A man and a woman hijacked a car in Meishan while taking it for a test drive. After driving away from the dealership, the man threatened the staff with a pistol while the woman added the contents of a cleverly concealed container of gas to the fuel tank. A few hours later, the man called to assure the dealership that he intended to borrow the car just to commit crimes and would return it the next day.
On the Neijiang-Yibin expressway, a car was found parked in the emergency stop lane without warning lights and with its license plate number covered by pieces of paper. When a police officer approached the vehicle, the driver informed him that he was too tired to drive and wanted to sleep. The officer asked to see his driver's license. Instead, the driver handed the officer some cash, whereupon he was arrested for bribery.
If you've been enjoying new flower displays around Chengdu to celebrate the new year, you have the Chengdu Forestry and Garden Authority to thank. The bureau put installations on four major blocks, including Tianfu Square's "Tigers' Romping Spring," (pictured) Renmin Dong Lu's "To Celebrate the Spring Festival," Renmin Xi Lu's "Happy New Year," and Renmin Park's "Sound of Firecrackers" (more photos in the link).
The Jinsha Site Museum is hosting a "Jinsha Kingdom mask carnival night." Activities will include Chinese wushu shows, dances, African-style performances, and 10 fireworks displays featuring over 20 types of fireworks. Performances run from 8 to 9:30 p.m. through February 27; fireworks displays start at 8:20 p.m. nightly through February 19 and again on February 26.
The Municipal Administration of Work Safety has repeated its announcement that from the second to the sixth day of the lunar new year (Feb. 15 to 19), fireworks must not be set off between midnight and 7 a.m. within the Third Ring Road. People who see or hear anyone violating this rule are asked to call 110.
Society and Culture
More than 1,000 couples in Chengdu tied the knot on January 31 ... and the marriage-license requests kept coming in for two weeks. The unexpected marriage rush before the Spring Festival overwhelmed the city's major restaurants and hotels, who say they have reservations for weddings booked until November.
Many florists took an extra-long vacation for the new year because New Year's Day coincided with Valentine's Day, causing the demand for Valentine's roses to fall sharply compared to previous years.
A local teacher posting on the Internet criticized fellow teachers for becoming idle during their winter vacations; instead of reading and adding to their intellect, they are playing mahjong, chatting, watching TV, and so forth. The post was hotly contested, with some wondering, "If teachers aren't reading, what is education becoming?"
Two cans of silver coins were unearthed at a construction site on the afternoon of February 3rd. One of the cans disappeared before police arrived on the scene. The cans are estimated to have contained at least 1,000 coins. According to the police, the construction site used to be a shrine belonging to a wealthy family. Early analysis suggests that the coins were buried before 1949.
A record number of people applied for travel visas with the Nanchong Municipal Public Security Bureau this year, with that number reaching 202 by February 8th. Tourism is especially vigorous around the Chinese New Year, with Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries being popular destinations.
The demand for holiday trips is high enough, in fact, that Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport added 182 international flightsto its schedule, including 88 to several famous tourist areas in Thailand.
Construction and Development
The Municipal Environment Protection Bureau has declared the four roads with the highest traffic noise to be the Third Ring Road, Jiefang Lu, Chenglong Jie, and Jichang Lu. Traffic is now officially considered the most significant contributor to noise pollution.
Sichuan Airlines' first long-range, wide-body aircraft, the Airbus A330-200, arrived recently in Chengdu from Toulouse, France. The airline is planning to add two more of the same model in the next two years. Due to its energy efficiency, the Airbus A330-200 is expected to save about 700 tons of aviation fuel every year. And its first-class seats are capable of reclining to a full 180-degree position.
Seventeen new pedestrian overpasses on the First Ring Road have been completed as of February 14. This year, a similar overpass project is expected downtown. Forty-two steel overpasses are currently in use in Chengdu.
Compiled by Chih Tseng. Formatted by Isaac Myers.