When a sinkhole suddenly opens up next to your house and rapidly grows to 60 meters in diameter, it might mean you're living on a karst landform. If that's the case, it's probable that your house used to have a lot of water under it, and the water has now gone missing. That may be what happened to the approximately 290 people who were displaced by a plethora of sinkholes opening up under Yibin City the Tuesday before last. As to whether the sinkholes were caused by the recent longstanding drought, a nearby underground coal mine, or something else is unknown.
At least we can be fairly confident the drought is coming to a definitive end; China is expecting more rainfall than usual this year, and the Minister of Water Resources Chen Li is worried about the damage it might cause around China's 30,000 fragile reservoirs. The earthquakes in both Sichuan and Qinghai make those regions particularly vulnerable to flooding, Chen said.
A private primary school in Chengdu was criticized recently for opening its own 10,000-square-meter golf course and driving range. Parents argued that the course is a waste of land and resources, with one calling golf an "aristocratic" sport. The school didn't have much to say in response, except that it would try to make sure all the students have equal access to the course (frequent usage fee notwithstanding).
A Chinese bus driver working in Singapore admitted to running over and killing a scooterist last year while on his route. Instead of jail or deportation, however, Zhou Yunpeng merely faces a $5,000 fine and a three-year driving ban in Singapore. Singaporean bus companies have apparently been looking far and wide for new drivers, with one company posting a job ad in Chengdu two months ago.
The richest couple in Mainland China, which we mentioned last week, now also contains the richest man in China. Li Li's wealth grew to about RMB53 billion after shares of his company, Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Co, went on the market in Shenzhen last Thursday. Li Li and his wife Tan met while studying chemistry at Sichuan University.