Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘transport’ Category

Train Crash Heightens Safety Concerns over China Exports

Posted by Author on August 17, 2011


(Epochtimes)- Experts agree that the deadly July 23 train crash has put an end to China’s ambitious plans to export high-speed railway (HSR) technology and equipment to other parts of the world. This is just the latest and most sensational of many horror stories in which poor quality has damaged prospects for exporting Chinese goods. At the root of this stubborn quality problem across China’s major exporting industries lies prevalent corruption and the Chinese authorities’ blind pursuit of political achievements.

HSR Export Dream Crashes

Beijing had successfully branded its high-speed railway network as a symbol of the “China Model.” The regime’s propaganda touted the HSR as fast, low cost, and large, both a symbol of national pride and a miracle to the rest of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Life, News, Politics, Social, transport, World | Comments Off on Train Crash Heightens Safety Concerns over China Exports

UFO Forces China’s Airport to Shutdown For One Hour (video)

Posted by Author on October 5, 2010


telegraph.co.uk, Oct. 5, 2010 –

An airport in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, was forced to shut to prevent passenger jets crashing into a UFO, according to reports.

Three flights to Baotou from Shanghai and Beijing were reportedly forced to circle the airport until the UFO disappeared. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Inner Mongolia, News, North China, transport, Video | 1 Comment »

China’s Great Wall of Traffic Jam: 10,000 vehicles, 11 Days, 120 km

Posted by Author on September 3, 2010


By KATHERINE ZHU, ABC News, BEIJING, Sept. 3, 2010 –

If you are dreading Labor Day traffic jams, take heart that you are not stuck on the highway in China where a monster jam is moving into its 11th day.

As many as 10,000 vehicles, mostly trucks, are crammed fender to fender for 74.5 miles (120 km) along the north-south Beijing-Tibet expressway.

The highway mess can be attributed, at least in part, to roadwork intended to alleviate the congestion. But other factors are also slowing traffic, including drivers falling asleep in the days-long gridlock and blocking other vehicles when there is some movement, Chinese news reports state.

The bulk of congestion is located between Inner Mongolia and Hebei province, which is located northwest of Beijing, according to the Global Times. Vehicles consist premarily of trucks carrying coal and food into Beijing.

The gridlock began in August when various sections along the expressway were jamming up due to road construction. Some early blockages were slowly resolved, but on Aug. 27 traffic hit another bottleneck at the Ji Meng toll stop in Inner Mongolia. The congestion soon extended 18.6 miles (30 km) with thousands of cars idling while trying to get through the tolls…….(more details from ABCNews)

Posted in Beijing, China, Economy, Life, News, Social, transport, World | Comments Off on China’s Great Wall of Traffic Jam: 10,000 vehicles, 11 Days, 120 km

China airport closed after UFO appears on radar screens

Posted by Author on July 12, 2010


NewsCore, Via The Australian, July 9, 2010 –

A CHINESE airport
was dramatically shut down after baffled air traffic controllers spotted an incoming UFO on their radar systems.

Planes were grounded and flights were diverted away from Xiaoshan airport in Hangzhou City, in the country’s east, after the mysterious glowing object appeared on monitoring instruments late Wednesday night, the Shanghai Daily reported.

In a further twist, the closure followed several supposed sightings of a strange airborne object across the city, with locals reportedly seeing a comet-like fireball in the sky.

Airport authorities immediately notified passengers to stop boarding and grounded all planes about to take off as flights were rerouted to neighboring airports in the cities of Ningbo and Wuxi, Xinhua news agency said.

The unexplained object soon vanished from radar screens but flights were delayed from taking off for a further four hours.

An airport spokesman said an investigation was underway, but refused to elaborate……(more details from The Australian)

Posted in China, East China, Hangzhou, Life, News, transport, travel, World, Zhejiang | 2 Comments »

The Cost Of Driving In China- tolls greater than the cost of the fuel burned

Posted by Author on April 20, 2010


Paul Midler, The Forbes, 04.20.10 –

HONG KONG
— China will spend $300 billion on high-speed rail lines over the next 20 years. The world has seen nothing like it, and China-watchers have responded by drawing analogies to America’s transcontinental railroad, built in the 19th century, or its interstate highway system, built and expanded throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

High-speed rail is not the only thing on the nation’s infrastructure to-do list. China’s General Administration of Civil Aviation has budgeted $62 billion to build 100 new airports by 2020. All of this new infrastructure is being seen as the signs of progress, but what has been missed is how high-speed rail and the new airports are a way for China to get around a major problem it faces–an exorbitant, toll-based road system.

Have a mind to jump in your car and drive from Guangzhou to Beijing? Don’t forget to bring your wallet. The expressways connecting the south to Beijing are expensive, and a trip to the nation’s capital will run you close to $200 each way. Driving on toll roads in China–and almost all of the country’s expressways cost money–runs an average of 0.5 yuan (7 cents) per kilometer, or nearly 12 cents per mile. For many types of cars, the tolls are greater than the cost of the fuel burned.

The jacked-up cost of auto travel in China actually makes high-speed rail seem affordable, but tickets for high-speed trains are still out of reach for most Chinese. The speedy rail line meant to connect Beijing to the southern province of Fujian was closed after only two months in operation due to a lack of commercial interest…….(more details from The Forbes)

Posted in Cars, China, Life, News, Social, transport, travel, World | Comments Off on The Cost Of Driving In China- tolls greater than the cost of the fuel burned

Cross-border rail protests heighten Hong Kong- China tensions

Posted by Author on January 7, 2010


DPA, via earthtimes.org, Jan. 7, 2010 –

Hong Kong – In a protest likely to heighten political tensions with Beijing, thousands of Hong Kong activists are expected to join a demonstration against a cross-border rail link. Opponents of the proposed 8.6-billion-US-dollar high-speed rail link are calling on 10,000 people to surround Hong Kong’s legislature Friday when politicians vote on whether to approve funding.

The protest comes days after an estimated 30,000 people took part in a pro-democracy march in Hong Kong that ended in scuffles between police and activists outside the Beijing Liaison Office.

A prominent pro-Beijing politician said the Chinese leadership had “lost trust” in Hong Kong following the march and said it would make China less likely to allow the city full democracy.

Friday’s protest, similar in style to the 1999 protest in which around 10,000 Falun Gong supporters surrounded the Chinese leadership complex in Zhongnanhai, is likely to further raise tensions.

Hong Kong’s Beijing-appointed leader Donald Tsang was recently told by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to better handle “deep-rooted conflicts” in the city of 7 million – seen as a reference to political unrest.

The construction of the 26-kilometre rail link, the world’s most expensive stretch of railway per kilometre according to critics, has polarized opinions in the wealthy city. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Hong kong, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, transport, World | Comments Off on Cross-border rail protests heighten Hong Kong- China tensions

China: Landslide sends 50,000 cubic metres of mountain mass into Yangtze River

Posted by Author on November 27, 2008


by Chris Thomas, SOH Radio Network, on Thursday, November 27th, 2008 –

A massive landslide at the north shore of the Yangtze River in Chongqing city on Sunday has sent 50,000 cubic square metres of gravel into the river causing massive waves.

According to Chongqing Daily News reports, at around 4.40pm on Sunday, a mountain body situated in the city’s Wushan Prefecture, at the mouth of the Wu Gorge on the northshore of the Yangtze River collapsed, with massive amounts of gravel hurling into the river, sending up large amounts of dust which covered nearby regions also creating huge waves. The waves caused boats docked 2kms away from Wushan to shake strongly, and the Jian-San Hao ship next to a barge was pushed far away by the waves.

According to estimations by Wushan perfection Bureau of Land Management officials, the landslide mass was around 50,000 cubic metres. Boats were immediately banned on the segment of the river, and relevant teams have begun emergency traffic control for the water channels in the region, diverting boats to nearby safe areas. The ban was lifted a few hours later after officials found that the depth of the river was safe, and all traffic on the river has resumed.

Investigations are now underway by Wushan prefecture officials into the cause of the landslide.

The above news is brought to you by Yu Ming and hosted by Chris Thomas for Inside China Today on the SOH Radio Network.

Posted in China, Chongqing, Environment, News, River, SW China, transport, World, Yangtze river | Comments Off on China: Landslide sends 50,000 cubic metres of mountain mass into Yangtze River

China sleeper bus crashes in tunnel, killing 10

Posted by Author on September 4, 2008


Reuters, Sep 4, 2008-

BEIJING (Reuters) – At least 10 people were killed and 36 injured on Thursday when a Chinese sleeper bus crashed inside a tunnel, Xinhua news agency said.

The 44-sleeper bus was carrying 46 people when it crashed in Lishui, in eastern Zhejiang province, shortly after midnight, killing 10 people on the spot.

China’s roads are the deadliest in the world, with accidents killing about 100,000 people a year.

– Original: Reuters

Posted in China, East China, Incident, Life, News, transport, travel, World, Zhejiang | Comments Off on China sleeper bus crashes in tunnel, killing 10

(photo) China earthquake: fissure on the road from Wenchuan to Chengdu city

Posted by Author on May 13, 2008


Photo from Internet, Via The Epochtimes, May. 13, 2008-

fissure on the road-1

fissure on the road -2

fissure -3fissure -4

fissure -5fissure -6

fissure -7fissure -8

More photos

Posted in Chengdu, China, disaster, earthquake, Environment, Life, News, Photo, Sichuan, SW China, transport, World | Comments Off on (photo) China earthquake: fissure on the road from Wenchuan to Chengdu city

Southwest China: Crematoriums Have No Fuel to Burn the Bodies of Snowstorm Victims in Guizhou Province

Posted by Author on February 5, 2008


By Feng Changle, Epoch Times Staff, Feb 03, 2008-

Current heavy snowstorms have caused power failures and severe daily supply shortages in many areas of China. For days, The Epoch Times has received messages from Internet users in those cities. On January 30, an IT employee from southwest China’s Guizhou province traffic department sent out messages.

He reports that a snowstorm caused the breakdown of the main rail line in Guizhou and has cut off electricity in the eastern part. Renhuan City in Guizhou has been hit most severely with no water or electricity for two weeks already. All roads to the outside have been closed. The entire police department he belongs to was sent to the Renhuan area for rescue work.

He sent the following message: “Some people have already frozen to death but crematoriums have no fuel to cremate the bodies. If the central government does not take emergency measures to airdrop food supplies, there will soon be many more deaths here.

“Renhuan City is now a dead city. The central streets are covered by a layer of ice; some roofs are covered with ice 7cm (2.75 inches) thick. Due to a manpower shortage, our entire traffic police force are on the streets and they are about to collapse from exhaustion. This is the most brutal disaster that I have ever experienced. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if this is just a movie. How nice it would be to have stability and peace.

“Nothing can be sent here. Roads are treacherous. Oil trucks have skidded and turned over on the highway and even the administration center has no electricity. Coal costs 24 yuan (US$3.20) a kilo, candles 5 yuan (US$ 0.67) a stick, frozen cabbage 10 yuan (US$1.35) a kilo and there are limited quantities. The government is helpless too. The situation here can only last 2 days at the most.

“We have lost contact with the counties and towns under us for half a month. The situation over there is probably even worse. All cell phones and equipment are out of electricity. How can we communicate or take photos?

“I am currently using the only usable fiber optical channel, which is currently dedicated for government use only, but the alarm on its UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supplier) has sounded several times and it to will soon be dead.

“There are so many areas hit by this adversity spreading to so many provinces, cities, districts, counties and towns. I can’t be overcritical to investigate who is responsible for causing such a calamity, but can only hope the central government will step up rescue efforts and mobilize all possible means to rescue our homes and fellow countrymen.”

Original report from the Epochtimes

Posted in China, disaster, Guizhou, housing, Life, News, Social, SW China, transport, World | Comments Off on Southwest China: Crematoriums Have No Fuel to Burn the Bodies of Snowstorm Victims in Guizhou Province

China Snowstorm: Death Toll Could Be Much Higher

Posted by Author on February 5, 2008


BBC News, Saturday, 2 February 2008-

China’s government has warned people to brace for more bad weather as the country struggles to cope with the worst snow storms in over 50 years.

State weather services said the worst-hit provinces faced several more days of snow and freezing rain.

The crisis has affected an estimated 100 million people, and caused some 54bn yuan (£3.8bn) of damage.

The government has doubled the number of soldiers assigned to help with relief efforts, state media said.

More than 300,000 troops and almost 1.1 million reservists have been deployed.

‘Hidden toll’

“The most difficult period is still not over yet. The situation remains grim,” Premier Wen Jiabao said during a Cabinet meeting, the China Daily reported.

Officials say that emergency medical teams have treated over 200,000 sick and injured people, and that 60 people have died because of the cold.

But the true figures are likely to be much higher, says the BBC’s China editor Shirong Chen, who says the government is working hard to convince the public that it is in control of the situation.

Massive crowds of travellers remain stranded as they try to get home for next week’s Lunar New Year holiday.

In Guangzhou, people spent the night in the open in sub-zero temperatures and heavy rain as they waited at the city’s main train station.

The government has provided shelters, but they are not big enough for the hundreds of thousands of people still stuck there, the BBC’s Daniel Griffiths reports from the station.

Many of the stranded are poor migrant workers, for whom next week’s holiday is traditionally the only break they will get all year.

Crop concerns

Snow has been falling in central and southern regions for three weeks.

Officials have warned that many could face food shortages in the future as a result of wrecked winter crops.

With millions reported to be without water and electricity, the government has ordered coal production to be increased and imposed emergency price controls.

President Hu Jintao has visited coal mines to urge help to end the power shortages and Premier Wen Jiabao has been visiting stranded travellers in the south of the country.

But many are questioning the government’s ability to deal with the crisis, correspondents say.

Chenzhou, a city in Hunan province with a population of 4 million, has reportedly been without electricity for at least eight days.

China’s official Xinhua news agency quoted a national grid official as saying authorities would work to partially restore power supply to the city on Saturday.

– Original report from BBC News: China warns of more bad weather

Posted in China, disaster, Health, housing, Life, News, People, Rural, Snowstorm, Social, transport, World | 1 Comment »

Central China: No Electricity and Stable Water Supply For Over a Week

Posted by Author on February 4, 2008


By John Ruwitch, Reuters, Feb 3, 2008-

CHENZHOU, China (Reuters) – For a freezing city of four million people that hasn’t had electricity or a stable water supply for over a week, Chenzhou in southern China is hanging in there but residents said pressures were building.

The sound of generators and traffic rattled through the slushy but lively streets, and people browsed the few stores that were open for winter coats, shoes, vegetables and bottled water.

The authorities appeared to be racing against time, though, as the price of everyday goods rose sharply, banks were shut, ATMs knocked out, petrol supplies low — and the Lunar New Year holiday just days away.

“We can’t go on like this for much longer,” said Hu Jian, selling cigarettes by candlelight.

Since the temperature dipped to unseasonably low levels and it began to snow here almost two weeks ago, Chenzhou, in Hunan province, has been at the heart of one of China’s worst weather-related transport crises in years…… (more details from Reuters)

Posted in China, disaster, Hunan, Life, News, Social, South China, transport, World | Comments Off on Central China: No Electricity and Stable Water Supply For Over a Week

“Comrades”, “I am here to comfort you”, China’s Prime Minister Said to Snowbound Millions

Posted by Author on February 1, 2008


By Quentin Sommerville, BBC News, 30 January 2008, Shanghai-

As China continues to endure the worst winter storms in five decades, some roads and airports are beginning to reopen.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has been visiting hundreds of thousands of stranded passengers.

He addressed crowds first at Changsha railway station in Hunan province, then at Guangzhou station in Guangdong.

He promised to get travellers, many of them migrant workers, home for the all-important spring festival holiday.

It is rare for a Chinese politician, especially the prime minister, to apologise so directly to the people.

“Comrades, I’m Wen Jiabao,” he began. “I am here to comfort you. You have suffered a lot and I feel your pain.

“The south of the country has suffered from the most serious heavy snow in the past several decades. I totally understand how eager you want to go back home. I can tell you that we are trying our best to restore the power supply.”

‘It’s a joke!’

Mr Wen’s comments were also directed to China’s provincial leaders.

Squabbling over resources has meant that as many as 17 of China’s 31 provinces have been experiencing power-outages, while others are running short of food.

In Beijing, the Politburo met and ordered provincial officials to make fighting the effects of the terrible weather conditions their number one priority.

Over 300,000 paramilitary police, and almost 200,000 People’s Liberation Army troops, have now been deployed in an effort to get the country moving again.

But for some, the government is not doing enough.

One comment on the popular website tianya.cn said: “Emergency plan? It’s a joke!”

The posting continued: “The snow alone can destroy China. The government won’t take care of you even if you are freezing.”

‘Helpless’

Another poster complained: “After many years of fast development, how can we face such a miserable situation? It’s corruption that makes our infrastructure so vulnerable. The Chinese government should wake up.”

Normally at this time of year, China’s millions of factory workers journey back to their villages and families – instead they are taking shelter far from home, in the freezing cold.

Outside Hangzhou railway station, temporary shelters have been constructed.

Li Yulian, a migrant worker, is still hopeful of getting home.

“I feel helpless. There is nothing I can do with the weather like this. When I reach there, I hope I can find a bus to bring me home,” she said.

Many workers, like Wei Haisheng, are growing frustrated.

“I cannot get a ticket and I am not able to go home. So I am feeling frustrated and my family back home is also getting worried about the situation,” he said.

Even the considerable efforts of the Chinese state may not be enough to get them home; the country’s weather service reports that for some central provinces, the worst is still to come.

In some areas, airports, roads and railway lines have begun to reopen, although many provinces are still experiencing power and food shortages.

But despite the promise of their prime minster, many hundreds of thousands are stranded in railway stations and will not make it home for China’s most important national holiday.

– Original report from BBC News: Misery of China’s snowbound millions

Posted in China, disaster, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, People, Politics, Rural, SE China, Social, transport, World | Comments Off on “Comrades”, “I am here to comfort you”, China’s Prime Minister Said to Snowbound Millions

China: 500,000 Passengers Stranded By Snowstorms in Guangzhou Train Station

Posted by Author on January 29, 2008


By WILLIAN FOREMAN, scotsman.com, UK, Jan 28, 2008-

MORE than 500,000 travellers found themselves stranded in and around a Chinese city’s train station yesterday, as blizzards and ice storms created a transport crisis ahead of the country’s New Year celebrations.

The travellers, most of them migrant workers, were stuck in Guangzhou after heavy snowfalls to the north cut off parts of the busy line that starts in the city and ends in Beijing.

Officials were scrambling to prevent riots and find temporary shelter in schools and convention centres for the crowd, which has swollen each day as more workers tried to return to their home towns for the Chinese New Year.

The holiday, which begins on 7 February, is as important in China as Christmas is in the West. For many migrants, it is the only chance to visit their families, and they stay away for weeks.

At Guangzhou’s main station yesterday, a massive outdoor plaza was packed with people pulling luggage or lifting it over their heads. The crowd eventually spilled out on to a major road in front of the station, and it had to be blocked off to create more space for the travellers.

The workers created small camps with their suitcases, bundles and plastic bags full of snacks. They littered the ground with chicken bones, sunflower seed shells and cigarette butts as they patiently waited for their trains.

Radio announcements told people not to go to the station, which will not sell tickets again until 7 February. State-run newspapers ran headlines urging the migrants to seek ticket refunds and stay put for the holiday.

Li Moming, 48, a construction worker, spent the night on the street, enduring a bone-chilling drizzle. The train that was to take him to his home village in central Henan province – 20 hours away – was cancelled. He said his next move might be to scrap his travel plans and spend the holiday in his dormitory room at his work. “I thought about taking a bus, but the highways are shut down, too. Oh well, what can you do?” said a jovial Mr Li, dressed in a mud-splattered brown pinstripe suit for his ill-fated return journey home……. (more details from scotsman.com)

Posted in China, disaster, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Life, News, SE China, Social, transport, World | Comments Off on China: 500,000 Passengers Stranded By Snowstorms in Guangzhou Train Station

Dry, Polluted, Plagued by Rats: The Crisis in China’s Greatest Yangtze River

Posted by Author on January 19, 2008


Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian, UK, Thursday January 17 2008-

The waters of the Yangtze have fallen to their lowest levels since 1866, disrupting drinking supplies, stranding ships and posing a threat to some of the world’s most endangered species.

Asia’s longest river is losing volume as a result of a prolonged dry spell, the state media warned yesterday, predicting hefty economic losses and a possible plague of rats on nearby farmland.

News of the drought – which is likely to worsen pollution in the river – comes amid dire reports about the impact of rapid economic growth on China’s environment.

The government also revealed yesterday that the country’s most prosperous province, Guangdong, has just had its worst year of smog since the Communist party took power in 1949, while 56,000 square miles of coastline waters failed to meet environmental standards.

But the immediate concern is the Yangtze, which supplies water to hundreds of millions of people and thousands of factories in a delta that accounts for more than 40% of China’s economic output. According to the Chinese media, precipitation and water levels are at or near record lows in its middle and upper stretches.

The scale of the problem was revealed by the Yangtze water resources commission in a report on the Xinhua news agency’s website yesterday. It said that the Hankou hydrological centre near Wuhan city found the river’s depth had fallen to its lowest level in 142 years.

The measurement confirmed fears raised in recent weeks by the appearance of islands and mud flats not normally seen at this time of year. Local farmers reported far more ships than usual being trapped in unnavigable shallow waters.

Jianli county is among the areas suffering water shortages. Officials say the problem has grown worse in the past decade, raising concerns of a link to climate change.

“Before 1996, we were short of water for three months of the year, but now there are only three months when we can use water as normal,” Wu Chunping, the vice-manager of Jianli county’s water utility, was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “I heard that the water level will drop further in February.”

Li Lifeng, director of the freshwater programme of WWF China, said: “The major worry is for aquatic species and birds. If the water level goes too low they will lose a huge level of habitat.”

Among the endangered animals likely to be affected are the finless porpoise and the Chinese sturgeon, which returns to the sea at this time of year.

With the Yangtze three times as crowded with traffic as the Mississippi, conservationists fear the animals will be torn up by boat propellers or contaminated by more concentrated pollution from the 9,000 chemical plants along the Yangtze. Birds such as the Siberian crane may also suffer from the impact on their wintering area.

Local media have expressed concern that the drought could lead to a plague of rats similar to the one near Dongting lake last year after a drought was followed by fast-rising waters that drove the vermin to seek food in farm fields. “When the waters fall, the reeds die and the rats are driven inland in search of food,” said an official in the Yueyang farming and aquatic bureau who declined to give his name.

Original report from the Guardian

Posted in Central China, China, disaster, Drought, Environment, Health, Hubei, Life, News, Plague, pollution, River, Social, transport, water, World, Wuhan, Yangtze river | 1 Comment »

China’s Longest River at Lowest in 142 Years

Posted by Author on January 19, 2008


Reuters, Jan 17, 2008-

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) – China’s longest river, the Yangtze, is suffering from a severe drought this year with water levels in some areas falling to the lowest in 142 years, state media said on Thursday.

China is suffering its worst drought in a decade, which has left millions of people short of drinking water and has shrunk reservoirs and rivers.

Hardest hit are large swathes of the usually humid south, where water levels on several major rivers have plunged to historic lows in recent months.

On Jan. 8, the Yangtze water level at Hankou plunged to 13.98 metres (46 ft), the lowest since records began in 1866, the China Daily said on Thursday, quoting the Wuhan-based Changjiang Times.

“This year’s drought is rare,” Li Changmin, a farmer from central Hubei province, was quoted as saying. “Just days ago, I saw ship after ship running aground. I have never seen that before.”

Since October, more than 40 ships have run aground in the main course of the Yangtze, the world’s third longest river which stretches 6,300 km (3,900 miles) from west to east, the traditional dividing line between north and south China.

This year’s dry season came a month earlier than usual and water levels fell sooner than expected, an official was quoted as saying.

“Also, large amounts of water were stored at the Three Gorges Dam last month, which caused the flow volume in the river to fall 50 percent. But the Yangtze River Water Resource Commission said the drought has nothing to do with the dam,” the China Daily said.

The Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, is an engineering feat that seeks to tame the Yangtze.

Backers say the dam will end devastating floods downstream and generate clean electricity. Critics call it a reckless folly that has brought wrenching dislocation for many people.

Drought and floods are perennial problems in China but meteorologists have complained about the increased extreme weather, pointing to global climate change as a culprit.

Original report from Reuters

Posted in Central China, China, dam, disaster, Drought, Environment, Hubei, Life, News, River, Three Gorges, transport, water, World, Wuhan, Yangtze river | Comments Off on China’s Longest River at Lowest in 142 Years

China: Hundreds Protest Shanghai Maglev Rail Extension, Dozens Detained

Posted by Author on January 15, 2008


By Royston Chan and Sophie Taylor, Reuters, Sat Jan 12, 2008-

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Hundreds of people marched through China’s financial hub of Shanghai on Saturday protesting a planned extension of the city’s magnetic levitation train, or “maglev”, worried it would emit radiation and sicken them.

Police initially detained dozens of people, bundling them into waiting cars, vans and buses, as protesters gathered in front of city hall shouting “We don’t want the maglev” and carrying placards reading: “No to maglev — bad for health”.

“We are afraid how the radiation will affect us. Why does the government not listen to our concerns?” said a protester surnamed Guan, adding the extension would pass within 100 meters (328 ft) of her house.

As police cordoned off the city government in People’s Square, once home to a race track in Shanghai’s colonial heyday, demonstrators took off down the fashionable Nanjing Road shopping area.

The protest was the largest the cosmopolitan and wealthy city has seen since thousands took to the streets in sometimes violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in 2005.

“I’m marching against the proposed line as it’s too close to town. It’s going to be noisy and emit pollution,” said another protester, who would only give his family name, Liu.

“If you have a house near the line, you will not be able to sell it for as much money,” he added.

Some demonstrators handed out anti-Nazi resistance poems in German, while others sang the Chinese national anthem.

In a prepared statement, a spokesman for the Shanghai city government said authorities had “persuaded” the protesters to disperse because they were affecting public order.

He said the government was still in the process of showing to the public a proposal for the maglev project, which would help to improve the transport system of the city and the whole country.

“We hope city residents will go through legal channels to express their opinions rationally, and not use methods that affect public order,” he added.

The protest gradually dispersed peacefully under a light drizzle in the early evening. The police kept their distance as people left.

The country is grappling with an acknowledged rise in unrest, driven by anger at illegal land grabs, corruption, environmental woes and a rising rich-poor gap, though large scale protests in big cities are rare.

“Yes, it’s an illegal protest. But we’ve been pushed into a corner,” said another protester……. ( more details from Reuters: Hundreds protest Shanghai maglev rail extension)

Posted in China, City resident, East China, Environment, Health, Human Rights, Incident, Law, Life, News, People, pollution, Protest, shanghai, Social, transport, World | Comments Off on China: Hundreds Protest Shanghai Maglev Rail Extension, Dozens Detained

Crushed Bus Lifts China Three Gorges Dam Area Landslide Deaths to More Than 30

Posted by Author on November 23, 2007


By Chris Buckley, Reuters, Nov 23, 2007-

BEIJING, Nov 23 (Reuters) – The death toll from a landslide near China’s massive Three Gorges Dam soared on Friday when state media revealed the collapse had crushed a bus, killing about 30 people.

The bus was found three days after Tuesday’s landslide. Early reports from the Xinhua news agency had put casualties at the railway tunnel construction site at one worker killed, one injured and two missing.

The latest report from the scene in Badong county, Hubei province, said a road near the rail site had also been buried under rocks and earth.

Rescuers said there were no signs of life on the bus, a long-distance coach from Shanghai crowded with returning migrant workers. Just how many died remains unclear.

Records taken at a checkpoint close to the accident showed it had been carrying 27 people, but did not make clear whether that included or excluded three staff recorded when the bus left Shanghai, said Zeng Bing, a Badong government official.

The victims included a four-month-old boy and his 20-year-old mother, according to a local government Web site.

“We’ve starting digging out the bus, but the chances of survivors are really, really dim,” said Zeng. “It’s been too long, and the bus was totally crushed.”

A manager from the Lichuan Lida Bus Company told Reuters that officials had been alerted to the missing bus only after relatives and the company contacted them with their worries.

The landslide struck near a tributary of the 660-km (410-mile) Three Gorges Dam reservoir, sending down 1,000 cubic metres of rocks and mud and scaffolding, according to a report on the Badong official Web site (www.cjbd.com.cn).

The disaster appeared to be the latest warning of geological threats around the dam. Reports have not speculated on whether the slide could be linked to the dam’s rising waters, which are due to peak at 175 metres (574 feet) above sea level next year.

Badong is one of the steep areas along the reservoir that locals recently told Reuters have seen more landslides and tremors since the water level rose last year, increasing pressure on brittle slopes.

In September, dam officials warned of potential “environmental catastrophe” unless erosion and geological instability around the reservoir were controlled — an abrupt departure from bright propaganda about the world’s biggest dam.

Since then they have repeatedly said those threats are being dealt with and the dam’s environment is better than expected.

“There have been no injuries or deaths” due to dam-related landslides, Tong Chongde, a spokesman for the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee, told a small news briefing on Thursday. Phone calls to Tong on Friday went unanswered.

In the rainy summer of 2007, landslides across the dam area killed at least 13, according to local news reports and the dam’s own environmental agency.

Rescuers used explosives to shatter boulders blocking access to the crushed bus, the Badong government said.

The provincial government said grieving families would be cared for and it ordered officials to “protect social stability”, the Badong government report said. (Additional reporting by Guo Shipeng, editing by Nick Macfie and Roger Crabb)

– Original report from Reuters : Crushed bus lifts China dam area landslide deaths

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Mercedes and BMW Angry Over China Car ‘Copies’

Posted by Author on August 31, 2007


REUTERS via New Zealand Herald, August 31, 2007-

According to the Financial Times, Mercedes and BMW are both threatening legal action over Chinese-made models that look remarkably similar to their own cars.

Even the German Chancellor is getting involved: Angela Merkel recently described copyright infringement in China as “a big problem” during a speech in Beijing.

Mercedes is upset about a car called a Noble, that looks very similar to a smart, while BMW is angry about a Shuanghuan CEO which bears more than a passing resemblance to the previous-generation X5.

Western car companies are usually wary of attacking Chinese car-makers as they need joint ventures with them to enter the Chinese market.

However BMW and Mercedes are such strong brands that they probably feel more confident than most – they also have more to lose from plagiarism. – REUTERS

– Report from New Zealand Herald : Mercedes and BMW angry over Chinese knock-offs

Posted in Business, Cars, China, Company, Copyrights, East China, Economy, Europe, Law, Made in China, News, products, shanghai, Technology, Trade, World | Comments Off on Mercedes and BMW Angry Over China Car ‘Copies’

Beijing’s Pollution Rises in 4-Day Test Of Restricted Driving

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007


By Maureen Fan, Washington Post Foreign Service, Tuesday, August 21, 2007-

BEIJING, Aug. 20 — Despite a move by authorities to slash the number of motorists in Beijing by more than a million during a pre-Olympics pollution test, the city’s skies remained a hazy white Monday evening and pollution levels showed a slight increase over the four-day trial period, Beijing’s Environmental Protection Bureau said.

A top Chinese environmental official attributed the increase to humid weather and said pollution levels had been higher just before the test began.

Pollution remains a challenge for organizers of next summer’s Olympic Games. Authorities fear Beijing’s smoggy skies could threaten athletes’ health and have said events might be postponed as a result. The problem reflects the difficulties China faces as it struggles to meet environmental goals without curbing economic growth…… ( more details from Washington Post’s report)

Posted in air, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Economy, Environment, Event, Health, Life, News, pollution, Sports, transport, World | 1 Comment »

WHO Warns On Beijing Air Pollution- Think twice before travelling to the 2008 China Olympics

Posted by Author on August 18, 2007


BBC News, 17 August 2007-

Some spectators attending the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing face serious health problems due to air pollution, a leading health expert has warned.

Dr Michal Krzyzanowski of the World Health Organisation told the BBC that those with a history of cardiovascular problems should take particular care.

He also said the city’s poor air quality could trigger asthma attacks.

The warning came as Beijing began a four-day test scheme to take 1.3m vehicles off the city’s roads.

During the test period, cars with registration plates ending in odd and even numbers will each be banned from the roads for two day.

Any driver caught contravening the restrictions will be fined 100 yuan ($13, £6.50) by 6,500 police officers.

If the strategy works, it will be used next August to reduce air pollution and traffic during the Olympics.

Officials expect the ban to cut vehicle emissions by 40%, although correspondents said thick smog continued to hang over the city on Friday.

Beijing’s residents, who are being told to take public transport rather than their cars during the test period, appear to be supporting the pilot project.

‘Highly polluted’

But despite the plans to cut emissions, Dr Krzyzanowski said the WHO still feared for the welfare of those planning to attend the games next year.

“All of the cities are pretty highly polluted by European standards, but even by the standards of Asia, Chinese cities are pretty highly polluted,” he told BBC Sport.

“The main problem in Chinese cities is air pollution, small particles which are suspended in the air and penetrate deep into the lungs,” he added.

“More importantly they penetrate other systems, like the cardio-vascular system and travel in the blood through the body.”

Dr Krzyzanowski said people who were not in perfect health ought to think twice before travelling to the games, given the additional stress generated by the excitement of a sporting event, the heat and the poor quality air.

“For them, exposure to high pollution levels may be a trigger to serious problems if they already have, for instance, cardio-vascular disease,” he said.

“Those who come with asthma may suffer attacks – they usually know how to respond to it, but I would be concerned for those who have some cardiac condition,” he added.

“This might be more serious as it requires a much more specialised medical response.”

Traffic doubts

International Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge warned last week that events could be postponed if conditions were unhealthy, while some countries say their competitors will arrive in Beijing as late as possible to avoid exposure to pollution.

The air pollution expert also cast doubt on the effectiveness of the Beijing Organising Committee’s experimental traffic ban, saying reducing pollution required long term planning rather than short term fixes.

“I’d be amazed if substantial progress is made in the next 12 months,” he said, pointing out that Beijing’s problems are not just created locally.

“Particles have the ability of travelling thousands of kilometres in the air, so it’s possible the beneficial effect of cutting the traffic in the city will be compensated by the transport of pollution from other parts of China.”

Beijing, home to about 16 million people, has just over 3 million registered vehicles, mostly comprising private cars, buses, taxis and government vehicles.

– Original report from BBC News: WHO fears over Beijing pollution

Posted in air, Asia, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Cars, China, Environment, Event, Health, Life, News, pollution, Sports, transport, travel, World | 2 Comments »

Beijing Sidelines a Million Cars for Testing Olympic Air Pollution And Traffic Flow

Posted by Author on August 17, 2007


By Daniel Schearf, VOA News, Beijing, 17 August 2007-

Beijing is pulling more than a million cars from the streets to test the effect on air quality and traffic flow. The four-day experiment is part of a search for ways to improve the Chinese capital’s notorious air pollution and horrific traffic jams during next year’s Olympic games. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

For four days, most vehicles in Beijing will only be allowed to take to the road on alternate days – odd-numbered license plates one day, even numbers the next.

China’s official Xinhua news agency says the temporary measure is expected to remove more than a third of Beijing’s three million-plus vehicles from city streets.

If the test leads to significant improvements in air quality and traffic flow, Beijing may use a similar method during the Olympic games next year, when 2.5 million visitors are expected to put added strains on the city’s already clogged transportation systems.

Wen Bo is based in Beijing-based for Pacific Environment, a San-Francisco environmental group. He says limiting cars might affect traffic, but is not likely to have a big impact on Beijing’s air quality. He says the city is surrounded by too much polluting industry for temporary measures to make much of a difference.

“Lots of factories have been relocated out of Beijing but they are still surrounding the city. So, they have to deal with the entire region. It’s not just one city,” he said. “You cannot just have a pocket of clean air and a sea of polluted air all around it. By reducing car numbers on the street, you’re only dealing with one section of the problem.”

Olympic teams are worried that the heavy air pollution may affect their athletes’ health during the games.

The International Olympic Committee president said some endurance events might have to be postponed if Beijing’s air quality is too poor……. ( more details from VOA News : Beijing Sidelines a Million Cars for Olympic Air-Quality Test)

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China Bridge Safety Scare: Bridge Collapse Killed 22 At Least

Posted by Author on August 14, 2007


Reuters, Via Yahoo News, 2007-08-14:

BEIJING (Reuters) – A road bridge under construction across a river in southern China collapsed, killing 22 people and injuring 22, state media reported on Tuesday, but witnesses expected the death toll to rise substantially.

At least 39 people were missing after the 320-metre (1,000-foot) concrete arc bridge spanning the Tuo river in Fenghuang county, Hunan province, collapsed on Monday during the evening rush hour, Xinhua news agency said.

Some 400 police had been sent to the scene to keep order, Xinhua said.

Pictures showed bulldozers and rescue workers picking through a massive pile of debris stretching between two hills at the banks of the river.

“I saw a lot of bodies lying on the road, some of them were construction workers, and some were passers-by … blood was everywhere,” Yang Shunzhong, a witness, told Reuters.

“A car was crushed flat under the bridge, it was so ruined that I could not even tell the size of the car,” he said by telephone.

Police told Yang that they had found about 60 bodies, and more rescue workers were searching for the missing buried amid the ruins and in the river below.

State-run China Central Television reported the death toll at 22, but Yang said “people on the scene” told him it could rise much higher.

“A lot of women and children were on the scene, crying and looking for their families or friends,” Yang added.

DANGEROUS BRIDGES

A total of 123 workers were at the site of the 42-metre (138-foot) high bridge, which had been scheduled for completion this month, Xinhua said.

They had been “dismantling steel scaffolding erected during the construction process” at the 12 million yuan ($1.58 million) bridge since mid-July, it added.

Part of the bridge collapsed across a highway linking Fenghuang county to an airport in neighboring Guizhou province’s Tongren region, according to a notice posted on the local government Web site on Tuesday.

The accident was under investigation and police had detained a construction manager and a “project supervisor” for questioning, the agency said. (…… more details from Reuters’ report: China bridge death toll rises to 22, dozens missing)

Posted in China, Economy, Hunan, Incident, Life, News, People, South China, transport, Worker | Comments Off on China Bridge Safety Scare: Bridge Collapse Killed 22 At Least