Archive for the Jilin Province Category

China unveils policies to revitalize northeast [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Economy, Employment, Heilongjiang Province, Housing, Jilin Province, Labor, Liaoning Province, Reform and opening up, State-owned Enterprise (SOE) on October 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — The Chinese central government announced an action plan to assist the northeast region’s staggering economy with a list of new measures.

The plan aims to free up private businesses, deepen reforms of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), develop modern agriculture, renovate urban rundown areas and launch dozens of infrastructure projects in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, according to the new measures announced Tuesday.

The 35 new measures, listed in a document by the State Council on its website, came as the northeastern regions saw the slowest economic growth among China’s provincial areas during the first half of this year.

China will speed up the construction of eight rail lines and build or expand 10 regional airports in the region, the document said.

SOEs are encouraged to sell part of their equities to private and foreign investors to build a mixed ownership system and pay for the reforms.

A new state-owned regional investment company will be established to hasten the reorganization of poorly run SOEs in the region, the document said.

The central government will support emerging industries including robotics, gas turbines, advanced marine engineering equipment and integrated circuits, as well as expanding the service industry of the region.

For traditional sectors such as agriculture, the document said the northeast provinces’ status as a core grain production base will be strengthened. Grain storage and logistical facilities will be improved.

The central government will fund the building of affordable housing and grain logistics facilities, included in a 60-billion-yuan (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) new credit reserve for shanty town renovation by the China Development Bank.

The document also named a few power transmission projects, nuclear power plant projects and heating projects to be initiated as part of a clean energy network in the region.

Once China’s industrial base, the northeast provinces relied heavily on SOEs to drive local economy but they fell short of the national economic growth of 7.4 percent in the first half of the year, with Heilongjiang’s GDP ranking at the bottom with an increase of just 4.8 percent during the period.

Editor: Luan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/19/c_133568678.htm

China releases documents showing Japan forcibly mobilized comfort women [The Hankyoreh / 한겨레]

Posted in China, Japan, Jilin Province, World War II on April 3, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

March 25, 2014

* Found in Chinese archives, Japanese language document from 1941 mentions Korean women forced to serve at ‘comfort stations’ *

By Seong Yeon-cheol and Gil Yun-hyung, Beijing and Tokyo correspondents

A letter by a Japanese person who wrote that Korean comfort women were mobilized under Japan’s National Mobilization Law was discovered in the Jilin Provincial Archives in China. This is being seen as important evidence showing that the comfort women did not sign up voluntarily in order to make money – as Japan claims – but had actually been officially mobilized by the Japanese imperial army…

Excerpted; full article link: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/629741.html

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

China Focus: Private collector cherishes memory of Mao’s “educated youth” [Xinhua]

Posted in Beijing, China, Heilongjiang Province, Jilin Province, Liaoning Province, Mao Zedong, Shanghai on May 20, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Xinhua writers Cheng Lu, Zhou Yan and Jiang Chenrong

YAN’AN, May 14 (Xinhua) — Satchels and mugs with Chairman Mao’s portrait. Kerosene lanterns. Books, newspapers and magazines that are at least 40 years old.

The humble two-story building where Gao Mingliang houses his private collection of antiques was turned into an exhibition hall last month.

The free exhibition shows the history of Mao Zedong’s “educated youth,” or the estimated 12 to 18 million young urbanites who were sent off to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).

Most of the “educated youth” had received only a secondary school education. Some were still in middle school when they were swept up in the campaign.

They were, at Mao’s call for young urbanites to “go down to the countryside,” dispatched to inhospitable areas of rural provinces with ambitions to make the infertile land bloom.

UNFORGETTABLE PAST

But Gao Mingliang, 62, was not a member of the students-turned-farmers.

“I just worked with them on the farm and later in my office at the local cultural bureau,” Gao said at the museum in downtown Yan’an, a city in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province that served as Mao’s revolutionary base for 13 years before the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949.

A native of Yan’an, Gao said he felt sorry for the urban children from Beijing and Shanghai who fumbled with farm tools and struggled to adapt themselves to the tough climate, different diet and hard physical work.

“I witnessed the bitterness they suffered, as well as their courage and fortitude,” said Gao. “That part of history should not be forgotten.”

In 1979, when most of the sent-down youth had returned to their home cities, Gao began collecting the things they had left behind: photos, newspapers and magazines that covered the lives of the students-turned-farmers, as well as deserted stationery, farm tools and personal belongings.

After he retired from his job as a coordinator at Ganquan County’s cultural bureau last year, he began sorting out his collection for an exhibition.

When he traveled to other provinces, he would visit local curio markets to hunt for antiques related to the Cultural Revolution and the “educated youth.”

He also rummaged for old newspapers and documents in dustbins and carefully picked out pieces of information that he found valuable.

He visited more than 200 former “educated youth,” taking down their first-hand accounts of the old days and collecting whatever old objects they could provide.

When his exhibition was unveiled on April 13, he had put together more than 2,000 items to exhibit in the 200-square-meter hall.

The exhibition has received more than 2,000 visitors over the past month, including former “educated youth” from Beijing, Shanghai and other cities within Shaanxi Province.

Gao remembered one of the visitors sitting on a “kang,” the equivalent of a bed built of bricks and heated by fire, and crying. “He recounted the pain he suffered as a teenager, having to carry rocks, feed pigs and toil endlessly in the scorching sun.”

But at the end of his tearful visit, the man wiped his eyes and announced that he “couldn’t have been as strong and perseverant later in his life without that experience,” according to Gao.

While the majority of students-turned farmers returned to the city to attend college or secure a job, some of them chose to stay in the countryside permanently.

Fu Heping was one of those who stayed.

Fu was 17 when she was dispatched to a village on the outskirts of Yan’an in 1969. “There was never enough food, but we worked long hours in the fields every day,” she said.

After a few years, she had gotten married and found that her affection for Yan’an had surpassed that for her home city of Beijing.

When her former schoolmates returned to Beijing in the mid-1970s, she was determined to stay. Under her parents’ pressure, she sent her two children, a son and a daughter, to stay with them in Beijing.

“Everytime I go back to Beijing on holiday, they keep pressing me to stay. But there’s always something in Yan’an from which I cannot detach myself. I know this is where my life belongs,” she said.

At 61, Fu is still working on the land where she toiled as a teenager. The formerly infertile land owned by the “people’s commune” is now a commercial farm that grows fruit, vegetables and grain.

LEGACY

The “educated youth,” who are typically over the age of 60 and lack any academic qualifications, are generally seen as a generation of “lost children” with a bleak future.

For four decades, their stories have been told in novels, TV shows and popular movies.

“I think there’s a reason for these stories to remain popular,” said Jin Yaqin, 63. “As a teenager, I left the comfort of city life and experienced poverty, hunger and fatigue for the first time.”

Today, however, Jin said her most vivid memories of those years are the friendships she created with her teammates and local villagers. “This is the most valuable legacy for me.”

Gao carefully preserves what he sees as a legacy of the 1960s for the “lost generation” and spends all of his pension income, about 36,000 yuan (5,862 U.S. dollars) a year, to run the exhibition.

Since the exhibition is free, Gao found that he had run into a deficit by the end of its first month.

“Rent takes up more than 20,000 yuan a year, and the rest of my income can barely cover the water and electricity costs,” said Gao. “But I think it will work out fine, as the operating costs are not very high anyway.”

Exhibitions and museums carrying similar themes exist in many other parts of China, including Shanghai and the northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning.

“The popularity of the ‘educated youth’ period does not just reflect nostalgia, it also implies a longing for faith, idealism and altruism, which are largely absent in today’s society,” said Zhang Yan, a researcher with the Shaanxi Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.

“The past era of poverty and hardship endowed the older generation with fortitude and forbearance and they stood firm against calamities,” she said. “Despite today’s material abundance, many people feel unhappy, perplexed and empty inside — that’s why they look back to take comfort in this spiritual legacy.”

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-05/14/c_132382093.htm

Zhang Dejiang elected CPC chief of Chongqing [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Corruption, CPC, CPC Central Committee (CPCCC), DPR Korea, Jilin Province, Liaoning Province on June 24, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

CHONGQING, June 22 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang was elected secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on Friday at the end of the committee’s five-day congress.

Zhang, born in November 1946, is a native of Tai’an, Liaoning province. He has been a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee since 2002 and served as a vice premier since 2008.

Zhang is a graduate of the Economics Department of the Kim Il Sung Comprehensive University in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He has steadily risen up the ranks, taking top Party posts in Jilin, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces between 1995 and 2007.

Zhang replaced Bo Xilai to become Chongqing’s top official in March after Bo came under suspicion of being involved in serious disciplinary violations. Bo’s membership of the CPC’s Central Committee and its Political Bureau has been suspended. The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection has filed his case for investigation.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-06/22/c_131670310.htm

Also see: “Party congress discusses future of Chongqing after Bo’s removal” [Xinhua], 6-18-2012
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-06/18/c_131660409.htm

Rarest leopard making comeback in N.E. China [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, DPR Korea, Jilin Province, Russia on May 14, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Wu Yong, Liu Ce and Han Junhong (China Daily)

April 20, 2012

The population of the Amur leopard, the rarest cat in the world, is showing signs of recovery, according to a report from the forestry department in Jilin province and the World Wide Fund For Nature.

“Thanks to (China’s) enormous efforts to protect forests and crack down on poaching, the big cat appears to be rebounding in China,” said Jiang Jinsong, an official from Jilin provincial forestry department.

Earlier this year, the department, jointly with the WWF and Wildlife Conservation Society, performed an Amur leopard survey in the province’s Changbai Mountain area. The goal of the investigation was to confirm the big cat’s habitat and population and make preparations for further protection.

The survey, which covers around 2,000 square kilometers, indicated that six female leopards, two male leopards and one cub are living in Northeast China’s Jilin province, home to one-fourth of the world’s Amur leopard population. It also identified 12 of the leopard’s important habitats.

The leopard’s habitat has expanded and is now three to four times larger than it was in the late 1990s.

“That’s really a surprise, which indicates our efforts have paid off,” said Jiang Guangshun, a senior official with the WWF who has studied the wild leopard and Siberian tiger for 20 years.

“The settlement of female leopards is the key indicator to evaluate how healthy the population is,” he said.

China has intensified the preservation of virgin forests and protection of wildlife in the past decade. In 2001, it set up the Hunchun nature reserve for wild Siberian tigers and leopards. The reserve is located in the border area between China, Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea…

Full article link: http://english.people.com.cn/90882/7793574.html