to official figures, at least 650 volunteers have flooded the disaster zone since the quake struck on Sunday afternoon, includingmany decked out with their own uniforms and equipment.

via China Tells Quake Volunteers: Stay Home, Please – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

05/08/2014

Ex-Panbassadors enjoy homeland[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn

Giant pandas born overseas learn to adapt back in China, reports Huang Zhiling in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province.

Ex-Panbassadors enjoy homeland

At the foot of Mount Qingcheng in Dujiangyan, Sichuan province, a Chinese keeper speaks to giant panda Tai Shan in its den.

Welcome home, Tai Shan  They are using English to communicate.

The 9-year-old male panda charmed millions of Americans during his stay at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC for four and a half years.

Since his return to China in February 2010, Tai Shan has lived in the two bases of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda.

The center designated a keeper who is proficient in English to take care of Tai Shan because his US keeper Nicole Meese had communicated with him when he was just 1 month old. Tai Shan has not yet learned the southwestern Sichuan dialect.

“Tai Shan is one of the center’s nine pandas born overseas and returned to the base,” said Wang Yongyao, an official with the administrative bureau of the Wolong National Nature Reserve, which oversees the center.

The male bear is one of a special group of China’s giant pandas that have to adapt back home after being born overseas.

The center is the world’s largest giant panda conservation and research organization. It started loaning pandas to other countries and regions in 1996. Its pandas have given birth to a total of 12 cubs overseas since.

Under an agreement for global giant panda preservation, giant pandas born overseas belong to China and must be returned to the country after they turn 2.

China agreed to extend Tai Shan’s loan to the US because of the bear’s huge popularity there.

A pair of adult pandas can also be loaned overseas for 10 years under an agreement between China and the host.

“Everyone loves pandas and they are like citizens and residents of their host country or region. China is also often asked to extend the loan of the bears,” said Zhang Hemin, chief of the administrative bureau of the Wolong National Nature Reserve.

“As a result, only their cubs born overseas have returned home.”

Of the 12 cubs born overseas, only three aged under 2 have yet to return home. The other nine bears live in the Dujiangyan and Ya’an bases in Sichuan.

via Ex-Panbassadors enjoy homeland[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn.

26/06/2014

Two major generals detained as graft probes widen in Sichuan | South China Morning Post

Two Chinese major generals that have connections with Sichuan have been detained for a graft investigation, according to two separate sources.

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Both People’s Liberation Army officers were taken into custody in May, the sources close to the military said.

One of those held was retired Ye Wanyong, a former commissar of the Sichuan military region. Ye, in his 60s, was removed yesterday from his position as a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the nation’s top political advisory body. But the reason was not specified by the CPPCC.

Ye’s house was searched by the authorities, according to the sources.

The other, Wei Jin, 55, is a vice-commissar of the Tibet military region, a post he was promoted to in 2011. He has held senior military posts in the southwest province of Sichuan, including as senior army propaganda officer in Chengdu, the province’s capital.

The latest investigation into Ye and Wei is also believed to be part of the wider anti-corruption campaign in the PLA. President Xi Jinping, who also leads the military as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), has repeatedly vowed to clean up the beleaguered military.

Ye left the military in January after reaching the retirement age of 60. He has served in the Sichuan military region since 2006.

His early military career started in Tibet, Sichuan’s neighbour in the west, but most of the time Ye served in liaison offices in Sichuan.

via Two major generals detained as graft probes widen in Sichuan | South China Morning Post.

23/05/2014

Businessman linked to China’s ex-security tsar sentenced to death | Reuters

A former mining magnate with suspected ties to the family of China’s retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang was sentenced to death on Friday on charges of leading a gang on a crime spree spanning two decades.

Liu Han, former chairman of Hanlong Mining, smokes a cigarette during a conference in Mianyang, Sichuan province, in this file photo taken March 21, 2008.REUTERS/Stringer/Files

The sentencing of Liu Han, handed down by a court in the central province of Hubei, was the culmination of one of the highest-profile cases against a private businessman since President Xi Jinping took office last year and began a campaign against pervasive graft.

Liu’s younger brother Liu Yong, also known as Liu Wei, was also sentenced to death. Microblog statements from state media outlets China Central Television and the Xinhua news agency said the brothers, along with their 36-member “mafia-style” gang, committed intentional homicide.

Xi’s crackdown has zeroed in on Sichuan province, where Liu’s company – privately held Hanlong Mining – is based. Sichuan was a power base for Zhou, the retired chief of China’s vast domestic security apparatus, who stands at the centre of the biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades, sources have told Reuters.

Sources have told Reuters that Liu was once a business associate of Zhou Bin, Zhou Yongkang’s eldest son.

State media have not explicitly linked Liu’s case to Zhou Yongkang, but have said Liu’s rise coincided with Zhou’s time as Sichuan’s Communist Party boss.

Liu’s lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.

Willy Lam, a scholar of Chinese history and politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said there would be extra attention paid to the case because of Liu’s links to the Zhou family.

“I think what’s happening is that Xi Jinping and (Party anti-corruption tsar) Wang Qishan want to establish a harsh precedent because this is one of the biggest corruption cases since Xi took over,” Lam said. “They want to set a precedent to make people afraid, in a sense, to have a deterrence impact on corrupt officials.”

via Businessman linked to China’s ex-security tsar sentenced to death | Reuters.

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13/05/2014

The Communist Party: The gatekeepers | The Economist

IN RECENT days government office-workers around China have been called into meetings to study an article written nearly a quarter of a century ago by an obscure local leader on how to be a good secretary. Its advice—act modestly and don’t abuse your position for profit—would be banal were it not for the job the author now holds. The article was written by the current president, Xi Jinping. Those attending know full well that the purpose of the meetings is not to share tips on how to keep bosses happy, but to focus minds on a bigger issue: that personal assistants to leaders are often hugely powerful and sometimes just as hugely corrupt. And Mr Xi wants to rein them in.

A string of detentions has shed new light on the power of mishu, as these assistants are known. Between June and February, news emerged of investigations into four former mishu of Zhou Yongkang, a retired member of the Communist Party’s supreme body, the Politburo standing committee. Although the party does not say so, it is an open secret that Mr Zhou is the main target of China’s biggest anti-corruption campaign in years. He is the first person of standing-committee rank to face a corruption inquiry since the party came to power in 1949. Mr Xi appears not to want state-controlled media to mention Mr Zhou or his sins until a case against him is fully prepared. But the mishu, along with several other associates of Mr Zhou who have been detained in recent months, have become fairer game.

The alleged offences of the “mishu gang”, as the four have been dubbed in the Chinese press, appear to relate at least partly to activities after they left Mr Zhou’s service. In China a personal assistant to a high-ranking leader is often chosen by the leader himself—sometimes plucked from obscurity—and retains high rank even after his boss has moved to a different job (if he is not taken along to the new post).

There is plenty of scope for corruption as a mishu, because of the control the job gives over access to the leader. There is also great opportunity for acquiring independent power. Mr Zhou’s four former secretaries went on to take up high-ranking positions in government and state-owned business. Knowing the dark secrets of their former bosses gives ex-mishu a useful bargaining chip in acquiring plum jobs. The former bosses can benefit from placing their one-time confidants in positions they wish to influence.

via The Communist Party: The gatekeepers | The Economist.

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19/04/2014

A Panda Watches TV in China: Caption Contest Winners – China Real Time Report – WSJ

How many words is a picture really worth? In an ongoing feature, China Real Time is asking readers to dream up captions for a recent news photo. This week, a giant panda munches bamboo while contemplating a TV screen in Yunnan Province.

UPDATE: We have our winner via Twitter

First runner up is from “Glen” in the comments:

“A rerun! Dang it!”

And the best of the rest, also from the comments section:

Slim: “Chinese TV really IS as bad as everyone says! How can I stream House of Cards?”

Saif Ali: “Hmm, the camera adds 10 pounds.”

_____________________________________

via A Panda Watches TV in China: Caption Contest Winners – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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20/02/2014

China charges former mining magnate with murder, gun-running | Reuters

Prosecutors in central China on Thursday charged the former chairman of Hanlong Mining, which had tried to take over Australia’s Sundance Resources Ltd, with murder, gun-running and other crimes as part of a “mafia-style” gang.

Police last year announced the detention of Liu Han and an investigation into his younger brother Liu Yong – also known as Liu Wei – on suspicion of various criminal activities.

In a report carried by the official Xinhua news agency, prosecutors in the central province of Hubei said the two Lius set up the gang in 1993, along with 34 others, which “carried out a vast number of criminal activities”.

The gang was responsible for nine murders, the report said.

via China charges former mining magnate with murder, gun-running | Reuters.

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26/01/2014

Fire destroys 100 homes in centuries-old Guizhou village: reports | South China Morning Post

A fire has destroyed more than 100 homes in a Chinese village built three centuries ago, state media said on Sunday, the third blaze to ravage a cultural site in weeks.

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The blazes, which all erupted in the southwest of the country, often burned down old wooden structures.

The latest fire broke out at Baojing Dong village in Guizhou province late on Saturday and took more than four hours to put out, the state news agency Xinhua said.

The area was “one of China’s most complete” settlements of the Dong ethnic minority, known for its “well-preserved” dwellings, it added.

Nearly 2,000 residents lived there but no casualties have yet been reported. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, it said.

More than 200 similar settlements are located in the same prefecture of Qiandongnan and many have suffered from fires, local housing official Gu Huaxian was quoted by Xinhua as saying last month.

A separate blaze on January 10 destroyed more than 100 wooden homes in an ancient Tibetan town in the popular tourist area of Shangri-La in Yunnan province.

The fire at Gyalthang – in an area said to have inspired British author James Hilton’s mythical Shangri-La – also took place overnight, with no casualties reported.

A week earlier 10 structures burned down in the Buddhist Serthar institute, a high-profile site for Tibetan culture in Sichuan province.

via Fire destroys 100 homes in centuries-old Guizhou village: reports | South China Morning Post.

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15/01/2014

Villagers in SW China share the wealth[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn

Jianshe village in Liangshan Yi autonomous prefecture, Sichuan province, shared about 13.11 million yuan ($2.17 million) in bonuses with the 340 households in the village, on Jan 14, 2013. The village became rich after piloting a land circulation project, which introduced a new farming company and an investment company. One household received 314,000 yuan.

Villagers in SW China share the wealth

via Villagers in SW China share the wealth[1]- Chinadaily.com.cn.

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