Archive for ‘sichuan province’

26/05/2019

China Focus: Rare all-white panda spotted in China

CHINA-SICHUAN-ALL-WHITE PANDA (CN)

Infrared camera image taken on April 20, 2019 shows an all-white giant panda in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. A rare all-white panda has been captured on cameras in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the reserve management authorities said on Saturday. (Xinhua)

CHENGDU, May 25 (Xinhua) — A rare all-white panda has been captured on camera in the Wolong National Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the reserve management authorities said on Saturday.

The panda was captured in mid-April by an infrared camera about 2,000 meters above sea level in the wild, the authorities said.

The panda has no spots on its body and its eyes look red. It was crossing the forest at the time.

“Judging from pictures, the panda is an albino, one to two years old,” said Li Sheng, a researcher with Peking University and a specialist in bears, who studied the pictures.

The panda is a rare all-white individual in wild pandas, which showed that the albinism genes exist in the wild population of giant pandas in Wolong, he said.

“The panda looked strong and its steps were steady, a sign that the genetic mutation may not have quite impeded its life,” Li said, adding that the gender of the panda cannot be decided based on current data.

Albinism exists in different vertebrate species. The albino mutation inhibits melanin synthesis in animal’s body. Albino usually does not affect animal’s physical makeup and functions. It could make them easier to be discovered and more sensitive to direct sunlight, Li said.

The albino mutation is a recessive gene. Only when the parent pandas both carry such gene, can the baby show the albino traits.

If this white panda would mate with a normal panda, their first generation babies will still be black and white. But their babies, carrying the albino gene, will possibly give birth to all-white pandas if their partners also carry such genes, Li said.

In order to better protect the ecosystems, the Wolong nature reserve has been using infrared cameras to monitor the distribution and activities of wild animals in its seven demonstration areas.

Previously, some rare brown giant pandas were found in China’s Qinling Mountains. The cause of the brown fur color was also considered as genetic mutation by some researchers.

Source: Xinhua

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21/05/2019

China’s green efforts hit by fake data and corruption among the grass roots

  • Local officials have devised creative ways to cover up their lack of action on tackling pollution
  • Falsified monitoring information risks directing clean-up efforts away from where they are needed most
China’s efforts to cut pollution are being hampered by local officials who use creative methods to hide their lack of action. Photo: Simon Song
China’s efforts to cut pollution are being hampered by local officials who use creative methods to hide their lack of action. Photo: Simon Song
China’s notoriously lax local government officials and polluting companies are finding creative ways to fudge their environmental responsibilities and outsmart Beijing’s pollution inspectors, despite stern warnings and tough penalties.
Recent audit reports covering the past two years released by the environment ministry showed its inspectors were frequently presented with fake data and fabricated documents, as local officials – sometimes working in league with companies – have devised multiple ways to cheat and cover up their lack of action.
Local governments have been under pressure to meet environmental protection targets since Chinese President Xi Jinping made it one of his top three policy pledges in late 2017.
The performance of leading local officials is now partly assessed by how good a job they have done in cleaning up China’s much depleted environment.
According to the reports released this month by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, pollution inspectors have found evidence in a number of city environmental protection bureaus of made-up meeting notes and even instructions to local companies to forge materials.
Cao Liping, director of the ministry’s ecology and environment law enforcement department, said many of the cases uncovered were the result of officials failing to act in a timely manner.
“In some places, local officials didn’t really do the rectification work. When the inspections began, they realised they didn’t have enough time, so they made up material,” he said.
China ‘still facing uphill struggle in fight against pollution’

While some officials are covering up their inaction, others are actively corrupt. According to Guangzhou’s Southern Weekend, since 2012 there have been 63 cases involving 118 people in the environment protection system involved in corruption.

In the southwest province of Sichuan, 32 current and former employees of Suining city’s environmental protection bureau were found to be corrupt, raking in illicit income of 6.32 million yuan (US$900,000).

Fabricated notes

The party committee of Bozhou district in Zunyi, Guizhou province in southern China, was found to have fabricated notes for 10 meetings – part of the work requirement under the new environmental targets – in a bid to cheat the inspectors.

The case was flagged by the environment ministry in a notice issued on May 10, which said party officials in Bozhou lacked “political consciousness … the nature of this case is very severe”.
Watering down results
Environmental officials in Shizuishan, in the northwest region of Ningxia, tried to improve their results in December 2017 by ordering sanitation workers to spray the building of the local environmental protection bureau with an anti-smog water cannon.
The intention was to lower the amount of pollutant particles registered by the building’s monitoring equipment.
The scheme may have gone undetected if the weather had been warmer but the next day a telltale layer of ice covered the building and the chief and deputy chief of the environmental station in the city’s Dawokou district were later penalised for influencing the monitoring results.
1 million dead, US$38 billion lost: the price of China’s air pollution
Similar tactics were deployed in Linfen, in the northern province of Shanxi in March 2017, when former bureau chief Zhang Wenqing and 11 others were found to have altered air quality monitoring data during days of heavy pollution.
The monitoring machine was blocked and sprayed with water to improve the data and Zhang was also found to have paid another person to make sure the sabotage was not captured by surveillance camera.
According to the environment ministry, six national observation stations in Linfen were interfered with more than 100 times between April 2017 and March 2018. In the same period, monitoring data was seriously distorted on 53 occasions.
Zhang was sentenced to two years in prison in May last year for destroying information on a computer.
Bad company
A ministry notice on May 11 flagged collusion by local officials and businesses in Bozhou in southeast China’s Anhui province. Companies were given advance notice of environmental inspections, with instructions to make up contracts and temporarily suspend production in a bid to deceive inspectors.
In Henan province, central China, inspectors found a thermal power company had been using a wireless mouse to interfere with the sealed automatic monitoring system. They were able to remotely delete undesirable data, eliminating evidence of excessive emissions, and only provided selective data to the environment bureau.
Officials in Shandong reprimanded for failing to cut pollution
In another case, from 2017, an environmental inspection group in Hubei province, central China, found a ceramics company had been working with the data monitoring company to alter automatically collected data on sulphur dioxide emissions.
Criminal offence
Cao said that while the cheating by grass-roots officials was serious, the involvement of companies in falsifying data was a major issue that made the work of inspectors even harder.
“Some fraudulent methods are hidden with the help of high technology, so it’s hard for us to obtain evidence. Besides, the environment officials are not totally familiar with these technologies,” he said.
The environment ministry was working on solutions to the problems, he said, adding that falsifying monitoring data was now a criminal offence.
Fake data was particularly serious, he said, because it could directly influence his department’s decisions about where to deploy resources.

Wang Canfa, an environmental law expert at the China University of Political Science and Law, said the problem of fake data could damage the government’s credibility but also prevent it from taking measures in time.

“If the water pollution or air pollution is severe in one place but the local government has said it’s not a big deal, then the investment needed to control the situation might go to other places,” he said.

Zhou Ke, a professor of environment and resources law at Renmin University, said there was an incentive for local officials to cheat because the inspection results were directly related to their career prospects.

Officials ended up cheating or forging materials to protect local interests or their own political achievements, he said.

Source: SCMP

11/05/2019

China’s Sichuan to offer quake early warning services by year-end

CHENGDU, May 10 (Xinhua) — Sichuan, a quake-prone province in southwest China, will provide its residents earthquake early warning services by the end of this year, according to the Sichuan Earthquake Administration.

The early warning services include alerting residents seconds before seismic waves arrive through multiple broadcasting systems, using the theory that radio waves travel faster than seismic waves.

Earthquake research has found that being aware of an earthquake three seconds beforehand can save 14 percent of casualties, 10 seconds can save 39 percent of casualties, and 20 seconds can save 63 percent of casualties.

The services will also offer residents brief information about the quake one to two minutes after a quake strikes, its magnitude two to five minutes later, and an assessment of the disaster within two hours.

China’s capacity in earthquake monitoring and disaster relief has improved since 2008, when the Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan killed more than 69,000 people and left nearly 18,000 missing, said a report submitted to the country’s top legislature last year.

A new generation of earthquake monitoring and warning systems have been installed along more than 20 high-speed railway lines spanning 6,642 km, said the report.

Source: Xinhua

26/04/2019

Chinese Spider-Gran rescued unharmed after heart-stopping high-rise escape

  • Property management workers pull to safely elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease climbing down side of building
The elderly woman with Alzheimer’s climbs down the outside of her residential building in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Thursday. Photo: Weibo
The elderly woman with Alzheimer’s climbs down the outside of her residential building in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Thursday. Photo: Weibo
An 84-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease in southwestern China stunned her neighbours by climbing out of a lavatory window in a high-rise building and down from her 14th-floor flat.
The octogenarian was rescued by property management workers, who were waiting near the window of a flat on the fifth floor to intercept her, news website Thepaper.cn reported.
The woman squeezed through the window of her home’s toilet in a residential block in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Thursday after she was locked in by relatives, a property management employee said.
“She couldn’t open the door from inside. But she wanted to go out as it was so humid and hot today,” the unnamed worker said.
As she climbed down the outside of the building, her neighbours unfolded a bedsheet on the ground, hoping to catch her if she fell.
The elderly woman survived the incident unscathed. Photo: Weibo
The elderly woman survived the incident unscathed. Photo: Weibo

Property management workers gave the woman water and food after rescuing her. She was later picked up by her relatives and was reported to have no injuries from her adventure, the report said.

There were 6 million Alzheimer’s disease patients in China in 2015, with around 300,000 new cases reported each year, news portal Sohu.com reported.

Chinese taxi driver takes his wife with Alzheimer’s to work every day

A 2016 white paper released by the Zhongmin Social Assistance Institute, a Beijing-based research NGO, said half a million old people got lost in China each year, with a quarter of them diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“China is seriously hit by Alzheimer’s disease based on the country’s rapidly ageing population,” Dr Wang Luning, chairman of the Chinese Alzheimer’s Disease Association, told Legal Daily.

“But many people, even some doctors, have little knowledge about this disease, leading to low rates of people seeking diagnosis, the rate of them being diagnosed and being treated all being low.”

Source: SCMP

22/04/2019

Five Chinese still missing after Sri Lanka bombings as tourists return home

  • Embassy officials have contacted families of two Chinese nationals who were killed in the blasts on Easter Sunday, and visited five who were injured
  • Four of the missing were travelling to the Indian Ocean on a study trip
Police and investigators work at the Shangri-La Hotel blast scene in Colombo on Sunday, where the two Chinese were killed. Photo: Xinhua
Police and investigators work at the Shangri-La Hotel blast scene in Colombo on Sunday, where the two Chinese were killed. Photo: Xinhua
Five Chinese nationals remain missing following a series of suicide bombings in hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that claimed the lives of 
two other Chinese

and injured five more.

At least 290 people were killed and more than 500 others injured in the blasts, according to a Sri Lankan government official on Monday, who said a local militant group was behind the attacks.
The Chinese embassy in Colombo had contacted the families of the two deceased Chinese and was awaiting police confirmation on the fate of the five still missing, state-run People’s Daily reported.
Two Chinese nationals sustained serious injuries in the blasts and three others minor ones. Embassy officials had visited them several times in hospital, the report said.
“The embassy will closely monitor the situation, urge Sri Lankan police to confirm the whereabouts of the missing persons and assist Chinese citizens and families to properly handle the aftermath,” the embassy was quoted as saying.
The two Chinese who died, cousins surnamed Tan, were caught in a blast at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, Red Star News quoted a Chinese businesswoman in the Sri Lankan capital as saying.
“Their families identified them at the scene,” she said.
Four of the missing Chinese are students from the First Institute of Oceanography at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Photo: FIO
Four of the missing Chinese are students from the First Institute of Oceanography at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Photo: FIO

Four of the missing Chinese – Li Dawei, Li Jian, Pan Wenliang and Wang Liwei – are students from the Ministry of Natural Resources’ First Institute of Oceanography who were going to take part in a study in the Indian Ocean, an institute staff member told Red Star News.

The institute has sent staff to 

Sri Lanka

to handle the emergency.

Four of the five injured are students from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, who were en route to a study trip in the eastern Indian Ocean.

“It is an annual scientific expedition programme and they were on the way to replace the 10 others who had completed their rotation,” a staff member told The Beijing News. “Some sustained bruising on their legs and one could hardly hear after the blast.”

Tourists who returned to Shanghai and Chengdu, Sichuan province, told the newspaper that their trip had to be cut short as shops were closed and a curfew imposed amid tight security.

“All the private cars, coaches, vans and buses had to open their doors for inspection. There were checkpoints every 10 metres,” said one tour guide from Chengdu.

A traveller from the same city said airport security had also been stepped up. “There was a bombing 20 minutes after we left a restaurant and another one outside the airport when we were waiting there. We had to pass through three or four very strict security checks at the airport,” she said.

Back in Shanghai, another woman said: “We were not scared there but we are very glad to be back home.”

Source: SCMP

18/04/2019

Cambodian, Chinese entrepreneurs meet to explore business opportunities

PHNOM PENH, April 18 (Xinhua) — A Cambodian and Chinese entrepreneurs meeting was held here on Thursday, aiming at exploring opportunities for trade and investment, officials said.

The meeting brought together nearly 20 entrepreneurs from southwest China’s Sichuan province and about 20 Cambodian business executives.

Ek Sam Ol, president of the Cambodia-China Friendship Association, said that currently, many enterprises from Sichuan have been doing businesses in various sectors in Cambodia.

“The forum is a good opportunity for the entrepreneurs from both sides to exchange experiences and to explore opportunities for investments or business partnerships,” he said.

Sam Ol said China is currently the top foreign investor in Cambodia and Chinese investments have importantly contributed to socio-economic development in the country.

He said Chinese investments have focused on a variety of sectors including transport infrastructure, hydropower plants, industrial zones, garment and footwear factories, banking and finance, real estate and construction, agriculture, tourism, and airlines.

Source: Xinhua

13/04/2019

Chengdu attracts 22 overseas investment projects

CHENGDU, April 12 (Xinhua) — Chengdu, a major city in southwest China, showed its attraction to investors as it signed 22 investment contracts with overseas companies on Friday.

The investment projects involve manufacturing such as electronics, aviation, automobiles and equipment, and services including financing, logistics, elderly care and vocational training. The total value of these deals is around 3.39 billion U.S. dollars.

The signing foreign companies include Slovakian aircraft producer Aerospool, French company AREP with expertise in city planning and construction, Germany’s BMW, and U.S. firm Baxter.

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, is a major economic powerhouse in China’s western region. The city has attracted investment projects from 285 of the world’s top 500 companies.

Source: Xinhua

09/04/2019

Chinese woman detained for wearing Young Pioneers’ red scarf and ‘revealing’ outfit

  • Video footage of woman fishing in a miniskirt and symbol of communist youth group deemed to violate law against ‘defiling revolutionary martyrs’
The woman was filmed in a miniskirt and red scarf. Photo: Weibo
The woman was filmed in a miniskirt and red scarf. Photo: Weibo
Police in southwest China have detained a woman or “defiling revolutionary martyrs”after she appeared in a video wearing “bright, revealing clothes” and a Young Pioneers’ red scarf.
Footage of the woman, surnamed Tang, showing her fishing in a muddy field in Sichuan province was posted on the video-sharing website Kuaishou.com.
In one clip – which police said attracted three million views – she was dressed in a red blouse, white miniskirt and the red scarf traditionally worn by members of the under-14s Communist group.
Police in Rong county in Sichuan said Tang had deliberately dressed in “bright, revealing clothes” to “attract eyeballs, increase fans and video views”, and wearing the red scarf with such an outfit violated the Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law, which came into effect in May last year.
“The red scarf is a symbol of the Young Pioneers of China. It represents a corner of the red flag, dyed by the blood of martyrs,” the statement said.
Chinese artist gets naked with late father’s remains but is it art?
“Tang’s action has severely defiled what the red scarf stands for: patriotic martyrs, the honour of the young pioneers, and the patriotic sentiments of the people. It has had a bad social impact.”

Police said Tang had been given 12 days’ administrative detention on March 28 and fined 1,000 yuan (US$150). A man who shot the video footage was released with a warning.

The police statement caused heated debate on the social media platform Weibo.

Some supported the police for punishing “inappropriate behaviour”, while others questioned whether they had abused their power.

Source: SCMP

06/04/2019

People mourn for martyrs who died while fighting forest fire in Sichuan

#CHINA-MARTYRS-FOREST FIRE-HOMETOWN (CN)

A ceremony is held to receive the bone ashes of fireman Zhang Chengpeng, who died while fighting a forest fire in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, at Jinan international airport in Jinan, east China’s Shandong Province, April 5, 2019. The ashes of fireman Zhang Chengpeng returned to his hometown of Zouping in Shandong Province on Friday. (Xinhua/Dong Naide)

Source: Xinhua

02/04/2019

China’s new relay satellite to help video calls possible with space station

BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) — A new relay satellite launched late Sunday night will allow videos calls to be made between China’s future space station and the ground and provide data transmission and control services for various spacecraft.

The Tianlian II-01 satellite was sent to an orbit at an altitude of 36,000 km by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province at 11:51 p.m. Beijing Time on Sunday.

The satellite, developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, will provide data transmission services for satellites operating on medium- and low-Earth orbit and monitoring and control support for the launch of spacecraft.

“The Tianlian II-01 ushered in the construction of a new generation of the relay satellite system for China,” said Zhang Peng, commander in chief of the research team of the satellite from CAST.

From 2008 to 2016, China launched four relay satellites to form the Tianlian I system, making China the second country in the world to establish a relay satellite system which is able to cover the whole world. The system can provide global real-time information transmission.

As the first satellite of China’s second-generation relay satellite system, Tianlian II-1 is compatible with the Tianlian I system, but its transmission speed and volume and coverage area have been greatly improved, according to Zhang.

Source: Xinhua

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