"Zoo workers and vets who enter the zone will disguise themselves as pandas by donning a black-and-white fur coat and crawling on the ground," said Zhang Hemin, head of the Wolong panda reserve in Sichuan. He was speaking of a plan to moving pregnant captive pandas to a semi-wild area to give birth. According to the plan, the pandas will live in the fenced area for two years, during which they will teach their new cubs how to survive on their own (apparently with the guidance of some dubiously disguised scientists). At the end of the two-year period, the cubs will be released into the wild.
Cornered, punched, and kicked on a stairwell by five people intent on preventing his escape, 19-year-old vocational school graduate Xiao Changyong did the only thing he could do. He pulled a switchblade out of his pocket and stabbed two of the assailants. Then he ran away. After pursuing a job offer that turned out to be an illegal marketing scheme, Xiao had tried to leave only to end up in the situation just described. The wounds he inflicted killed one of the illegal marketers, but Xiao was spared jail time when the court decided he acted in justifiable self-defense last Friday. Partially justifiable, at least—Xiao still has to pay the family of the deceased RMB34,000.
About 100 million people in China have mental health problems, and the number is increasing—especially among people under 20. So it's about time the government, at a conference here in Chengdu, decided to expand and improve 550 mental health clinics around the country. The clinics will also begin compiling lists of people with severe mental health disorders and offering counseling and telephone hotlines.
Yoga classes can be a little expensive. That is, unless you're one of the lucky guys doing time in Qionglai City Prison for violent crime. For them, yoga class is free as of Sunday. The logic of such an offering, according to prison Party chief Zhong Yingmin, is that yoga will calm the criminals' volatile temperaments as they become exacerbated by the summer heat.
Female frogs sing during sex. This was the conclusion of Jianguo Cui et al. at the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The team found that male Emei music frogs find the females' singing so attractive that they stop whatever they are doing and begin to dance rhythmically whenever they hear it.
Construction & Development
The National Audit Office (NAO) recently reported that about RMB40 billion of the money intended for relief programs since the 2008 Sichuan earthquake has been misused or delayed, often at the level of local government. The report is the result of a massive effort of 8,000 auditors examining 13,000 reconstruction projects, and was presented to the National People's Congress two days ago. The report also notes that so far no such abuses have been found regarding the Yushu earthquake relief.
Amid increasing trade between Southwest China and Nepal, as well as growing numbers of Nepalese businesspeople and businesses in Chengdu, the Chinese government asked Nepal to open its Consulate General's Office in the city-in-a-basin. In addition to fostering trade, the Chinese government hopes such a development will boost tourism between the two countries.
Come get your compressed natural gas! Sinopec recently opened the first location in Southwest China to sell the fuel, located in Jintang District of Chengdu.
Society & Culture
"The No. 1 Face Model on the Internet" contest finished last Saturday, and the first prize went to Cui Xueyuan from Xiamen. Fang Mengyi from Sichuan University of Science and Engineering came in second. What does this mean for Sichuan's reputation as home to the most beautiful women in China? I don't know.