Posts tagged ‘Sichuan’

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.

fire.jpg

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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02/12/2013

China launches lunar probe carrying ‘Jade Rabbit’ buggy | Reuters

China launched its first ever extraterrestrial landing craft into orbit en route for the moon in the small hours of Monday, in a major milestone for its space program.

The Long March-3B rocket carrying the Chang'e-3 lunar probe blasts off from the launch pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province December 2, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily

The Chang\’e-3 lunar probe, which includes the Yutu or Jade Rabbit buggy, blasted off on board an enhanced Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in China\’s southwestern Sichuan province at 1:30 a.m. (12.30 p.m. EDT).

President Xi Jinping has said he wants China to establish itself as a space superpower, and the mission has inspired pride in China\’s growing technological prowess. State television showed a live broadcast of the rocket lifting off.

If all goes smoothly, the rover will conduct geological surveys and search for natural resources after the probe touches down on the moon in mid-December as China\’s first spacecraft to make a soft landing beyond Earth.

\”The probe has already entered the designated orbit,\” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhang Zhenzhong, director of the launch center, as saying.

\”I now announce the launch was successful.\”

\”We will strive for our space dream as part of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation,\” he added.

In 2007, China launched its first moon orbiter, the Chang\’e-1 – named after a lunar goddess – which took images of the surface and analyzed the distribution of elements.

The lunar buggy was named the Jade Rabbit in a public vote, a folkloric reference to the goddess\’s pet.

Chinese scientists have discussed the possibility of sending a human to the moon some time after 2020.

In China\’s latest manned space mission in June, three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, part of Beijing\’s quest to build a working space station by 2020.

If the lunar mission is successful, China will become the third country, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to soft-land on the moon.

But it is still far from catching up with the established space superpowers, whose moon landings date back more than four decades.

China is looking to land a probe on the moon, release a moon rover and return the probe to the Earth in 2017, Xinhua said.

via China launches lunar probe carrying ‘Jade Rabbit’ buggy | Reuters.

28/09/2013

Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children – BBC News

Chinese police have rescued 92 abducted children and held 301 suspected members of a huge trafficking network, the authorities say.

They say two women were also freed in an operation involving police forces in 11 provinces of the country.

The traffickers are believed to have targeted children in the south-western Yunnan and Sichuan provinces and then sold them in other regions.

Child-trafficking has become a serious problem in China, correspondents say.

Critics blame the country’s one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.

Some families buy trafficked women and children to use as extra labour and household servants, as well as brides for unmarried sons.

Last year, more than 24,000 abducted women and children were freed in China, according to the public security ministry.

It said that some of those kidnapped had been sold for adoption or forced into prostitution.

Greater freedom of movement as a result of China’s economic reforms is thought to have made it easier for trafficking gangs to operate.

via BBC News – Chinese police rescue 92 abducted children.

16/09/2013

China opens world’s highest civilian airport

Reuters: “China opened the world’s highest civilian airport on Monday, in a restive and remote Tibetan region of southwestern Sichuan province, which will cut journey times from the provincial capital from two days to a little more than one hour.

Local Tibetans wave hada, or traditional silk scarves, as they greet the first group of passengers who landed at Daocheng Yading Airport in Daocheng county of Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province September 16, 2013. The airport, at 4,411 metres (14,472 feet) above sea level, surpassed the Qamdo Bangda Airport which has an altitude of 4,334 metres (14,219 feet), and became the highest airport in the world after its inauguration on Monday, according to local media. REUTERS/China Daily

Daocheng airport in Garzi, a heavily ethnic Tibetan part of Sichuan, is 4,411 meters (14,472 feet) above sea level, and overtakes Qamdo airport in Tibet, which sits at 4,334 meters above sea level, for the title of world’s highest.

The official Xinhua news agency said flights would initially connect with Chengdu, the provincial capital, otherwise a two-day bus trip away. Flights to cities including Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing will begin at a later date.

The 1.58 billion yuan ($258 million) airport, designed to handle 280,000 passengers a year, will help open up the nearby Yading Nature Reserve to tourism, Xinhua added, referring to an area renowned for its untouched natural beauty.

China has embarked upon a multi-billion-dollar program in recent years to revamp old airports and build new ones, especially in the remote west, as a way of boosting the economy.

Some of these airports have been located in Tibetan regions, whose population chafes at Chinese political control, and often have a dual military purpose so troops can be bought in quickly during periods of unrest.

Garzi has been the scene of numerous self-immolation protests against Chinese rule in the last three years or so and remains under tight security.”

via China opens world’s highest civilian airport | Reuters.

See also: http://chindia-alert.org/economic-factors/chinas-infrastructure/

29/07/2013

China to Launch 24-Hour Live Web Broadcast of Pandas at Chengdu Research Base

WSJ: “To kittens and puppies, now add the latest species for couch potatoes to gush over: giant pandas.

China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has launched a free 24-hour live Internet broadcast of the cuddly critters, state-run Xinhua news agency said Monday.

Viewers can watch the pandas at the base in southwestern Sichuan province, part of their native domicile, via 28 cameras planted in five areas that will feed six channels: “garden for adult pandas,” “kindergarten,” “nursery for twins,” “mother-and-child playground,” “No.1 Villa” and “featured.”

In keeping with the bears’ famously laid-back characteristics, the broadcasts have an addictively soporific feel to them, based on China Real Time Report’s viewing of several clips the base posted as sneak peeks.

In one clip, two giant pandas sprawled motionless amid quivering leaves and small skittish birds on an elevated loft. About two minutes later, the angle shifted to a second camera, with the two pandas now seeking refuge from what appeared to be fairly tepid sunlight. In short order, another giant panda lay prone by a burbling stream, in the thrall of what appeared to be another pleasant nap.

The Chengdu base is home to more than 80 freely roaming giant pandas, so it’s unclear whether the subjects are different bears or the same few viewed from various angles.

A few minutes later, the panda by the stream changed his snoozing posture slightly. It’s a small maneuver, but rendered suddenly dramatic by the enervating lull of the video feed and the sheer celebrity of the monochromatic bear. So it comes as no surprise that the clips have already attracted nearly 15,000 viewers since their launch on June 24, Xinhua said.

“I’ve watched an entire morning of pandas eating bamboo, my appetite has improved!” a blogger called Janice Yi wrote on China’s Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo. “They eat, then they fight, and when they’re tired of fighting, they eat again, then they sleep, and a whole day passes.””

via China to Launch 24-Hour Live Web Broadcast of Pandas at Chengdu Research Base – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

18/05/2013

* China gives environmental approval to country’s biggest hydro dam

Reuters: “China’s environment ministry has given the go-ahead for the construction of what will become the country’s tallest hydroelectric dam despite acknowledging it will have an impact on plants and rare fish.

Dadu River, China

The dam, with a height of 314 meters (1,030 feet), will serve the Shuangjiangkou hydropower project on the Dadu River in southwestern Sichuan province.

To be built over 10 years by a subsidiary of state power firm Guodian Group, it is expected to cost 24.68 billion yuan ($4.02 billion) in investment.

The ministry, in a statement issued late on Tuesday, said an environmental impact assessment had acknowledged that the project would have a negative impact on rare fish and flora and affect protected local nature reserves.

Developers, it said, had pledged to take “counter-measures” to mitigate the effects. The project still requires the formal go-ahead from the State Council, China’s cabinet.

China aims to raise the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix to 15 percent by 2020, up from 9.4 percent in 2011. Hydropower is expected to make the biggest contribution.

It has vowed to speed up construction of dams in the 2011-2015 period after slowing it down following the completion of the controversial Three Gorges project in 2006.

The Three Gorges Dam, which serves the world’s biggest hydropower station on the Yangtze river, measures 185 meters.

The 300-m Nurek dam in Tajikistan in Central Asia is the world’s highest, though other taller dams are now under construction. China’s tallest dam now, at 292 meters, is the Xiaowan Dam on the Lancang River, also known as the Mekong.

On completion, the Sichuan project will have a total installed capacity of 20 gigawatts (GW), with annual power generation to exceed 7 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh).

The government said this year that hydropower capacity was expected to reach 290 GW by 2015, up from 220 GW at the end of 2010. It also said it would begin building a controversial project on the undeveloped Nu River in Yunnan province.

Guodian was one of a number of state-owned firms criticized by China’s national audit office last week for starting work on projects not yet been approved by the central government. The office said by the end of 2011, the company had invested nearly 30 billion yuan in 21 unapproved projects.

The Huaneng Group, China’s biggest power company, was also criticized for launching construction of the Huangdeng hydropower plant before receiving the government’s go-ahead.”

via China gives environmental approval to country’s biggest hydro dam | Reuters.

12/05/2013

* China’s Social Media Fuel Citizen Quake Response

NY Times: “Wang Xiaochang sprang into action minutes after a deadly earthquake jolted this lush region of Sichuan Province last month. Logging on to China’s most popular social media sites, he posted requests for people to join him in aiding the survivors. By that evening, he had fielded 480 calls.

地震催毀大量房屋,圖為進入汶川道路一境。A shot taken in the road h...

地震催毀大量房屋,圖為進入汶川道路一境。A shot taken in the road heading to Wenyuan, the epicenter of 2008 Sichuan Earthquake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Never mind that the government had declared that the narrow mountain roads to Lushan were open only to authorized rescue vehicles. Two days after the April 20 earthquake, Mr. Wang was hitchhiking with 19 gear-laden strangers to this rubble-strewn town. While the military cleared roads and repaired electrical lines, the volunteers carried food, water and tents to ruined villages and comforted survivors of the temblor, which killed nearly 200 people and injured more than 13,000.

“The government is in charge of the big picture stuff, but we’re doing the work they can’t do,” Mr. Wang, 24, a former soldier, said recently, standing outside the group’s tent, which was cluttered with sleeping bags, work gloves and smartphones.

The rapid grass-roots response to the disaster reveals just how far China’s nascent civil society movement has come since 2008, when a 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Wenchuan, not far from Lushan, prompted a wave of volunteerism and philanthropy. That quake, which claimed about 90,000 lives, provoked criticism of the government for its ham-handed relief efforts. Outrage mounted in the months that followed over allegations of corruption and reports that the parents of dead children had been detained after protesting what many saw as a cover-up of shoddy school construction. Thousands of students died in school collapses during the quake.

Like the government, which honed its rescue and relief efforts after the Wenchuan earthquake, the volunteers and civil society groups that first appeared in 2008 gained valuable skills for working in disaster zones. Their ability to coordinate — and, in some instances, outsmart a government intent on keeping them away — were enhanced by Sina Weibo, the Twitter-like microblog that did not exist in 2008 but now has more than 500 million users.

“Civil society is much more capable today compared to 2008,” said Ran Yunfei, a prominent democracy activist and blogger, who describes Weibo as a revolutionary tool for social change. “It’s far easier now for volunteers to share information on what kind of help is needed.”

One of those transformed by the Wenchuan earthquake was Li Chengpeng, a sports commentator from Sichuan turned civic activist. When the Lushan earthquake hit, Mr. Li turned to his seven million Weibo followers and quickly organized a team of volunteers. They traveled to the disaster zone on motorcycles, by pedicab and on foot so as not to clog roads, soliciting donations via microblog along the way. What he found was a government-directed relief effort sometimes hampered by bureaucracy and geographic isolation.

Two days after the quake, Mr. Li’s team delivered 498 tents, 1,250 blankets and 100 tarps — all donated — to Wuxing, where government supplies had yet to arrive. The next day, they hiked to four other villages, handing out water, cooking oil and tents.

Although he acknowledges the government’s importance during such disasters, Mr. Li contends that grass-roots activism is just as vital. “You can’t ask an NGO to blow up half a mountain to clear roads and you can’t ask an army platoon to ask a middle-aged woman whether she needs sanitary napkins,” he wrote in a recent post.

The government, however, prefers to rely on state-backed aid groups to deliver supplies and raise money, largely through the Red Cross Society of China. But that organization is still reeling from a corruption scandal in 2011 that severely damaged its reputation and spurred greater support for nongovernmental charities, which are generally thought to be more transparent.

Faced with a groundswell of social activism it feared could turn into government opposition, the Communist Party has sought to turn the Lushan disaster into a rallying cry for political solidarity. “The more difficult the circumstance, the more we should unite under the banner of the party,” the state-run newspaper People’s Daily declared last month, praising the leadership’s response to the earthquake.

Still, the rise in online activism has forced the government to adapt. Recently, People’s Daily announced that three volunteers had been picked to supervise the Red Cross spending in the earthquake zone and to publish their findings on Weibo.”

via China’s Social Media Fuel Citizen Quake Response – NYTimes.com.

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