Thursday, March 26, 2009

Chinese women stars with beautiful breasts

The top 3 women stars with beautiful breasts.

Tokyo court rejects damages suit filed by WWII Chinese sex slaves

Eighty-three-year-old Chen Jinyu (C in front), a sex slave for Japanese soldiers in World War Two, is surrounded by reporters and supporters outside of the Tokyo High Court in Japan, March 26, 2009.

On behalf of all Chinese sex slaves for Japanese soldiers in World War Two, Chen arrived in Japan to attend the second trial at the Tokyo High Court on a suit of Chinese sex slaves in Hainan but failed in the case.

The Tokyo High Court on Thursday dismissed a suit filed by victims from China's Hainan Province seeking damages and apologies from the Japanese government for forcing them to be "comfort women" for the Japanese army during World War II.

Presiding Judge Watanabe Hitoshi gave the ruling that the individual Chinese has no right to demand compensation from Japan as the right was abandoned under the 1972 Japan-China Joint Communique, in which Beijing "renounced its war reparation from Japan."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

12 Chinese Killed in Plant Collapse

A chemical storage facility collapse killed 12 in Chongqing city Monday, March 23, 2009.

The death toll rose to 12 Monday in a chemical storage facility collapse after the last body was recovered in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.

The accident occurred around 4 p.m. at a Jianfeng Chemical Co. Ltd. building which was under construction when the ceiling collapsed, said Tang Zongwei, government head of the Fuling District.

"As of 8:30 p.m., rescuers recovered all 12 bodies from the debris. No new bodies were found after several checks," he said.

The company, under the Chongqing Chemical and Pharmaceutical Molding (Group) Company, mainly produces fertilizers. The ceiling was 30 meters in diameter and more than 10 meters high.

"There was no chemical leakage as the facility under construction has not been put into use," Tang said.

An investigation into the accident was continuing.

China launches gun crackdown to ensure social stability

China has launched a crackdown on gun crimes to ensure social stability, the Ministry of Public Security said Tuesday in an online statement.

The campaign, which started March 20 and will end Oct. 31, includes confiscating illegal weapons, preventing gun crimes and supervising the use of guns.

The ministry urged public security departments to confiscate illegally traded guns "and seize groups or individuals illegally making guns."

The statement said the ministry hoped the campaign would "significantly reduce" crimes related to illegal guns and ensure that no "severe" cases occurred.

WWII sex slave to attend trial in Tokyo

Chen Jinyu is 83 years old, she was forced to be a sex slave for Japanese soldiers in World War Two.
Chen is scheduled to go to Tokyo to attend the second trial of the Tokyo High Court on a suit of Chinese sex slaves in Hainan.

Chinese contemporary art exhibit opens in Washington to mark 30 years of U.S.-China ties

Two leading culture institutions from China and the United States kicked off an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art here Tuesday, the first exhibit of its kind in the U.S. capital.

The "Metropolis Now! A selection of Chinese Contemporary Art," co-organized by the National Art Museum of China and the Meridian International Center, and showcasing 52 pieces of modern art works from 31 artists, is aimed at commemorating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, organizers said.

"Diversified lives, changing landscapes, and cosmos of new ideas feature today's China in its 30th year of reform and opening-up, which empowered artistic creation when history is being made everyday, everywhere," Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong said in his opening speech at the event.

"Culture has the most straightforward and effective power in bridging peoples. The United States has the most developed cultural industry in the world and China boasts abundance of cultural resources," he said.

"It is not a surprise that dynamic and active cultural exchange programs between China and the United States complement the two cultures and enrich the lives of so many," Zhou said.

The ambassador also pointed out that during past 30 years, cultural exchanges between the two nations are on a steady and rapid rise, which have laid a solid foundation for all-around China-U.S. relationship.

"Who 30 years ago could have imagined today's exhibition that depicts the economic ties and growth binding our two nations together?" said Stuart W. Holliday, president of the Meridian International Center.

"In fact, a lot of today's challenges are the ones we are facing together," he said.

Holliday said the art works being displayed in the exhibit are powerful examples of the role the artists as cultural diplomats.

"Moreover, the exhibition highlights a number of global trends which the United States and China face together, including globalization and urbanization," he said.

"Our center is honored to take this opportunity to mark 30 years of friendship between the two countries and to experience the power that the exchange of art has in building mutual understanding," said Holliday.

Fan Di'an, director of National Art Museum of China, said aside from being the first contemporary Chinese art exhibition in Washington D.C., the event is also the first joint cultural program that builds on joint conception, joint planning and joint execution of the art institutions between the two countries.

"The event will bring us together not only physically, but also psychologically," he added.

The exhibition will run for four months at the Meridian International Center, a nonprofit organization for cultural exchange with the support of the U.S. government.

Founded in 1960, the center's members are mainly former U.S. diplomats and it is viewed as a bridge for foreign art to enter the mainstream U.S. society.

5th China Int'l Press Photo Contest

The 5th China International Press Photo (CHIPP) Contest was held in Shanghai, China, from March 20 to 25, 2009.

The photo "Fish Cluster" taken by Mustafa Ozer wins the award of excellence in Nature & Environment News Singles

The photo "Indian policemen beat Kashmiri protesters" taken by Fayaz Kabli wins the silver prize in General News Singles

The photo "Olympics Passion" taken by Shao Quanda wins the bronze prize in the Arts, Culture & Entertainment News Singles

The photo "Dancers of Royal Theatre in Copenhagen" taken by Christian Als wins the silver prize in the Arts, Culture & Entertainment News Singles

The photo "Mother Love in Earthquake" taken by Zou Sen wins the gold prize in War & Disaster News Singles

High-speed rails to slash travel टाइम between the hinterland and the coastal regions

Two high-speed railways opening on April 1 will dramatically slash travel time between the hinterland and the coastal regions, a senior railway official said yesterday.

Stretching more than 350 km, the Hefei-Wuhan passenger railway, along with the Hefei-Nanjing lines opened last year, will provide the shortest link between Central China and East China's Yangtze River Delta region.

"Riding a bullet train at 250 kph from Wuhan to Nanjing will need less than three hours, almost eight hours less than now," said Zhang Shuguang, chief of the transportation department of the Ministry of Railways.

Passengers traveling from Wuhan to Shanghai will also benefit, with travel time cut in half to only four hours and 45 minutes, he said.

The other new high-speed railway is the 190-km Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan railway linking the north and the west.

Zhang said the travel time between the capital cities of Hebei and Shanxi provinces will be cut from five hours to only one. Passengers traveling between Taiyuan and Beijing will need only three hours, a saving of more than five hours.

Airlines and bus companies, feeling the pinch from the new railways, are cutting prices.

Wuhan-based Chutian Metropolis News reported that discounts of up to 70 percent will be given to flights from Wuhan to Shanghai starting April 1. The cost of a bus ticket will be reduced from 185 yuan ($27) to 90 yuan tomorrow.

Starting next month, the ministry will add 89 pairs of passenger trains on a number of popular routes, increasing passenger capacity by 10.6 percent, Zhang said.

The ministry is also considering selling train tickets by phone and via the Internet, with regions such as Guangdong and Chongqing piloting the practices, he said.

China opened its first high-speed railway, the 350-kph Beijing-Tianjin route, last year.

At present, 200 bullet trains are zipping through major cities in China, Zhang said, with 600 more expected to be on the tracks by 2012, when China's high-speed rail network takes shape and securing a train ticket in peak travel seasons will no longer be a problem.

Some of the bullet trains will have sleepers for travelers.

In December, the ministry put such trains on the Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Hangzhou railways, charging a record 600 to 700 yuan for a sleeper ticket.

While many doubted the popularity of such trains, Zhang said an average occupancy rate of 70 percent is good enough.

"Passengers will see more half-empty trains than crowded ones in the future, thanks to the progress of longer railways and better and faster trains," he said.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Swimming in the Great Wall

Leaving mark on 'Great Wall' costs US$120

For about 120 dollars, visitors to China's Great Wall can now leave their mark on a fake wall built recently in the name of preventing graffiti on the genuine structure.

The management office of the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall in Beijing built the fake wall and will charge 999 yuan (124 dollars) for carvings on each brick, daily newspaper The First reported.

With 9,999 bricks available, the marble structure could help management rake in 9.9 million yuan (1.2 million dollars).

Juyongguan's management said they were hoping to satisfy visitors' desire to leave something behind -- usually their name or words of love -- while discouraging them from carving graffiti on China's best-known cultural relic.

The Great Wall, which receives four million visitors a year, has suffered greatly from graffiti.

But the project has come under some criticism with The First newspaper citing one expert as saying many schemes to "protect" the wall are actually aimed at reaping profits from the cultural treasure.

The fake wall is located near the most-visited section of the real wall in Badaling and visitors usually travel to Juyongguan on their way to Badaling.

Less than 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles) remain of the original 6,300-kilometer structure first built in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

It was rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to keep out northern tribes threatening the Chinese heartland.

China Rejects Coke Bid to Buy Major Juice Maker

China's Ministry of Commerce announced on March 18th it has rejected a bid by Coca-Cola to acquire China's top juice maker Huiyuan, saying the takeover could stifle competition and harm the growth of small juice makers in China. The ministry says it rejected the 2.4 billion US dollar bid in accordance with China's Anti-Monopoly Law. This is the first offer rejected since China's Anti-Monopoly Law took effect last August. Let's see Media opinions on this.

In a commentary in the 'QiLu Evening News', Tian Yu says Ministry of Commerce's decision on the case reflects the legislative intent of the Ant-Monopoly Law, saying that is to keep fair competition in the market, and protect consumers' rights and interests.

'Xian Evening News' has published a review by Li Xiaoliang, saying it wouldn't be as bad as people imagine if Coca-Cola's mergers and acquisitions succeed, and there might be many benefits instead. The review says the trend of juice maker Huiyuan declining is not avoidable if there is no fundamental change of private enterprises' development in China.

An article in the 'Nanfang Daily' says the implementation details of China's Anti-Monopoly Law still needs to be more clarified although it has successfully stopped the mergers and acquisitions this time. The author says, in the globalization process, Hui Yuan acquisitions is not the first acquisitions case, and nor would this be the last one.

Thunderbolt Corridor to Open in Hangzhou

The Long Thunderbolt Corridor will open next Monday in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Also known as the Meteorology Experience Hall, it's situated on top of Mount Mantou in the south of the city and will be open free to the public on March 23, 2009. [Photo: Qianjiang Evening News]

The world's highest Ferris wheel is coming up

The gaint Ferris wheel on the roof of the 450-m-high Guangzhou new TV tower is under construction in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province. It will be completed and opened to local residents and tourists before Oct 1, 2010.The Ferris wheel will combine sightseeing, tourism, leisure and entertainment.The Ferris wheel will withstand an earthquake of up to magnitude 8, owing to its quake-resistant design. Lightning arresters will form part of the design to make sure there is little damage during storm and lightning.

Storm turns Beijing sky yellow

A sandstorm, the first this year, turned the Beijing sky pale yellow on Sunday.

"The dust slightly polluted the air and reduced visibility on Sunday, but it did no harm to the crops," head of the Beijing meteorological bureau (BMB) Guo Hu told reporters Monday.

The sandstorm was caused by a "sudden cold front, which blew in the dust from outside the capital," he said.

The storm affected an area of about 160,000 sq km, including Beijing and its surrounding Hebei and Shandong provinces, Guo said, adding that another sandstorm may hit the capital in the next 10 days.

"But during April there are a lot of chances for sandstorms," he added.

According to BMB's forecast, the city will see "no less than six dusty days this spring, fewer than the annual average of about 10 days".

Guo said dust storms in China were divided into four levels depending on its intensity - floating dust, flying sand, sandstorm, and severe sandstorm.

According to statistics with the BMB, in the last decades, flying sand days and sandstorms had seen a considerable decrease. On an average, there were 33 flying sand days every year before 1980, and have decreased to nine days since 2000. Sandstorms, too, are rare since 1996.

The country's first wide-range sandstorm hit large parts of Northern China, including Gansu, Ningxia, Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, Shannxi, Shandong, Tianjin and Inner Mongolia last week, local media reported.

Chances of another sandstorm are high in Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, the China Central Meteorological Station said.

Beijing Olympic drum auction yields 41.4 mln yuan

Auctioneers sold 410 of the 2,008 drums used at the opening ceremony of the Olympics for more than 41.38 million yuan (about 6.09 million U.S. dollars) in Beijing Wednesday.

China Beijing Equity Exchange (CBEX) said this was the last group of the 1,500 drums that had been selected for auction. Also sold Wednesday were 978 "zhujian" bamboo scrolls.

CBEX said 132 institutions and individuals attended Wednesday's auction.

CBEX auctioned 1,000 drums, also known as "fou", for 52.45 million yuan on March 8, and another 90 drums online Monday with bids totaling 12.83 million yuan. The remaining drums will be donated to various organizations.

Fou drums are ancient instruments made from clay or bronze. Zhujian scrolls were used instead of paper in ancient China.

More than 500,000 other Olympics-related items have also been sold for almost 30 million yuan, including a king-size bed used by Chinese basketball player Yao Ming, in nine other auctions to date.

Prosecuters investigate death of prisoner in N China

Chinese prosecutors have begun to investigate death of a prisoner at a detention house in north China's Hebei Province, according to government sources hereon Saturday.

The male prisoner, Zhai Junbao, who was arrested by police for theft and held at a detention house in Shunping County in January, died on Feb. 16.

An autopsy report given by the Hebei University Medical Science showed he died of toxic shock caused by lobar pneumonia.

Zhai's family has raised doubts on his death.

The head of the detention house has been suspended from job for the duration of the investigation, according to the police sources.

Chinese Garrison Sentry Shot Dead in Attack

A sentry on duty outside a garrison in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality was shot dead by unidentified attacker(s) Thursday evening, local police said Friday.

The attacker(s) ran away after firing bullets at the garrison guard and robbing his submachine gun, the police said.

The guard has been identified as Han Junliang, aged 18.

The garrison belongs to a unit of the People's Liberation Army stationed in the downtown area of Chongqing.

The exact number of the attacker(s) is not immediately known, said a police chief.

He said the police and the military have set up a joint special work team to crack the case.

Local people said they noticed police carrying out checks on suspicious vehicles and passengers at major crossings in the city early Friday morning.

When Mona Lisa meets photoshop

On a website, the great works 'Mona Lisa' was reworked by the netizens just for fun.

Over 6 million college graduates will enter China job market in 2009

These days quite a lot of guys lose their good appetites. Global economy is aggravating. Companies are laying off people. The housing price is flying high. The world seems to be surrounded by these eye-catching words. Among them are the college graduates. As reported, graduation means unemployment for millions of graduates this year. They find their way hard. But the financial crisis is the only part of the story. At most, it's merely catalysis. Years ago, I thought this moment would come, sooner or later. Now the crisis just accelerates the process.

Why dare I say so. "Thanks to" the commercialized higher education policy starting from 1999, the number of college students has been growing like a balloon, from 1 million in 1999 to 6 million in 2009. As a contrast, university facilities don't catch up with the speed. Now one job recruiting show can attract as many as tens of thousands graduates. Sure, the job opportunities are limited especially in this bad economic climate. So most of those applicants will be screened out. Anyway, as least it sounds like good news for employers, right? They own a large candidate base. But still the complains from employers are rising to the recent graduates for their lacking competences. Most recently the graduates, who were once decorated as the "social elites", have been enlisted into the class of people that need help along with rural migrant workers. What's the hell are we doing these years?

In this circumstance, the whole nation were mobilized to increase the employment rate of the college graduates. Some odd ideas are invented. Some congressmen suggest universities should create "post-undergraduate" positions akin to "post-doctor". The unemployed graduates are encouraged to seek jobs in rural areas as a solution. Beijing and Guangzhou local authorities decide to hire graduates to serve communities. Shanghai local authority is giving financial support to fresh graduate start-ups. The whole society seem to be enthusiastic to resolve the issue. And MoE has implemented the plan to raise the number of the master students by 5% in 2009. Then will it work?

Are we resolving or just relieving the issue? Why are graduates unwilling to work in the rural areas? Because the working and living conditions are poor there. Some graduates came from villages. Their family spent lots of money to afford the college fees in the hope that the children can change their fortunes. But now nothing has changed. The family's investment doesn't bring them a matching return. As indicated, those "post-undergraduates" won't sign formal contracts with employers. I think it equals to opening a backdoor in the Labor Law, giving the chances to hire employees without basic salaries and social insurances. And since those graduate start-ups lacks too much experience, the possibilities of surviving are low. I see no wisdom to encourage it.

Anyhow, the essential idea is good, to diversify employment opportunities. In short terms, these measures can relieve the pains. But we are surfing on the peak of second wave of baby-boom graduates in the last half century. The society just can't digest the flood. That's the point. So I think there should be a hierarchical change in the higher education. Do we really need so many bachelors, masters as well as doctors in near future? Do we need some many colleges to set majors such as Computer Science/Engineering and Business Management? Do we really need so many future philosophers and scientists? We are creating too many homogeneous graduates with low quality. I think what China lacks currently are skilled workers, proficient peasants and smart businessmen. The university education is not essential. Community colleges or professional schools may be better choices for them. Yes, it's hard to change, especially when it's related to some people's interests. But anyhow, it's crucial to take a responsible attitude to the nation's future.

China will send six more patrol vessels into the South China Sea

China will send six more patrol vessels into the South China Sea during the next three to five years to curb illegal fishing in the region, an official told the International Herald Leader newspaper of the Xinhua News Agency on Friday.

"A patrol vessel with a water displacement of 2,500 tons is expected to be sent next year into the South China Sea, with five more 3,000-ton vessels expected to go in the next three to five years," the agriculture ministry official who is in charge of the administration of fishery in the South China Sea said.

The patrol vessels will carry helicopters for efficient sea supervision, the report said.

This is "in accordance with the need to curb growing illegal fishing activity and to protect China's rights and interests", the official said.

He, however, denied that the plan was a response to the country's recent disputes with its neighbors over sovereignty of the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea.

Last Tuesday, China's largest fishery patrol vessel, China Yuzheng 311, which was converted from a naval warship, was sent to the waters around the Nansha, Xisha and Zhongsha islands.

The Philippines' President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed a baseline bill into law on March 10, which claimed the Huangyan Island and the Nansha Islands as Filipino territory, despite strong protests from China.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly reaffirmed China's sovereignty over those islands during the previous fortnight.

Amid mounting tensions, Liu Jianchao, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, has called for both sides to calm down and resolve the issue diplomatically.

"A spat over the issue will lead to no favorable outcome for anyone," Liu said on Thursday.

On the Filipino side, government press secretary Cerge Remonde said the department of foreign affairs in Manila was "already using normal diplomatic channels to solve this diplomatically".

"While it is true that this is a cause for concern, let us not overreact," the Manila Times quoted him as saying, on Thursday.

Gilberto Teodoro, the defense secretary of the Philippines, also said he did not really think China's deployment of the Yuzheng 311 was "a big threat".

"There is yet no cause for alarm as sending patrol boats by different claimant nations into the areas that they claim is tolerated," the Philippines' Navy spokesman Colonel Edgardo Arevalo was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

Chinese analysts have said that the Philippines should "face reality" and "return to talks" for a win-win solution to the dispute.

Professor Li Jie, a senior naval researcher at the Chinese Navy's Military Academy, said: "China has shown restraint by sending patrol vessels to carry out routine fishery supervision.

"It has never occupied any islands in the sovereignty of its neighboring countries in the South China Sea by force."

Song Xiaojun, a Beijing-based military expert, also said that China was trying to avoid a conflict with the Philippines by sending only fishery patrol vessels to the troubled waters.

The move to send fishery patrol vessels means Beijing is acting according to diplomatic principles, Song said, noting that it was only to protect China's rights in the sea.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post said the South China Sea dispute has posed little threat to trade cooperation between the two Asian nations.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yang jia executed for killing 6 policemen

A man who became an unlikely cult hero after murdering six policemen has been executed in China.

Yang Jia, 28, was put to death in Shanghai after he went on a stabbing spree at a police station in the city in July.

He said he killed the officers in revenge for being wrongfully arrested on suspicion of stealing a bicycle.

Yang, described as a lonely man who loved the internet and reading, repeatedly demanded compensation for his overnight detention in October 2007.

He claimed he suffered psychological damage because police beat him while he was in custody.

After his compensation claims were rejected, he appeared to snap and began his attack on the police station where he had been held.

He lit petrol bombs at the gates before forcing his way in and stabbing a total of nine police officers and a security guard.

Yang lost an appeal against his death sentence last month after court proceedings which his supporters said were flawed.

Some people regarded him as a victim who stood up to the abuse commonly suffered by marginalised people in China.

After the execution was reported, tributes were posted on the internet, some calling Yang a hero.

"When you hold a knife up to the police, it's doomed to end this way. But Chinese history will remember Yang Jia's name forever," one person wrote.

But one of the few messages which suggested Yang deserved his fate read: "Don't forget Yang Jia is a murderer."

Malfunctioning ATM send a young man to jail

A man in Guangzhou has been caught by the police and jailed for life for taking money from a malfunctioning ATM. The machine was actually only deducting 1 yuan from his account for ever 1,000 yuan withdrawn, and over a period of time he withdrew 175,000 yuan. He has appealed against the sentence. This case provoked hot discussion among the media.

Let's take a look at some opinions in the press.

A writer for the Procuratorial Daily thinks that ATMs should be the banks responsibility. The customer, Xu Ting should not be sentenced to life in prison due to a malfunctioning machine. If there is no money in his account, then Xu should not be able to withdraw any funds. His behavior should only be defined as acquiring profits improperly and without a lawful basis. Xu Ting's actions should come under the lesser charge of embezzlement, a civil liability, but not a criminal liability. A sentence for life is too harsh.

New Express carried a view believing that the sentence for life is totally appropriate. Xu Ting has committed larceny because he stole money several times after discovering the faulty ATM and he never reported it to the bank or the police.

At the first transaction his behavior can only be described as a civil misdemeanor. But after he told his friend to make several transactions for the sole purpose of stealing money and then running away; his behavior became deliberate and criminal. As an ATM is regarded as a branch of any bank, a financial institute. Stealing money from such a financial institute is regarded as committing a crime punishable by the law.

A comment in the Guangzhou Daily agreed with lawyers and some netizens that the sentence is overly harsh. But on the other hand, it emphasizes that the judge should not be the target of blame over the result. Different opinions among judges also prove that the case is receiving mixed reviews and that an agreement can hardly be reached under the current law. It is now hardly foreseeable how the case will be decided in the second trial.

Four Great Inventions of ancient China

The Four Great Inventions of ancient China are four inventions that are celebrated in Chinese culture for their historical significance and as signs of ancient China's advanced science and technology.

The Four Great Inventions are:

The Compass

The Compass

Diagram of a Ming dynasty mariner's compassMain article: Compass
The earliest reference to magnetism in Chinese literature is found in a 4th century BC book called Book of the Devil Valley Master (鬼谷子): "The lodestone makes iron come or it attracts it."

The earliest reference to a magnetic device used as a "direction finder" is in a Song Dynasty book dated to AD 1040-44. Here there is a description of an iron "south-pointing fish" floating in a bowl of water, aligning itself to the south. The device is recommended as a means of orientation "in the obscurity of the night."[9] However, the first suspended magnetic needle compass was written of by Shen Kuo in his book of AD 1088.

For most of Chinese history, the compass that remained in use was in the form of a magnetic needle floating in a bowl of water.[10] According to Needham, the Chinese in the Song Dynasty and continuing Yuan Dynasty did make use of a dry compass, although this type never became as widely used in China as the wet compass.

The dry compass used in China was a dry suspension compass, a wooden frame crafted in the shape of a turtle hung upside down by a board, with the loadstone sealed in by wax, and if rotated, the needle at the tail would always point in the northern cardinal direction.Although the 14th century European compass-card in box frame and dry pivot needle was adopted in China after its use was taken by Japanese pirates in the 16th century (who had in turn learned of it from Europeans), the Chinese design of the suspended dry compass persisted in use well into the 18th century.[12]


Handgun from the Yuan dynasty, circa 1300s.Main article: History of gunpowder
The prevailing academic consensus is that gunpowder was discovered in the 9th century by Chinese alchemists searching for an elixir of immortality.[13] By the time the Song Dynasty treatise, Wujing Zongyao (武经总要), was written by Zeng Gongliang and Yang Weide in AD 1044, the various Chinese formulas for gunpowder held levels of nitrate in the range of 27% to 50%.[14] By the end of the 12th century, Chinese formulas of gunpowder had a level of nitrate capable of bursting through cast iron metal containers, in the form of the earliest hollow, gunpowder-filled grenade bombs.[15]

In AD 1280, the bomb store of the large gunpowder arsenal at Weiyang accidentally caught fire, which produced such a massive explosion that a team of Chinese inspectors at the site a week later deduced that some 100 guards had been killed instantly, with wooden beams and pillars blown sky high and landing at a distance of over 10 li (~2 mi. or ~3.2 km) away from the explosion.[16]

By the time of Jiao Yu and his Huolongjing in the mid 14th century, the explosive potential of gunpowder was perfected, as the level of nitrate in gunpowder formulas had risen to a range of 12% to 91%,[14] with at least 6 different formulas in use that are considered to have maximum explosive potential for gunpowder.[14] By that time, the Chinese had discovered how to create explosive cannonballs by packing their hollow shells with this nitrate-enhanced gunpowder.[17]


Hemp wrapping paper, China, circa 100 BCMain article: Papermaking
Further information: Science and technology of the Han Dynasty
Papermaking has traditionally been traced to China about AD 105, when Cai Lun, an official attached to the Imperial court during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220), created a sheet of paper using mulberry and other bast fibres along with fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste.[18] However a recent archaeological discovery has been reported from near Dunhuang of paper with writing on it dating to 8 BC.[19]

While paper used for wrapping and padding was used in China since the 2nd century BC,[20] paper used as a writing medium only became widespread by the 3rd century.[21] By the 6th century in China, sheets of paper were beginning to be used for toilet paper as well.[22] During the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907) paper was folded and sewn into square bags to preserve the flavor of tea.[20] The Song Dynasty (AD 960–1279) that followed was the first government on Earth to issue paper currency.

Main article: History of typography in East Asia
The Chinese invention of Woodblock printing, at some point before the first dated book in 868 (the Diamond Sutra), produced the world's first print culture. According to A. Hyatt Mayor, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "it was the Chinese who really discovered the means of communication that was to dominate until our age."[23] Woodblock printing was better suited to Chinese characters than movable type, which the Chinese also invented, but which did not replace woodblock printing. Western printing presses, although introduced in the 16th century, was not widely used in China until the 19th century. China, along with Korea, was one of the last countries to adopt them.[24]

The intricate frontispiece of the Diamond Sutra from Tang Dynasty China, AD 868 (British Museum)Woodblock printing for textiles, on the other hand, preceded text printing by centuries in all cultures, and is first found in China at around 220,[25] then Egypt in the 4th century,[26] and reached Europe by the 14th century or before, via the Islamic world, and by around 1400 was being used on paper for old master prints and playing cards.[27][28] In another analysis Hyatt Mayor states that "a little before 1400 Europeans had enough paper to begin making holy images and playing cards in woodcut. They need not have learned woodcut from the Chinese, because they had been using woodblocks for about 1,000 years to stamp designs on linen."[29]

Printing in China was further advanced by the 11th century, as it was written by the Song Dynasty scientist and statesman Shen Kuo (1031-1095) that the common artisan Bi Sheng (990-1051) invented ceramic movable type printing.[30] Then there were those such as Wang Zhen (fl. 1290-1333) and Hua Sui (1439-1513), the former of whom invented wooden movable type printing in China,[31] the latter of whom invented metal movable type printing in China.[32] Movable type printing was a tedious process if one were to assemble thousands of individual characters for the printing of simply one or a few books, but if used for printing thousands of books, the process was efficient and rapid enough to be successful and highly employed. Indeed, there were many cities in China where movable type printing, in wooden and metal form, was adopted by the enterprises of wealthy local families or large private industries. The Qing Dynasty court sponsored enormous printing projects using woodblock movable type printing during the 18th century. Although superseded by western printing techniques, woodblock movable type printing remains in use in isolated communities in China.[33]

Ancient CHINA Timeline

4000-2205 BC Neolithic China

• The early Chinese live by farming around the Yellow River Valley. They grow such crops as millet, rice and wheat. They use stone tools for agriculture as well as weapons. They also raise livestock like cows and chickens. People live in pit dwellings.

• The early Chinese bury their dead according to family groupings. Pig skulls are used to offer libations during the funeral. They also bury essential items, like stone or jade tools, with the dead to use in the afterlife.

2205-256 BC Bronze Age

• The Chinese discover the usefulness of bronze metal and begin to make tools and weapons with it.

• City-states are the basis of social and political organization. As the population increases, battles over territory begin. Some villages grow into cities, and a social hierarchy or class structure begins to develop. The inhabitants still rely on agriculture. Their art consists of basic clay pottery.

2205-1766 Hsia (or Xia) Dynasty

• This dynasty was previously believed to be legendary. Recent information has proven its existence.

• Legend says that this dynasty began when a man named Yu drained the waters of the flood (a parallel story to the experiences of Noah). He became the first king of the Hsia Dynasty.

1766-1050 BC Shang Dynasty

• The Shang Dyansty overthrows the Hsia Dynasty because the last Hsia king had become very corrupt.

• The Shang leaves the earliest evidence of a writing system as well as the first historical records. The Shang society also begins to divide into upper and lower classes. Its military makes use of horse and chariot. These technologies prove a formidable force against the barbarian tribes and other small city-states around it.

• The Shang worship their ancestors, who intercede with the gods on behalf of the living. There is a supreme god called "Deity Above" or "Lord on High." Underneath him are smaller gods of things found in nature like sun, moon and wind. These gods serve as courtiers to the "Deity Above."

• When kings are buried, their officials are sometimes killed and buried with them to aid royalty in the afterlife. The kings also serve in the court of the "Deity Above."

• The Shang begins to crumble under the stress of barbarian attacks not only from the south, but also the east. The Chou unites all of the Shang's enemies under them and defeats the Shang. The Shang are completely defeated when the last Shang king, named Chou, attempts to quell some barbarians in the north. Seeing that the army is weaker because of its fight in the north, the Chou leader, Wu-wang attacks and destroys the Shang capital city, Anyang.

1050-256 BC Chou (or Zhou) Dynasty

• The Chou Dynasty conquers the Shang Dynasty. The Chou's origins are unknown. The earliest record of their existence is in the Wei Valley.

• Some philosophies gain influence during this time including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.

• The Chou dynasty is divided into two sections: Western or Early Chou, and Eastern or Later Chou.

• Western Chou lasts from 1050-771 BC. The Chou Dynasty inherits the culture of the Shang Dynasty because the Chou is less advanced. They create the concept of that the previous dynasty had made many mistakes and therefore lost the support of "Deity Above," otherwise known as the Mandate of Heaven. This legitimizes the Chou rule. For centuries to come all kings claim that the supreme god supported their rule.

• As the population grows, the Chou people begin following a social structure much like that found in Feudal Europe in the Middle Ages. There is an upper class, made up of rulers. Following close behind are the people who hold important positions in the army, hold government positions, or are educated scholars. The lowest class is made up of the peasants who farm or do other manual labor. The lower classes are made vassals of the upper classes. This means that the upper classes provide protection for the lower classes, while the lower classes work for the upper classes.

• The Western Chou are attacked by nomads from the Northwest who are searching for food. The remaining people from the ruling class who survive the attack establish a new capital. This capital is located east of their old lands in a town called Loyang (or Luoyang).

Eastern Chou is further divided into two sections:

1) The "Spring and Autumn" (named after an important book about the philosophies that were developing during that time) lasts from 771-481 BC. During this time, conflict between the city-states break out. Also, iron is discovered and used to help in agriculture. The improvements in agriculture led to surplus food, which in turn led to population growth. At the end of Spring and Summer and the beginning of the Warring States Period, many scholars are pursuing knowledge through philosophy. This era is also known as The One Hundred Schools of Thought.

2) The Warring States period lasts from 481-256 BC. The growing settlements clash against one another in long battles or "total war." The smallest city-states ally together to avoid being swallowed up by the more powerful city-states. However, the large city-states defeat the alliances and gain hegemony in China. One of those city-states in the east, called the Ch'in, gains enough dominance through conquering barbarians and other strong Chinese city-states to win over China.


China is ruled by an emperor, who claims to have control over all of China. This period experiences one of the most prosperous and culturally advanced dynasties, the Han Dyansty. However, the period ends in dissolution and disunity.

256-206 BC Ch'in (or Qin) Dynasty

The Ch'in, a group of people coming from the western part of China in the Wei River Valley, overthrow the Chou Dynasty. By 211 BC, the first emperor named Ch'in Shihuangdi, reunifies the city-states that had broken apart and fought against one another.

• After the lands are reclaimed, the king works to standardize as many things as possible, from weights and measurements to the size of chariot axles. He even establishes one centralized army and standardizes the money system.

• The emperor, who died in 210 BC, has 8 thousand terra cotta statues made to create an army that would serve him after death. This is reminiscent of the human sacrifice that occurred in earlier dynasties at the death of rulers. He also has chariots and armor buried with him.

• The first Great Wall of China that went from the Pacific Ocean into the middle of Asia. The project connects the existing dirt defense walls to keep out the barbarians on the frontier. (The stone wall standing today was rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty many years later.) This and other large constructions like roads and canals make the burden of taxes heavy.

• Although is a strong emperor, there are flaws in his rule. Taxes are too high and the lands conquered are to vast to maintain. When Shihuangdi dies, a number of men scramble for the position of emperor and the dynasty falls.

206 BC- 220 AD Han Dynasty

A centralized government is established. Feudal lords no longer have the power to challenge the emperor's reign. The peace and prosperity this dynasty enjoys allows the new religion of Buddhism to be introduced. Such innovations as the creation of paper advanced Chinese culture past that of other civilizations. It is also evidence of the level of literacy and education as well as the organization of government.

The Han Dynasty is divided into two sections:

1) 206 BC-9 AD Early or Western Han

• The general Kao Tzu wins over the other conflicting military commanders who want control. He unifies and consolidates China once again.

• The following Western Han emperors revamp the failing economy and culture that failed during the chaos at the end of the Ch'in Dynasty. The new capital is established in Ch'ang-on on the Wei River.

• Emperor Wu-ti (140-87 BC) takes more control over China through various means. For example, he uses government monopolies of such items as salt and iron to gain control over the economy. He also fights against the weakening nomads on the outskirts of China and gains some of their territory. He conquers the Huns in Vietnam and Manchuria.

• Emperor Wang Mang usurps the throne and rules from 9-23 AD. He dislikes the growing powers of the large families. In his attempts to take some of this power away, Mang gains the families' anger. Mang also upset the poor because he did not institute welfare reform fast enough. Mang is murdered and China has no emperor. Regional leaders name themselves emperor and fight amongst one another.

2) 25-220 AD. Late or Eastern Han

• Kuang Wo Ti (25-57 AD) gains control over China through the help of other leaders over years of battle. Kuang Wo Ti moves the capital from the destroyed city of Ch'ang-on to Loyang.

• The following emperors win more territory on the frontier from the barbarian Huns. He and the emperors that followed expand Chinese territory through winning over the Huns.

• Buddhism monks come from India and begin to spread the religion of Buddhism through China. Buddhism takes root as the Han Dynasty crumbles.

• The power of eunuchs and other courtiers in the royal house lead to intrigues. The emperors loose power and the courtiers fight for power amongst themselves, causing the dynasty and its centralization to topple. The Taoist rebels, the Yellow Turbans, also conduct rebellions in the face of corrupt officials. These elements also undermine the power of the Han Dynasty.


China is no longer unified under one emperor and a series of dynasties or kingdoms rule over various regions in China.

220-265 AD Three Kingdoms

Three dynasties in three different regions rule over China simultaneously. These land-owning rulers gain their power by creating armies of serfs and vassals.

• 1. The Wei Kingdom is located in the North and ruled by the Ts'ao family.

• 2. The Shu Han, begun by Liu Pei, rule in the southwest.

• 3. The Wu, under by Sun Ch'uan, rule in the southeast.

These three dynasties crumbled under barbarian invasions from the North.

317-589 AD Dynasties of the North and South

After the barbarians destroy the Three Kingdoms, the barbarians set up new dynasties. The north and the south is ruled under a series of kingdoms. The most permanent of these kingdoms is the Northern Kingdom of Wei, established by the Toba tribe. They adopt the Chinese form of bureaucratic government and thus survive the longest. The Toba also encourage art and culture.


589-618 AD Sui Dynasty

• The Sui Dynasty reunites the regions of China under one emperor, Wen-ti. He does this by first consolidating the north under his power. Then he takes the south from the leader of the Hou Liang and the Ch'en Dynasty. Wen-ti establishes a new form of administration with a governing body, the censorate, to hold the bureaucracy and court system in check. A census is also taken for tax purposes.

• Expensive projects are begun in the early 600s AD for the establishment of a series of canals. The poor of China ended up paying for it and are forced to build it. They protest against the suffering caused by the building project. At the same time, the Turks begin to cause trouble in the east. The Sui emperor cannot control all of China and he withdraws to the south.

• One of the military leaders, Li Shi-min, stations his father as emperor and begins the Tang Dynasty.

618-907 AD T'ang Dynasty

• The new capital is set in Ch'ang-an. Li Shi-min's father retires from the throne and Li takes his place. Li Shi-min and renames himself T'ai Tsung, meaning Grand Ancestor.

• The T'ang government is very well organized. The T'ang Dynasty improves the exams for entrance into the civil service that were created during the Sui Dynasty. The exams question test takers on the subject of Confucian literature.

• Cities become a place for the rising middle class to enjoy and increase their wealth. Port towns are places where foreign products are traded for Chinese goods. Paper money is used for the first time in this commerce.

• The T'ang emperors are tolerant and allow foreign influences (ie. religions like Islam, Judaism and a heretical form of Christianity) to pervade the nation. These foreign influences also affect art. For example, the Indian culture influences Chinese Buddhist art. Poets who write during this dynasty compose some of the best poetry found in Chinese history.

• Despite the infiltration of new religions in the port cities, Buddhism remains the nation's most popular religion. Buddhist temples and monasteries enjoy a great deal of patronage and possessed great wealth.

• The wife of T'ai Tsung, named Wu Chao, exerts strong influence in the T'ang court, especially after her husband died. She rules first as regent and then as empress until 705 AD when she is removed from power. Wu is a strong supporter of Buddhism and lived in a monastery herself for several years.

• Husan Tsung (712-756 AD) takes control soon after Wu. He begins problems in the Tang Dynasty when he ignores his country's affairs to spend his time with his favorite concubine. Because of his neglect, a series of rebellions breaks out. When the rebellions are finally stopped, the leaders of the central government find they have lost a great deal of power and cannot maintain order.

• In 845 AD, a series of persecutions against Buddhists began among the people. Other minority religions are supressed by the same movement.

• One of the worst rebellions in China is begun by a man named Ch'ao. Ch'ao leads a mass of peasants against the government in the later 800's. They hope to overthrow the ruling dynasty. Though the rebels do a great deal of damage to the country, they are stopped by the head of the Turkish army named Li K'o-yung, who is under the employ of the T'ang emperor. These battles result in a China that is carved into five regions by five Chinese army generals.

906-960 AD Five Dynasties Period

The dynasties held by the five generals do not last.

960-1279 AD Sung Dynasty

• T'ai Tsu uses a centralized army to establish the unity of China once again. He strictly monitors the army so that the generals could not gain too much power, like they had in end the T'ang Dynasty.

• During the Sung Dynasty, Chinese culture and technological reaches its height. For example, the printing press is invented and literature and therefore literacy is easier to attain. The monetary system of paper money and credit is also developed.

• Farmers find their independence from land-owners in the improving economy. At the same time, the aristocracy continues to move into towns and cities.

• The borders of China are surrounded by powerful barbarians. To keep the peace, the Sung emperors are forced to pay some of them, like the Khitan Mongolians.

• Emperor Shen Tsung chooses Wang An-Shsih (1021-1086 AD) to be the imperial chief minister. Wang wants to institute reforms that the other imperial officials dislike. Some of these reforms including the creation of government monopolies on specific products like salt. He succeedes in pushing the reforms through, but they did not last after his death.

• Even after the emperor and his advisor are dead, the reform-minded officials continue to battle for government control of the lucrative commerce of the day, while opposers continue to try and stop the controls.

• Poet, calligrapher and painter (these occupations were seen as interlinked) Su Tung-p'o shows himself to be one of the most talented artists of this period. His and other paintings from the time show the love that the Chinese had for their subjects. In paintings, humans appear small compared to the landscapes that dwarf them.

• The barbarian tribe, the Jurchen, are hired to help fight the Khitan Monguls. However, the Jurchens turn on the Sung and attack from the northeast. Some of the Sung royal family escape to a new city on the Yangtze River. At this new city called Hangchow, the Sung reestablish themselves as rulers. The Sung have already lost much of their power and never regain it.

• The Mongols under Kublai Khan overthrow and replace the Sung Dynasty in 1279 AD.

1279-1368 AD Yuan (Mongol) Dynasty

• The Mongols are a set of tribes that lived north of China. They are united under Ghengis Khan at the end of the 1100s and beginning of the 1200's. He creates a powerful and efficient army. Their empire eventually stretches from present-day Russia (around the city of Moscow) to the western Pacific coast of China.

• Ghengis Khan's grandson, Kublai Khan finishes defeating the Sung Dynasty in 1279 AD. He sets up a capital in Peking so that he can be near Mongolia in the North. Kublai Khan was an efficient ruler. He makes the Mongols, who are severely outnumbered by the Chinese, the upper class. This gives the Mongolian minority power over the Chinese. Furthermore, Kublai Khan keeps the Mongols from assimilating through intermarriage.

• One of Kublai Khan's biggest mistakes is printing too much paper currency. He and his successors cause inflation through this practice and weaken the economy.

• Chinese social structure is turned upside-down with the coming of the Mongols. The academes, who had once been wealthy from their scholarly pursuits and government positions, must make a living through theatre. This leads to the creation of Chinese opera, that attracts many of the poorer classes. These operas have typically have happy endings. The Mongols slowly release their hold on the government and by the end of the dynasty, the Chinese are back in official positions.

• Marco Polo leaves Italy in 1260 AD with a fellow merchant and adventurer, Niccolo. These two Venetian traders had heard of the rumors of great wealth to the east, and are spurred to explore. Polo meets and serves in Kublai Khan's court for a few years. Here, he collects information on Chinese culture as well as other cultures surrounding the area, like India. The information is complied into Polo's book, "Discovery of the World." The descriptions of wealth and beauty encourage other explorers in the future to sail into unknown waters.

• The Mongols are tolerant and accepting of many religions. Most popular among them is Tibetan Buddhism, which has magic and grand ceremony. However, they also allow Christian and Islamic missionaries into China. Most Chinese hold to Chinese Buddhism.

• The Mongolian Dynasty falls apart only after about 100 years. This is caused by many problems within China. For example, flooding ruins the canals and the countryside. Farmers suffer when money is devalued. Military commanders, who have a great deal of independence, eventually become warlords who fight amongst themselves. The Chinese finally march on the Mongolian capital, Peking, and run the Mongols out of China.

1368-1644 AD Ming Dynasty

• The first emperor, Chu Huan-Duagn, works hard to remake the government after the Mongul rule. He divides China in 15 provinces. The provincial governors do not have much power. Chu's cruelty surfaces at the end of his reign especially. He is a cruel leader and apt to kill officials who upset him.

• The first emperors of this dynasty directly control the government themselves, but soon the later emperors care less and less for government. Government officials and court eunuchs begin to fight amongst themselves for power as the emperors take less and less of an active role in government.

• Chinese concepts of Confucianism and Buddhism are supported and flourish. One Confucian philosopher becomes famous, Wang Yang-ming.

• The novel becomes a new form of literary genre since more Chinese are literate. However, the Confucian leaders of the country discourage the composition of novels.

• Chinese trading markets do well and experience unparalleled wealth. Part of this business comes directly from Europeans. The Chinese government attempts to gain control of the trading, but private merchants resist.

• This dynasty falls for a number of different reasons. Government officials take advantage of the poor, forcing them to pay all of the taxes while the rich are exempt. This causes internal rebellions that chip away at dynastic power. Meanwhile, the Manchus, the descendents of the Juchens, manage to get past the Great Wall. They invade and topple the Ming Dynasty in 1644 AD.

Ch'ing (or Manchu) Dynasty 1644-1911 AD

• The Manchu leaders chose to adopt Chinese style of government to rule over their vast empire, which now includes Mongolia, Tibet, and Korea.

• The Manchu emperors successfully reform the economy by reducing taxes for regions that suffered in battle. Furthermore, refugees give land that was abandoned in war. The refugees use the land to farm. This and the irrigation and flood control systems maintained by the government increase agricultural output.

• In the beginning of the Dynasty, the Jesuits practiced freely and won a number of converts. However, the Pope publicly condemns Confucianism as a pagan religion. In response, the leaders of China outlawed Christian missions.

• At the same time there is conflict internally within China. The government has become very corrupt and dysfunctional.

• Chinese merchants and the Chinese government refuse to trade with the west. For a time, only at the port of Canton is open to the west. Eventually, even Canton is closed. The west pushes the Chinese to open the doors to trade. This conflict causes the Opium Wars between Western Europe and China.

• The first Opium War breaks out in 1839 AD over the import of opium. Western merchants bring this drug to China from India despite the imperial ban. The west won the Opium War in1842 AD because they have superior war technology. China and western officials spend years creating diplomatic agreement, finished in 1860, that forces China to open other ports to trade.

• Internal conflict continues with numerous revolts throughout China. The largest is the Tai-p'ing Rebellion, which lasts from 1850-1864. The rebellion is lead by a religious leader who purports a new faith that mixes Christianity with other native Chinese beliefs. The revolution almost succeeds because of the high level of organization and support. However, the west intervenes and by providing weapons to the Manchu leaders. Other rebellions include the Nien Rebellion, which leads to the pillaging of a number of towns on the frontiers. All of these revolts cause a great deal of destruction and mayhem within China.

• The Japanese begin to assert their power in the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-5. The Japanese win Korea and Taiwan. The west takes advantage of the weakness of China and wins further trade concessions.

• The Boxer Rebellion breaks out in China's capital of Peking. The "Boxers" are a group of Chinese that want to rid China of the western influence. The Boxers are eventually supported by the Manchu leaders. In 1900, the Boxers attack foreigners in the capital city, Peking.

• Western influences and modernization brought about social dissatisfaction and a push for more rights. Revolution broke out and brought an end to the dynasties of China, which ruled China for centuries.

1911 AD

The dynastic system of government finally collapsed after centuries of rule. The new government is republican.

1949 AD

The Chinese Civil War breaks out and the republican form of government is toppled. The Communist Party sets up a socialist form of government that still rules today in the People's Republic of China.

China map

China is the largest country entirely in Asia. China is bordered by Russia, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, North Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Macau (semi-autonomous), Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Vietnam.

Capital: Beijing is the capital of China.

Size: China covers about 9,596,960 square kilometers. China is the fourth largest country in the world (after Russia, Canada, and the USA).

Population: China has the largest population of any country in the world. The population of China is about 1,321,851,000 (as of July, 2007). China is divided into 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, and 4 municipalities.

Women learn pole dancing in club

In fuzhou city, south China, some women join club to learn pole dance. They think pole dance can make them jimper and sexy.

14 years old mom post her pregnancy pictures on website

A 14 years old girl from Hongkong post her pregnancy pircures on a website. She said she has been pregnanted for about 8 months and she will give birth to the baby in MARY hospital.

Man crosses Eurasia on horseback

Li Jing rides a horse along the road in Changping, Beijing's north suburb, March 10, 2009. Li, 46, finished his 9,000-kilometer journey Tuesday on horseback from Russia to China in one year, and will soon set off again for London with a 59-year-old British female rider to promote the 2012 Olympic Games.

College student kills boy for being called a 'thief'

Police arrested a college student in Zhenxiong county, Yunnan province, after he kidnapped and killed an 8-year-old boy.
Shen Chaoqun, 25, of Jiangxi Science and Technology University, kidnapped a boy after the boy's father called him a thief. Five minutes after he kidnapped the boy, Shen killed him.
Two days later, police found Shen at his elder brother's home and he confessed.

Conjoined twins wait for separation surgery

The conjoined twins are treated at the provincial children's hospital in Changsha, central China's Hunan province, March 19, 2009. The twin girls are conjoined by their bellies, sharing one umbilical cord when they were born three days ago in the Xinhua county of Loudi city, Hunan province, but they are in stable condition. The hospital will give them a thorough examination before a separation surgery.

Young couple gets first prize in kissing contest

A young couple won a kissing competition on Sunday in Haikou, capital of Hainan province.

Huang and his girlfriend, Tuo, beat out other kissing couples after they locked lips for 1 hour and 15 minutes. And they were awarded 2,009 yuan ($294) for their effort.

More than 10 couples participated in the competition. Participants were required to stand in fixed positions and place their hands behind their back while kissing.

Fake money trading gang in E. China held

Police in Fuzhou, Fujian province, announced on Wednesday that they had busted a gang dealing in fake Chinese money, confiscating currency with a face value of 1.03 million yuan ($151,000).

This was the largest fake money trading gang the police smashed in Fujian this year, said Liu Yidi, a police officer with the Fuzhou municipal bureau of public security.

Police officers with the Public Security Bureau in Fuzhou, Fujian province, count a big stash of counterfeit money, March 18, 2009. The haul, with a face value of 1.03 million yuan ($151,000), was seized from the largest counterfeit ring in the province.

The confiscated fake money had a par value of 100, 50, 20 and 10 yuan. Most of the 100-yuan banknotes had serial numbers starting with CE86 and CH31 and were of a superior quality than the fake 100-yuan banknotes starting with the serial number HD, found earlier, he said.

On January 20, Fuzhou police found a man surnamed Zheng from Tingping township in Minhou county, Fujian, possessing fake money with a face value of 90,000 yuan. A month-long investigation showed a gang from the township was involved in fake money transactions.

On Feb 23, Chen, who carried fake money with a face value of 580,000 yuan, was arrested in the southern suburb of Fuzhou. Six other members of the gang were caught the same day.

They had purchased fake money with a face value of 1.265 million yuan from Shanwei, Guangdong province, on six occasions since 2002.

They would buy a 100-yuan banknote with 1.5 yuan and sell it for 3 yuan to the next buyer in Fuzhou who would then sell it to the third buyer for 5 or 6 yuan and so on.

A small amount of the fake money the seven criminal suspects bought were already in social circulation before they were nabbed, Liu said.

Elaborating on how fake money found its way into society, Liu said, massage girls with access to their client's pockets often replaced true money with fake currency. Second, gamblers exchange true money with fake ones in casinos. Third, taxi drivers often return fake money to passengers. Fourth, criminal suspects use fake money with a big face value in restaurants, farm produce markets and supermarkets and get true money as change.

Fake 100-yuan notes, mostly starting with the serial number "HD90", were reported in more than 10 Chinese provinces and cities since last year.

Reports say that sometimes even counterfeit detectors, which would not pass low-quality fakes, get hoodwinked by forgery of a higher standard.

Although the fake money confiscated in Fuzhou bore the watermark and magnetic security line and was believed to look more genuine than those with the serial number "HD90", Liu said that people with a sharp eye and counterfeit detectors in banks would know better.

Early in 2009, officials from the People's Bank of China denied the sharp rise of fake banknotes, claiming that the number of fakes detected by the financial institutions and police was not substantially higher than usual.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, claimed that the technology used in the bank could easily detect fake banknotes.

Under Chinese law, people who knowingly hold or use counterfeit currency can face up to 10 years in prison. A 34-year-old Chinese farmer was sentenced to 10 months in prison and fined 15,000 yuan in January for using 55 counterfeit notes with a 100-yuan face value in a Shanghai shop.

Pretty women soldier

Study: "Peking Man" 300,000 years older than usually thought

The iconic ancient human fossils from China known as the Peking Man are about 300,000 years older than usually thought, an archaeologist said Thursday.

Using a new dating method, a group of Beijing archaeologists concluded in the British journal Nature that the "Peking Man" fossils are about 770,000 years old, beating the previous estimates of 230,000-500,000 years.

The new date indicates that "this early human ancestor prospered in an earlier colder climate," Xing Gao, one of the archaeologists from Beijing-based Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Pale anthropology, told Xinhua by telephone.

"It will lead us to rethink how these early hominins could adapt to the colder environment," Gao said. "Probably it provides further evidence that the early hominins used fire regularly."

In an accompanying article in Nature, Russell Ciochon at the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the research, said the study "prompts a rethink of the species' distribution in both the temperate north and equatorial south of east Asia."

The Beijing archaeologists said that the study applied an aluminium and beryllium based method to measure quartz samples from Zhoukoudian in the southwestern suburb of Beijing, where the "Peking Man" fossils were discovered in the 1920s.

The method works for samples up to at least 3 million years older. The archaeologists highlighted its importance and said they planned to use it to re-measure other Chinese pale anthropology sites.

"This is a catalyst for a new era of re-dating," Ciochon said.

China Telecom starts 3G trials

China Telecom, the country's largest fixed-line operator, started trials of the third-generation (3G) mobile services in Shanghai on Monday, and plans to extend the same nationwide next month.

Shanghai Telecom, China Telecom's subsidiary, said it would invest 6 billion yuan on various projects including the 2010 Expo, 3G-network construction, and enterprise services this year. About one-third of the total capital would be used for 3G network construction, said Zhang Weihua, general manger of the Shanghai-based company.

According to the operator, the speed of its code division multiple access (CDMA) 2000-based network is 3.1 megabits per second, 20 times faster than the 2G network.

"China Telecom's operations in Shanghai is more solid when compared to other cities, hence the decision to chose the city first for 3G trials," said Zhang Yanling, analyst, iResearch Consulting Group.

Shanghai Telecom said its 3G signals have already covered the area within the city's outer ring, and a total of more than 2,000 3G base stations will be built by the end of this year.

In addition, as of March 15, about 4,000 public areas in the city have been deployed with WiFi hotspots. The network will be extended to over 5,000 units before 2010.

China Telecom's president Shang Bin said last month that the company planned to have 35 million new CDMA network users this year, and to extend the number to 100 million over three years.

"China Telecom can offset its weakness in mobile operations by strengthening its 3G services to compete with its rivals China Mobile and China Unicom. However, user's reception of 3G services is still pending given the incomplete CDMA network and the absence of multinational mobile phone makers like Nokia in CDMA2000, " Zhang said.

The central government awarded the long-anticipated 3G licenses to the country's three incumbent operators, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom this January.

China Mobile, the largest domestic cellphone operator, launched the pre-commercial 3G services based on homegrown TD-SCDMA last April in eight cities including Shanghai. By the end of 2008, the standard had attracted 75,600 subscribers in Shanghai.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has forecast that the total investment in 3G would touch 170 billion yuan this year. It has also estimated that the 3G services would attract nearly 400 billion yuan worth of investment over the next three years.

China says 60,000 alternative-energy vehicles to hit roads by 2012

About 60,000 alternative-fuel vehicles are expected to be on China's roads by 2012 as part of the efforts to save energy and reduce emissions, Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said Thursday.

Most of these new vehicles would be used for public transport, Wan told an international forum on energy conservation and new energy development.

Also, large-scale use of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting would be promoted in dozens of big Chinese cities and the use of solar and wind energy would be accelerated, Wang said.

He said that China, as a large developing country undergoing rapid industrialization, faced the pressures of promoting growth while saving resources and protecting the environment. He said China had made saving energy, reducing emissions and using renewable energy sources a strategic plan to achieve sustainable development.

China would use various means to provide financial support to small and medium-sized companies involved in energy conservation and environmental protection. It would also give tax benefits and direct subsidies to the production, sale and use of alternative-energy vehicles and "green" home appliances, he said.