Archive for the Changchun Category

Chinese city launches bicycle tours to DPRK [Xinhua]

Posted in Changchun, DPR Korea, Tourism on May 10, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

CHANGCHUN, May 2 (Xinhua) — A border city in northeast China launched Friday bicycle tours to the neighboring Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as tourism to the country booms.

Thirty-five Chinese tourists joined the first self-drive travel by bicycle from Tumen City, Jilin Province, to DPRK’s Namyang city, said organizers. The tourists spent three hours in the DPRK.

The bicycle tour is inexpensive and only needs simple procedures, said an official of the Tumen Tourism Bureau. He said the route is expected to attract more tourists to the DPRK.

Excursions by train from Tumen to the DPRK’s Chilbosan resumed on Wednesday. The tourist train was launched in April 2012, but was later suspended.

Tumen has highway and railway service to the DPRK.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-05/02/c_133305657.htm

NE China border resumes train tour to DPRK [Xinhua]

Posted in Changchun, China, DPR Korea, Tourism on May 10, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

CHANGCHUN, April 30 (Xinhua) — Tourist excursions between northeast China’s Jilin province and the neighboring Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) came back online on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Jilin tourism bureau, excursions by train from the port city of Tumen in China to the DPRK last four days and three nights at a cost of around 1,900 yuan (300 U.S.dollars).

Tourist groups can visit Chilbosan on the central coast of North Hamgyong province in DPRK, go sightseeing and sample local seafood delicacies. Travelers can stay in hotels or in local traditional houses. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Tumen is separated from DPRK by the Tumen River. The cross-border city has abundant tourism resources as it is linked with DPRK by highways and railways.

The tourist train between Tumen and Chilbosan Mountain was launched in April 2012, but was later suspended.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-04/30/c_133301892.htm

Jilin officials, executives punished over deadly poultry plant fire, colliery blasts [Xinhua]

Posted in Changchun, China, Corruption, Employment, Energy, Jilin Province, Labor, Law enforcement on July 10, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) — More than 100 Chinese officials and enterprise executives found to be responsible for two deadly workplace accidents were prosecuted, sacked, demoted or given disciplinary punishment, the State Council said Saturday.

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, said in a statement it had approved an investigation report regarding the two deadly accidents in northeastern province of Jilin as well as a punishment proposal for those responsible for the accidents that left 174 people dead in total.

Thirty-five people including government officials and company executives would be transferred to the judicial authorities for prosecution, while 73 others, including Jilin’s deputy governor Gu Chunli, deputy governor and police chief Huang Guanchun, and former top work safety official Jin Hua, have been given disciplinary sanctions.

The Jilin provincial government was ordered by the State Council to conduct self-criticism.

A fire ripped through a poultry plant owned by the Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company in Dehui City on June 3 , leaving 121 dead and 76 injured.

The fire came months after two coal mine blasts that occurred on March 29 and April 1, respectively, at the Babao Coal Mine in Baishan City, Jilin Province, killed 53 people and injured 20 others.

Both cases are “extraordinarily significant liability accidents,” the report said, indicating human errors, particularly the lack of work safety supervision, are to blame.

In the Dehui fire accident, an electrical short has been identified as the direct cause, and the short ignited “combustible goods” nearby and the heat set off “physical explosions” of ammonia equipment and pipelines, according to the report.

Meanwhile, lack of safety measures within the workshop as well as lax supervision by fire-control, construction, and work safety supervision authorities are also to blame for the accident, the report said.

Nineteen people including the company’s board chairman Jia Yushan, general manager Zhang Yushen, and firefighting officials in Dehui and Changchun, capital of Jilin, as well as local government officials were subject to judicial punishment.

Apart from deputy governor Huang Guanchun, those who were given disciplinary punishment also include Changchun Mayor Jiang Qiaying, and Li Shutian, general director of the provincial firefighting brigade.

Dehui city’s Party chief Zhang Dexiang, mayor Liu Changchun, and police chief Wang Hua’an were dismissed from their posts.

Dereliction of duty was also reported in the Babao Coal Mine blasts, according to the investigation report.

Due to insufficient fire-preventing measures, self-ignition of coal led to gas blasts in the mine, the report said, referring to the direct cause of the blasts.

After the initial blasts and 36 fatalities on March 29, the company violated a production ban by sending workers into the pit again, where a gas blast on April 1 killed 17 people and injured 8, according to the investigation report.

Meanwhile, poor management at the mine and lax supervision from the Baishan municipal government and related authorities are also to blame for the accident, the report said.

Sixteen people, including Zhao Xianwen, board chairman and general manager of Tonghua Mining Company, which owns the mine, as well as his deputies, have been prosecuted.

Baishan Mayor Peng Yonglin and his deputy were also given disciplinary sanctions along with Jilin’s deputy governor Gu Chunli and former top work safety official Jin Hua.

Yuan Yuqing, board chairman of Jilin Provincial Coal Industry Group, the parent company of Tonghua Mining Company, was sacked while the general manager of the group Jia Liming was demoted.

The State Council has ordered the governments of all levels in Jilin and related authorities as well as enterprises to draw lessons from the accidents and carry out thorough safety checks so as to ensure work safety.

Editor: Chen Zhi

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-07/07/c_124968402.htm

Xinhua Insight: Fatal fire rings alarm for factory safety – At NE China’s Jilin, 120 dead in poultry plant fire

Posted in Changchun, China, Corruption, Jilin Province, Labor, Law enforcement on June 6, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

DEHUI, Jilin, June 5 (Xinhua) — Two days after a fire raged through a poultry plant in northeast China’s Jilin Province, leaving 120 people dead and 77 injured, the relatives of the deceased are participating in DNA testing in order to claim the bodies of their loved ones.

“We hope to see her one last time,” said Li Yanguo. His 20-year-old niece, Li Feng, went missing after the fire broke out early Monday morning at a poultry processing plant in the city of Dehui.

LOCKED DOORS

The State Council, or China’s cabinet, has dispatched a special work team to investigate the fire.

Although the investigation results have yet to come in, a question has been lingering among many survivors and the victims’ relatives: why were the doors of the workshop locked at the time of the fire, preventing many from escaping?

Lying on a bed at the Changchun Central Hospital in the provincial capital of Changchun, Wang Fengya said she feels sick when she recalls the accident.

Wang said she and her colleagues could not open a door that was used as an emergency exit when the fire broke out.

“People ahead shouted and tried to push the door open, but it wouldn’t budge,” she recalled. “Somebody opened the door with a key and we rushed out.” Wang was slightly burned and is receiving treatment at the hospital.

Of the 77 workers who were injured, many are suffering from skin and respiratory burns.

Some survivors said their workshop was windowless and that the main gate was usually locked, leaving only a few side doors for passage.

“Scores of people died just a few steps away from the locked main gate,” one survivor said.

Another survivor, Guan Zhiguo, also blamed the locked doors for the severe casualties.

Guan said he saw a few female workers screaming behind a locked door after he ran out of the building.

He said no one questioned why the doors were locked before the accident. “Now I am remorseful, but I don’t know who I should blame,” he said.

It is not the first time that locked doors have been reported in fatal fires. Emergency passages that were sealed with iron bars were found in an investigation that was conducted following a shopping mall blaze that killed 309 people in central China’s Henan Province in 2000.

INDIFFERENCE TO HAZARDS

The managers of the poultry plant, as well as local supervisory authorities, seem to have paid little attention to preventing and handling risks.

The Jilin Baoyuanfeng Poultry Company had over 50 tonnes of ammonia stored in the workshop where the fire occurred.

Ammonia, which both caustic and hazardous, must be stored under high pressure or at a low temperature. However, few people in the factory were aware of the dangers of the substance and the workers were never informed.

“I knew ammonia can be used as a refrigerant, but I had no idea that the tanks might explode,” said Chai Jinfeng, an employee who barely escaped the fire.

Employee “Qin Dalong” (alias) said he was on duty inside a warehouse refrigerator when he saw dark smoke pouring out of the workshop. He and dozens of his colleagues ran out of the warehouse, hearing loud explosions just minutes later.

Like Chai, nearly all survivors interviewed by Xinhua said they had never received any training on fire prevention. The company has 1,200 employees, but none of them have participated in evacuation drills since the company became operational in 2009, according to some survivors.

“It was a mess and I was totally stunned. All the lights went off and I fumbled along the wall and barely escaped using my instincts,” said an employee surnamed Yu.

“I had no survival skills and no one trained us,” she said.

LAX SUPERVISION

Lax supervision is also being blamed for the heavy casualties.

The company was not recognized by local authorities as a company that requires high-level fire prevention. In addition, flammable construction materials contributed to the spread of the fire and insufficient fire prevention equipment made the casualties worse, according to a local government official.

The poor design of the plant’s exits made escaping difficult, said Gao Guangbin, Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of the provincial capital of Changchun, at a meeting held on Tuesday.

“All construction materials used to build the workshop were flammable, creating an enormous fire hazard,” he said.

A worker at the company earns about 2,000 to 3,000 yuan (326 to 489 U.S. dollars) a month, an income that is quite attractive to locals who are used to earning a meager living by farming.

The blaze, however, has changed the opinions of many who had hoped to earn more by working at a factory.

Wang Huihua, 43, was lucky enough to survive the accident. But he said he has a hard time sleeping. “Every time I try to close my eyes, I see huge flames,” he said.

“I won’t do this kind of work any more after leaving the hospital,” he said. “I will stick to farming and I will treat my parents and kids better.”

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-06/05/c_124817999.htm

Chinese leaders watch DPRK-adapted opera of renowned Chinese legend [People’s Daily / CPC News]

Posted in Beijing, Changchun, China, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), DPR Korea, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Sino-Korean Friendship on November 12, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Nov. 10, 2011

Li Changchun, a leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC), on Wednesday evening watched an opera staged here [Beijing] by a troupe from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and adapted from Chinese legend The Butterfly Lovers.

Li, a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, welcomed the artists from the DPRK Phibada Opera Troupe and praised the performance as an example of closer cultural communication and cooperation between China and the DPRK.

The opera, which began a three-month tour of China in the northeast city of Changchun on Oct. 25, is based on the tragic story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, whose names also form another title of the story, abbreviated as Liang Zhu. It is often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet.

Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong, Li Yuanchao, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Li Jinai, director of the General Political Department of the People’s Liberation Army, also watched the performance.

Artists integrating Korean styles of singing and dancing into their performance won applause from the audience.

Phibada Opera Troupe version of The Butterfly Lovers will now move on to other Chinese cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Wuhan, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Chongqing.

Source:Xinhua

Article link: http://english.cpc.people.com.cn/66102/7640486.html

Photo article “DPRK troupe presents opera in NE China” link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/photo/2011-11/05/c_131230815.htm

Factbox: Mid-Autumn Festival and its traditions [Xinhua]

Posted in Changchun, Holidays in China, Jilin Province on September 22, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

  

 

 September 21, 2010 

A citizen is attracted by a huge mooncake at Changchun Shangri-la Hotel, northeast China's Jilin Province, on Aug. 31, 2010. Mooncake manufacturers have waged wars on the market more than 20 days before the traditional Mid-Autumn Day. (Xinhua/Wang Haofei)

 

BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) — The Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Wednesday this year, is a traditional Chinese holiday that originates from worship of the moon. 

As its name suggests, the day falls in the middle of the fall season and symbolizes harvest and family reunions. 

The festival, celebrated in the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, has no fixed date in the Western calendar, but the day always coincides with a full moon.  It is also known as the Moon Festival. 

Descriptions of the “Mid-Autumn” first appeared in “Rites of the Zhou”, a collection of ritual matters of the Western Zhou Dynasty some 3,000 years ago.  It described the eighth lunar month, the second month of autumn, as “mid autumn.” 

The Chinese began celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival in the early Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), a period of material abundance and cultural blossoming. 

The Chinese worshipped the moon by offering liquor, fruit and snacks outdoors, expressing thanks for bumper harvest and praying for the god of the moon to bring good luck. 

The Temple of the Moon, or Yuetan, in downtown Beijing is where emperors of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties worshipped the moon. 

The festival is considered an important Chinese holiday, next only to the Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year. 

The Chinese government listed the festival as intangible cultural heritage in 2006.  It was made a public holiday in 2008. 

The Mid-Autumn Festival is characterized by: 

— Mooncakes:  A legend goes that mooncakes were first made in the 14th Century, when people exchanged pancakes that were stuck with slips of paper reading “Kill the Mongols on the 15th day of the eighth month”.  It was said to be a secret message from rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang calling on the Chinese to overthrow the Mongolian rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) 

— Lord Rabbit:  Known as Tu’er Ye in Chinese, the Lord Rabbit is a traditional icon of the festival.  It has a human body, but a rabbit’s ears and mouth.  This year, Beijing has combined some modern elements into the icon and reinstalled it as the city’s “ambassador” of the festival. 

— Matchmaking:  The Chinese believe the god of the moon is a highly efficient matchmaker.  In some parts of China, masquerades are held on the Mid-Autumn Festival for young men and women to find partners.  One by one, young women are encouraged to throw their handkerchiefs to the crowd.  The young man who catches and returns the handkerchief has a chance of romance. 

— Lanterns and dragon dances:  These are traditional activities during the holiday, but are popular mainly in south China, particularly in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. 

Article link here

Chinese take to streets, protesting Japan [People’s Daily]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Beijing, Changchun, China, Diaoyu Islands, Harbin, Hong Kong, Japan, Naoto Kan, Shanghai, Shenyang, Tokyo, Xi'an, Yellow Sea on September 19, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

  

September 19, 2010 

Protesters hold a national flag Saturday on a street close to the Japanese embassy in Beijing in front of police, demanding that Japan release a Chinese boat captain who Beijing says has been illegally held since last week. Photo: Zhang Siyang

 

Around 50 protesters gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing Saturday, waving the Chinese national flag and telling Japan to “get out of the Diaoyu Islands,” all while marking the 79th anniversary of Japan’s invasion of China. 

Sirens also wailed across major Chinese cities, including Harbin, Xi’an, Changchun and Chengdu, to mark the date, which served as another chance to protest Tokyo’s seizure and continued detainment of a Chinese fishing boat captain. 

Ties between the two nations are at their most sensitive since former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the WWII Yasukuni Shrine five years ago, analysts in China said, though most of them noted that the recent incident would not come as a major blow to the relations. 

Throughout the country, additional protests involving hundreds of Chinese, most of whom were in their 20s and 30s, took place outside the Japanese consulates. 

Police officers were deployed to maintain order in various cities.  No violence was reported. 

“Don’t forget national humiliation, don’t forget September 18,” some shouted, referring to the attack on the barracks of Chinese troops in Shenyang in 1931, which marked the beginning of a Japanese invasion and occupation that lasted 14 years. 

In Shanghai, about 20 demonstrators protested in front of the Consulate-General of Japan amid a heavy police presence.  And almost 100 people marched through downtown Shenzhen, protesting Japan’s detention of the boat captain, while singing the Chinese national anthem. 

About 70 protesters marched through central Hong Kong toward the Japanese consulate, chanting for the return of the ship’s captain and for Japan to stop claiming sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, according to an AFP report. 

A Chinese trawler with 15 people onboard was illegally detained by Japan after it collided with two Japanese patrol vessels September 7 off the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.  In all, 14 fishermen were brought to China on Monday, but the captain is still being held. 

A press officer of the Japanese embassy in Beijing, told the Global Times in a telephone interview that he was aware of the demonstrations near his embassy, adding that no property damage took place. 

“I hope such demonstrations will not have a negative impact on the overall development of bilateral relations between China and Japan,” he said. 

A 30-year-old demonstrator surnamed Chen told the Global Times that the demonstration was organized online and was meant to convey the sentiments of the Chinese people to the Japanese government. 

Li Nan, a member of the China Federation for Defending the Diaoyu Islands in Beijing, told the Global Times that the demonstrations reflect the true public opinion, and mounting anti-Japanese sentiment could prevent Japan from making more provocative actions. 

Feng Zhaokui, deputy director of China Society of Sino-Japanese Relations History, told the Global Times that the purpose for Japan’s insisting implementing its so-called legal procedure is a mere attempt to claim its “sovereignty” over the Diaoyu Islands. 

Feng said Japan may use the dispute over the South China Sea issue and China’s concern about the US-South Korean joint military drill in the Yellow Sea as the opportunities to make its political gambles. 

“Japan may still choose to follow the so-called legal procedure, but it should not intensify the conflict any more,” Feng said.  “It is a friction, but will not have a vital impact on the Sino-Japanese relationship.” 

Japanese newspapers were united in their view that the worsening row with China over the arrest of a Chinese fisherman in the East China Sea needed urgent attention, AFP reported. 

“China has been high-handed [sic] on the issue,” the Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s biggest selling paper, said. “We hope the [Japanese] cabinet will stand firm and insist on what it should insist on.” 

Huang Dahui, a professor of Japanese politics at Renmin University of China, said Japan needs to create an atmosphere to serve its domestic political purposes and also help increase the national defense budget. 

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