CHINA >> In-Depth

Illegal oil refineries produce high-risk fuel, dump acid sludge to make toxic lakes

Has it ever occurred to you that drug dealers might have a role to play in the fuel firing Chinese trucking? Anti-drug brigades in North China’s Shanxi Province found evidence of such a link in a recent workshop bust. At the end of November 2016, drug enforcement officers from Lüliang’s Jiaocheng and Wenshui counties jointly cracked a narcotics trading and producing case. To their surprise, the dealers were selling some of the concentrated sulfuric acid they use to make methamphetamines to an illegal oil refinery in Jiaocheng. Using concentrated sulfuric acid to “wash” highly impure waste engine oil to produce diesel is a traditional refining method. It has been used by China’s oil industry on a large scale for more than a decade, bringing irreversible damage to the environment. After the oil refining process, highly acidic waste products are often dumped into valleys, thrown into creeks or buried in pits.
Source: Agencies-Global Times | 2017/1/17 18:28:39

In pursuit of boy babies, families send samples to HK for sex tests, abort girls

“A test showed that there was no Y-chromosomal DNA in my blood, so my husband and I decided to have the abortion,” said Xiao Zhu (pseudonym), a resident of Yongjia county, East China’s Zhejiang Province. Pregnant Xiao Zhu sent a sample of her blood to a Hong Kong-based medical organization to find out the sex of her fetus. The absence of Y-chromosomal DNA showed that there was a high possibility it was a girl. The day after receiving the test result, Xiao Zhu had an abortion.
Source: Global Times-Agencies | 2017/1/16 18:48:39

Migrant motorcyclists brave cold, hunger, accidents to get home for Chinese New Year

As soon as young Guo got out of school, her parents dressed her in a raincoat and strapped her to their motorcycle, along with packed bags of daily necessities and gifts. They were riding from Jiangmen, South China’s Guangdong Province to Pingnan township, South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, conquering more than 400 kilometers to be with their family.
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/15 18:18:39

Chinese factory cashes in on Trump with look-alike rooster balloons

Donald Trump has become a Spring Festival mascot for Chinese people following his election win in November 2016. At a factory in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province workers are busy sewing, cutting and inflating balloons that resemble the tycoon. Large roosters with Trump’s signature hairdo stand all over the workshop floor.
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/12 19:43:39

Mysterious outlets polish N.Korea image using Chinese-registered domains

Youku.com, China’s biggest online video sharing website, has allegedly become the latest addition to the North Korean authorities’ range of overseas online platforms used to spread propaganda materials in an effort to improve the image of North Korea around the world. On youku.com, UriminzokkiriTV, an account run by North Korean propaganda website uriminzokkiri.com, has uploaded over 14,000 videos in the three years since the account was first registered.
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/11 19:33:39

China offers free removal of birth control implants after scrapping the one-child policy

“It was painful… and it was kind of like an abortion,” Xiang Lan said, describing her surgery last year in which a doctor used forceps to remove the intra-uterine device (IUD) that had been in her uterus for more than 30 years. Xiang was lucky compared with many other women who choose to have their IUDs removed after hitting menopause. Her operation went well and she went back to work after taking three days off.
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/10 19:13:39

Frustrated by choking air pollution, some attempt to hold government to account

After being hit by a quick combo of two heavy pollution alerts, Jin Zi was on the ropes. The Beijing investment consultant felt sick of being enveloped in thick smog, both physically and mentally. “My 70-year-old mother got sick after coming to Beijing from Qingdao, Shandong Province. My twins cough even though they are just 9 months old. My heart feels sore every time I hear them cough,” he said.
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/9 19:23:39

Minority village has used "magic wells" to control population for centuries without government interference

Wunai Yinjiao has been making sure her fellow villagers don’t have more children than they want for nearly 20 years. She’s not a gynecologist, nor a government official enforcing the country’s family planning policy. She’s an herbalist in Zhanli, a Dong ethnic minority village in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province.
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/8 17:58:39

Square dance craze might mean big bucks for web firms

As soon as the music starts to play, everything else stops. For a few hours, it’s just the women and their routines. Every night at 6:30 pm, Chen Hua, 41, from Fujian Province, and her fellow dancers gather at an empty space outside a community center in Donggezhuang village, Beijing’s suburban Shunyi district.
Source: Agencies | 2017/1/5 18:58:39

Survey finds nearly all renovated city homes have excessive formaldehyde levels

Smog has never been a bigger issue for the Chinese public. While a few years ago most ignored it or were ignorant of its risks, now many people take precautions from wearing masks to staying at home on smoggy days with the windows closed. But is shutting yourself up at home really safe?
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/4 19:03:39

Professor claims AI can spot criminals by looking at photos 90 percent of the time

It never occurred to Wu Xiaolin, a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, that his research on artificial intelligence (AI) would incur so much criticism for “discrimination.”
Source: Global Times | 2017/1/3 19:43:39

Shaanxi villagers fondly recall Xi Jinping’s time there as an ‘educated youth’

In early 1969, the then 15-year-old Xi Jinping, now General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese President, was sent to Liangjiahe, a small village in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, as part of the “Down to the Countryside Movement.” In this movement, educated young people from urban areas went to live and work in China’s remote villages and borderlands.
Source: Agencies | 2017/1/2 19:18:39

In-Depth invites you to tell us what you enjoy, how we can improve

In 2016, the In-Depth team’s reporters traveled the world to bring back news from where it was happening. As the year comes to an end, we asked our readers to submit suggestions about how we can improve in the future.
Source: Global Times | 2016/12/29 19:13:39

Countryside interviews gave me insights into China’s complexity

I was sent to Wukan village in Lufeng, South China’s Guangdong Province on June 19, one day after local police announced that village head Lin Zulian had been detained on corruption charges.
Source: Global Times | 2016/12/28 19:38:39

Shocked by hysteric nostalgia for Great Helmsman, I see ideological divide

Columns of Red Army soldiers and Red Guards holding up signs emblazoned with Chairman Mao’s face marched behind two Mao impersonators who led the procession, arms linked. A woman in her 50s, who had tied up her hair into two ponytails and wore a Red Guard uniform, danced energetically to revolutionary songs in the background, with an ecstatic smile on her face. For a moment, I wondered if I had stumbled into a Red China-themed costume party.
Source: Global Times | 2016/12/28 19:33:39

Conflict hasn’t hit the Filipinos’ welcoming warmth

I was a little worried when I found out I was being sent to the Philippines to write a series of reports on their election and the South China Sea arbitration. I was told repeatedly by the people around me how chaotic the country was and how much the locals hate the Chinese because of the two countries’ fractious shared history.
Source: Global Times | 2016/12/27 19:53:39

Many still live in peril along the China-Vietnam border

I began to feel the longstanding influence of war the minute I stepped into Balihe village, which borders Vietnam in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province. It is known as a “mine village,” as in the region there are large – though no one knows how large – numbers of unexplored mines buried all around, remnants left over from the Sino-Vietnamese War nearly four decades ago.
Source: Global Times | 2016/12/27 19:48:39

Illegal immigrants from Fujian unable to visit family due to deportation fears

Illegal smuggling underwent tremendous growth in China, especially in Fujian Province, in the 1980s and 90s Many illegal immigrants are young married men who leave their families behind Smuggling is gaining popularity in Changle as China’s economy slows
Source: Global Times-Agencies | 2016/12/26 19:18:39