2 pandas to leave for Russia for 15-year research project

Giant pandaDing Ding is seen with her mother Hai Zi. [Photo/chinanews.com]

CHENGDU — A pair of giant pandas will leave for Moscow, Russia for collaborative research, a panda research base in southwest China’s Sichuan Province said Friday.

Male Ru Yi, born in 2016, and female Ding Ding, born in 2017, are scheduled to depart Chengdu on April 29 and arrive in Moscow at 10:00 pm Beijing Time the same day, the research base said.

The pair of giant pandas will live in the Moscow Zoo for 15 years, according to the research project.

On February 28, the China Wildlife Conservation Association and the Moscow Zoo signed an agreement on the protection and research cooperation of giant pandas.

The Moscow Zoo has sent full-time keepers and veterinarians to China in advance to learn about the breeding and medical care of giant pandas.

Around China: Cashier embezzled funds to reward gamer

HUBEI

Cashier embezzled funds to reward gamer

A cashier was sentenced to seven years behind bars for using more than 4.9 million yuan ($731,340) worth of company funds to reward a male online game host in Wuhan. Yang, a cashier from a local company, said rewarding the game host helped ease her stress. Yang who was under investigation of spending a large amount of company funds to reward the host between August 2016 and August last year, surrendered to police after she was exposed. Yang’s family later returned about 400,000 yuan to her company. The judge said Yang had committed embezzlement and misappropriated company funds.

WUHAN EVENING NEWS

Nephew guilty of stealing from aunt

A man surnamed Kong was found guilty of secretly transferring a total of 2,067 yuan ($305) from his aunt’s Alipay account into his own Alipay account in Wuhan on May 5. The judge said that those who steal more than 2,000 yuan would be convicted in Wuhan, and the 26-year-old man would be sentenced to between four and six months in jail according to relevant laws and local regulations. Kong secretly transferred money into his account on three separate occasions from the Alipay account of his aunt, who is surnamed Zhang, after he learned her password late last year. After Zhang sought police help earlier this year, an investigation found Kong to be the one transferring the money. Kong surrendered to police thereafter and said he would like to return the money to his aunt.

WUHAN EVENING NEWS

Swindler cheats five single women

A man, who passed himself off as the son of a rich business tycoon to misappropriate more than 900,000 yuan ($132,800) from five single women, was detained in Xishui county. One woman, surnamed Wang, was cheated of a total of 720,000 yuan. Feng, 43, told his victims that he ran two companies in Guangdong province and asked them to give him their money for investment. In the last few months, he used the money he received from his victims to buy cars and other expensive gifts for other victims before cheating them as well. The swindler was detained after one of his victims reported him to the police. An investigation was launched at the beginning of May.

CHUTIAN METROPOLIS DAILY

GUANGDONG

Man’s suicide attempt ends in mud bath

A man, surnamed Huang, who jumped into the sea to commit suicide when the tide was ebbing became a “mud person” after he was pulled out by police officers in Shenzhen. Officers who were patrolling Shenzhen Bay Park quickly arrived at the scene and organized a rescue team when they heard Huang shouting for help. Huang was found standing with half of his body in the mud, about 50 meters from shore.

Huang was then pulled out of the mud, and was brought to shore in 30 minutes. Huang, 37, said he wanted to end his life after he lost a large sum of money in an investment and had a fierce quarrel with his wife about a housing problem. Huang eventually gave up his suicide attempt and returned home after being persuaded by police officers.

GUANGZHOU DAILY

SICHUAN

Runaway teenager walks on expressway

A 13-year-old boy who ran away from home and walked barefooted on an expressway was brought to safety by traffic police in Chengdu on May 4. Traffic police were dispatched to the scene after the teenager in a red T-shirt was seen walking along the city’s third Huangcheng Expressway at about 4:30 pm. The boy said he left home in a fit after having a fierce quarrel with his mother because the latter asked him to wash the bowls after a meal.

CHENGDU BUSINESS DAILY

ZHEJIANG

Mobile phone addiction causes lake accident

A 19-year-old woman surnamed Peng who fell into a lake was still in critical condition at the Hangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine on May 6. Doctors said Peng has serious liver damage and pneumonia. The incident took place at about 10 am when Peng who was playing with her mobile phone missed a step while walking along the West Lake bank. Peng fainted as she was pulled ashore by a young man who refused to reveal his name, and was thereafter rushed to hospital.

QIANJIANG EVENING NEWS

SHANDONG

Inn owner installed needle camera in room

A man has been placed in detention for 20 days and fined 500 yuan ($74) for installing a needle camera in a room of his inn in Qingdao. Ai who runs an inn was also ordered by police to refund the money for the room to his victim Yun Fei, and his inn was closed for thorough inspections. Ai was detained when Yun sought police help on May 5 after the latter found the camera in the room after check-in. Police said Ai committed an invasion of privacy.

BEIJING YOUTH DAILY

YUNNAN

Largest cobra caught in Kunming housing estate

A 2.5-meter-long cobra that was caught in a Kunming housing estate had been released back into the wild. The snake, which weighs more than 3 kilograms, had entered through a hole in the wall between the third and fourth floors of a residential building in Xishan district on May 5. Forestry police officers were dispatched to the scene after receiving a report. It took police officers more than half an hour to catch the cobra, which is a species under State protection. It is the largest cobra that has been found in a housing estate in the urban area of Kunming city.

CHINANEWS.COM.CN

Fuzhou govt orders removal of hundreds of graveyards in forest

Fuzhou, Fujian province, said it has ordered the immediate removal of hundreds of new burial sites that take up forest land and threaten to pollute a reservoir in the region.

The order, which came after a report by Xinhua News Agency on Friday, said that a large number of illegal graveyards on hills in the outskirts of Fuzhou, breached local interment regulations banning private burial grounds in forests, on farmland or at scenic spots.

The report aroused wide attention as Tomb Sweeping Day, also known as Qingming Festival, falls on April 5 this year. It is a traditional Chinese holiday where people pay tribute to deceased family and friends.

Trees in areas of Nanyang Mountain in Fuzhou’s Changle district were cut down to make way for new graveyards, some of which occupied 100 square meters, the report said.

Several hundred graveyards had appeared in the hills surrounding the Sanxi Reservoir, a national water conservation zone in the same region.

According to the report, heavy rain could wash away unused gravel and soil, left behind after the construction of these graveyards, into the reservoir.

The graveyards named in the report, all of which are concentrated in three counties or districts of Fuzhou, will be removed within 10 days, and trees and vegetation will be restored, Xinhua quoted the municipal government as saying over the weekend.

The government also called for inspections to be launched in other parts of the city and to have all illegal cemeteries cleared out within a month.

It added that it will redouble its efforts to build public graveyards to address the shortage of burial facilities in some rural areas and to meet the demands of the public.

The city’s civil affairs bureau and the natural resources and planning bureau will roll out and enforce new regulations on burial practices.

In recent years, Fuzhou has launched several campaigns aimed at resolving issues within the city’s funeral and interment sector, including illegal private cemeteries, overpriced public graveyards and extremely large graveyards that are excessively decorated.

However, stealth construction of burial sites without permits are still prevalent in rural areas, as violators often sneak in during evenings, rainy days, weekends or holidays to escape observation by the authorities.

A shortage of government-backed burial grounds in rural areas has also fueled the unauthorized burial sites, the local government said.

Hu Minhui, head of the civil affairs bureau of Fuzhou’s Changle district, suggested streamlining the application process for building public graveyards in villages and loosening requirements governing the use of private funds in the sector, he said in a follow-up report.

Hu added that since the second half of last year, nearly 2,000 illegal graveyards in the district have been demolished and filled up.

10 people injured in chemical plant blast discharged from hospital

HOHHOT – Ten people, who were injured in an explosion in a chemical plant in north China last week, have been discharged from hospitals after treatment, local authorities said Monday.

The blast which left four dead and 35 injured occurred at 2:55 am on April 24 in a workshop of the Dongxing Chemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Inner Mongolia Yidong Group Corp. Ltd. in Zhuozi County of Ulanqab city, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Another 25 people who were injured in the accident are still hospitalized and in stable condition, according to the leading work group in charge of handling the accident.

The work group said tests have shown that air, soil and water quality near the site of the blast remain normal. All the local residents who were evacuated have returned to their homes.

The families of the four victims have been comforted. Compensation is also under discussion.

The cause of the blast is being investigated.

Museum of heartbreak in Harbin attracts over 15,000 visitors

Remains of a breakup are displayed at the Museum of Broken Relationships in Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province. [Photo by Zhou Huiying/chinadaily.com.cn]

A museum in Harbin, capital of Northeast China’s Heilongjiang province, telling stories of heartbreak has attracted over 15,000 visitors in ten days.

“Since the beginning of March when I posted messages on different online social platforms looking for remnants of breakups, I have received more than 1,000 calls from all over the country,” said Liu Yan, 25, organizer of the Museum of Broken Relationships.

“After listening to their stories, I accepted about 100 items from 50 people, ranging from dozens of railway tickets to handwritten letters, a pair of shoes, an unusable mobile phone and a new wedding dress.”

Liu quit her job as a tour guide in March and put all her savings of about 200,000 yuan ($30,000) into the business.

“All the items and stories have special meaning to the donors,” she said. “Some donors hope to help themselves to get rid of the pain from breaking up through sharing the items and stories, while some donors expect to help those in sweet relationships to cherish their lovers.”

“Walking around the museum brought back lots of memories of my ex-boyfriend,” said Dong Xin, 23, a senior student at a university in Harbin. “We ended our four-year, long-distance relationship last year.”

“I still keep all my train tickets between our two cities,” Dong said. “Now I hope the owner of the museum can accept them.”

“I plan to regularly reprise the exhibition and bring the museum to different cities in the future,” said Liu. “I also keep in contact with the donors. Whenever they want to get back their belongings, I will return immediately. If they completely give up, I will preserve their items for them.”

China sees surge in exit-entry permit applications

The administration said that exit and entry management departments nationwide issued 97.21 million passports and travel permits for individuals and tour groups last year, an increase of 12.6 percent compared with 2017.[Photo by Xu Congjun/Asianewsphoto]

BEIJING — China witnessed a surge in the number of applications for exit-entry permits on Monday, the first day a new regulation to streamline related application procedures took effect.

About 77,000 exit-entry permit applications from citizens with household registration from elsewhere were handled on Monday, including 22,000 for passports, figures from the National Immigration Administration show.

There were also 24,000 applications for travel passes for Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions as well as Taiwan and 31,000 for group tour endorsements for the three regions.

According to the new regulation, Chinese citizens on the mainland, regardless of where they were born or live, are able to apply for the aforementioned travel documents at any immigration administrations across the country.

Citizens are no longer required to return to their household registration place to apply for exit-entry permits.

North China forest fire put out

TAIYUAN — Open fire has been extinguished in Qinyuan county, North China’s Shanxi province, after a six-day firefighting operation, local official said Thursday.

Rescue forces of more than 15,000 people have been battling the last line of the fire since Tuesday. Around 90 percent of the fire affected area has been cleared, and a total of 80 fire engines are on standby at the site to prevent after-combustion.

The fire broke out in the afternoon of March 29, and no casualties were reported so far.

Cause of the fire is under investigation.

Cinema showing films in Burmese launched in Yunnan

Officials take a group picture at the launch of the cinema in Southwest China’s Yunnan that shows films in Burmese on April 13, 2019. [Photo by Yin Shaoping/Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China’s first cinema that shows films in the Burmese language opened in Ruili, Southwest China’s Yunnan province, on Saturday, as the city celebrated one of its most important festivals, the Water Splashing Festival.

Named Bao Bo Hall in Chinese – transliterated from the word “brotherhood” in Burmese, the dedicated screening room is in a 1,500-square-meter new cinema built with an investment of 12 million yuan ($1.78 million).

Films to be shown in the hall will be dubbed and subtitled in Burmese.

A major border crossing between China and Myanmar, Ruili is now home to approximately 60,000 Burmese people, accounting for about one-third of its population.

In benefitting from the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, the small city has seen an increasingly close and active interaction between the two nations, both economically and culturally.

“We hope that the hall not only will become a platform for people from the two nations to enjoy excellent cinematic works of both countries, but also a starting point for more and deeper cultural exchanges,” said Hou Sheng, secretary-general of Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture.

Last year, a cross-border marathon was organized by the prefecture. About 10,000 runners participated in the marathon, which started from Ruili and included 7 kilometers in Muse, Myanmar, before re-crossing the border back to the Chinese city.

The first two films screened were Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, a 2011 3D martial arts film featuring Jet Li and Zhou Xun, and Amazing China, a 2018 documentary reviewing the country’s achievements in science, technology and economy.

Nearly 90 pct of young Chinese identify with Marxism: survey

College students in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, hold a flag of the Communist Youth Colleague to celebrate the upcoming 100th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement, April 15, 2019. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING — As China celebrates the centenary of the May Fourth Movement, a recent survey conducted by the China Youth Daily found that 87.6 percent of young Chinese identify with Marxism.

A total of 10,393 young Chinese from 31 provincial regions in China have participated in the survey conducted from April 19 to 29, among whom 67.4 percent were born in or after 1990.

Of all the respondents, 89.3 percent of those born in or after 2000 identify with Marxism, the highest percentage of all age groups, the newspaper reported Friday.

This is followed by those born between 1980 and 1990 and those born between 1990 and 2000, of whom 88 percent and 87.8 percent identify with Marxism respectively.

About 54 percent of the respondents said that they have paid close attention to news reports about the centennial celebration of the May Fourth Movement.

The May Fourth Movement in 1919 is widely considered a great patriotic and revolutionary campaign pioneered by advanced young intellectuals and joined by people from all walks of life to resolutely fight imperialism and feudalism.

Arts festival looks to future, with an eye on the past

Visitors examine products inspired by cultural heritage on Sunday at an expo coinciding with the 12th China Art Festival in Shanghai. The festival opened on Monday.GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY

There’s a genre to please every art lover – from dance and stage drama to folk opera – at the 12th China Art Festival, which officially opened on Monday in Shanghai.

More than 1,200 works of calligraphy, photography and paintings are also on display at the festival, which runs for more than two weeks.

This is the first time Shanghai has hosted the event, the largest and most important national celebration of art and culture organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which has taken place every three years since it was launched in Beijing in 1987.

The festival aims to present the country’s latest developments in art, theater and culture through exhibitions and stage shows by both professional performance groups and grassroots communities.

Two awards – the Wenhua (Splendor) Award for professional stage performances and the Qunxing (Galaxy) Award, the country’s top prize for amateur artistic works – will be presented at the end of the festival.

As a highlight of the event, 51 performing arts productions, including folk operas, children’s plays, dance theater shows, musicals and concerts, will undertake 102 performances in 19 theaters.

“As it is a festival, it is important to bring performances, artworks and cultural products to the people,” said Yu Xiufen, head of Shanghai’s culture and tourism bureau. “We will also host more than 60 charity performances, taking artists to neighborhoods, public areas and schools.”

Sixty percent of the tickets for the shows, which cost up to 380 yuan, are mid to low price, Yu said.

Marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the festival is a mix of reinterpreted classics and new creations inspired by true stories to showcase the nation’s ancient heritage and modern, contemporary life, the organizers said.

The opening show presented at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on Monday, The Eternal Wave by Shanghai Dance Theatre, typifies those sentiments.

As one of the three stage productions from the host city to compete for the Wenhua Award, the play is based on the true life of revolutionary martyr Li Bai. It tells the story of a communist underground telegraph operator working in grave danger who is shot on the eve of Shanghai’s liberation.

Determined to create a revolutionary-themed production for contemporary generations, Shanghai Dance Theatre made new explorations in the choreography, narrative and aesthetic presentation, said the theater’s director, Chen Feihua.

Since its trial performance in December, The Eternal Wave has had more than 20 performances across the country, winning high praise from audiences and academics.

The diverse offerings of the festival also include a ballet inspired by paintings in the Mogao grottoes of Dunhuang and the back story of China’s first domestically manufactured aircraft.

A total of 84 public performing art shows, selected from 790 projects from over China by local cultural and tourism administrations, also competed for the Qunxing Awards from May 16 to 19 in the categories of dance, music, theater and quyi – traditional Chinese folk performances combining theater with talk show and ballad singing.

The competition was live streamed on cloud platforms supported by local cultural administrations, and total views are expected to reach 10 million.

Also part of the festival is an expo of cultural and creative merchandise for performing arts, which takes place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center from May 19 to 22.

The festival also includes an exhibition of award-winning paintings, calligraphy, seal making and photographic works from across the country, which opened at the China Art Museum in Shanghai on Monday.

The exhibition, which will run until Aug 14, has almost 1,000 pieces on display.

The festival will end on June 2 when the 16th Wenhua Award is presented to 10 winners.