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    Members of the Bayi (Aug. 1) Parachute Jumping Team of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) perform to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to China, in Macao, south China, Dec. 13, 2009.

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    Members of the Bayi (Aug. 1) Parachute Jumping Team of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) perform to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to China, in Macao, south China, Dec. 13, 2009.

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    Members of the Bayi (Aug. 1) Parachute Jumping Team of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) perform to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to China, in Macao, south China, Dec. 13, 2009.

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    Members of the Bayi (Aug. 1) Parachute Jumping Team of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) perform to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to China, in Macao, south China, Dec. 13, 2009.

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    Members of the Bayi (Aug. 1) Parachute Jumping Team of the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) perform to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Macao's return to China, in Macao, south China, Dec. 13, 2009.

    [Xinhua]

  • A young man in his 30s armed with two shotguns, a cleaver and a torch allegedly hunted down his family on Saturday, killing 12, in a village shrouded in mountains in central China's Hunan province.

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    Villagers carry one of the 12 victims allegedly murdered by Liu Aibing in a remote mountain village in Anhua county of Central China's Hunan province on Saturday. Liu, 34, was captured early yesterday in a manhunt that involved 1,000 police. 

    Liu Aibing, 34, a villager from the town of Gaoming, Anhua county, in the province's city of Yiyang, was arrested early yesterday morning nearly six km away after his rampage took the lives of his father, uncles and cousins. Two other relatives are in critical condition and at least six homes have been razed to ashes.

    The critically injured are being treated in a local hospital, police said.

    According to Xinhua News Agency yesterday, Liu had been diagnosed with mental illness. Several relatives of the victims, however, reject the claim that Liu was mentally ill.

    "His family doesn't have a history of suffering from mental illnesses," a villager told Xinhua, who did not want to be named. "And Liu behaves normally."

    The violent killing spree is the latest within a month by suspects allegedly suffering from mental problems.

    Related readings:
    Man arrested after village massacre Killings highlight mental health challenges
    Man arrested after village massacre Suspect captured after killing 12 in Hunan
    On Nov 16, a 21-year-old man reportedly suffering from schizophrenia in the southwestern province of Yunnan murdered six members of his family, including his parents.

    On Nov 28, a depressed villager from near Huhhot in Inner Mongolia killed himself after being suspected of stabbing six to death two days earlier.

    Saturday's killings began early in the morning, after Liu had spent the night at his uncle's home in the destitute village of Yinshanpai.

    Liu, who was said to have had a fierce quarrel with his uncle a month earlier, first allegedly shot his uncle dead using a coarsely handmade shotgun. According to Xinhua, Liu thought his uncle was taking advantage of his father's timber and bamboo business.

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    Liu later opened fire on the family of three of another uncle and set their home ablaze, police said. The blaze quickly spread among the timber homes and nearby trees.

    Awakened by the fire, 60-year-old Liu Jiesu tried to put the blaze out with the help of several of his relatives. But Liu Aibing reportedly shot two dead and slashed Liu Jiesu with a cleaver before the elderly man somehow managed to escape.

    "He (Liu Aibing) carried two shotguns on his back and tried to kill anyone he saw, " Xinhua quoted one villager as saying.

    Liu then turned to two of his cousins' homes, killed both families, five people altogether, and burned down their houses.

    The alleged murderer concluded the bloody spree by setting fire to another uncle's home, killing his father Liu Bifang living inside.

    Police have not confirmed the slayings, but they said that those killed ranged in age from 6 to 86 and all were Liu's relatives.

    After the bloodshed, Liu fled more than 5 km to the nearby village of Wutong in the Qingtang township.

    He was captured just before 7 am in a hill in Qingtang following a manhunt involving about 1,000 police.

    (China Daily)

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    Peace lovers from home and abroad lit candles which form two Chinese characters meaning "Peace" in Peace Park of the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing, Jiangsu Provine Dec 12, 2009. A candle lighting ceremony was held in the park in memory of those killed by Japanese invaders in Nanjing Massacre on Dec 13, 1937.

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    Students hold candles in a candle lighting ceremony in Nanjing Dec 12, 2009 to memorize their compatriots killed by Japanese invaders during the Nanjing Massacre which happened in Nanjing on Dec 13, 1937.

     

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    Students put candles into the pool in a candle lighting ceremony in Nanjing Dec 12, 2009 to memorize their compatriots killed by Japanese invaders during the Nanjing Massacre which happened in Nanjing on Dec 13, 1937.

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    Armed police take part in a rehearsal of laying wreaths to victims of Nanjing Massacre in Nanjing Dec 12, 2009.

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    Visitors stands beside the "pit of ten thousand corpses" in memory of compatriots killed during Nanjing Massacre at the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Dec 12, 2009.

    [CFP]


  • The Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship, the Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower are vertically transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province Sept. 20, 2008. The transfer finished at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, marking the final stage of the launching preparation.


    The Shenzhou-7 manned spaceship, the Long-March II-F rocket and the escape tower were vertically transferred to the launch pad at 3:15 PM on Saturday, marking the final stage of the preparation.

    The 58.3-meter-high body was transferred to the launch pad on a 1,500-meter-long heavy rail line. The transfer lasted more than one hour and two check-ups were conducted.

    More than 20 meteorological workers were monitoring the process as the transfer must be conducted with the wind speed under 10 meters per second.

    The manned spacecraft Shenzhou-7 would be launched at an appropriate time between Sept. 25 and 30 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gansu Province.

    The Long-March II-F rocket, developed in 1992, is said to be the most complicated and reliable carrier rocket in China's aviation history with all its launch mission successfully finished. So far the rocket had sent two manned spacecraft and four unmanned into space.

    Since October 1996, the Long-March series rockets have successfully launched for 108 times. The Shenzhou-7 project will be its 109th mission.

    Earlier reports said when Shenzhou-7 enters its orbit, one of the three taikonauts would conduct a space walk and cameras would be mounted outside and inside of the ship for live broadcast of the walk.

    While the last mission of Shenzhou-6, with a crew of two, was aimed at multiple days of manned flight, this time the task might be more stringent as one of its main goals was the space walk.

    China successfully put two manned spacecraft into orbit in 2003 and 2005, respectively, becoming the third country to send an astronaut into space after the United States and the Soviet Union.

    (Xinhua News Agency Septemb
  • Chinese stocks ended three straight days of losses with a sharp rise on Friday after the government stepped in to revive the market, cutting the trading tax and promising share buybacks.


    A woman reads information on a electronic screen at a brokerage house in Shanghai September 19, 2008.


    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 9.46 percent to close at 2,075.09 points, recovering the steep losses in the previous three sessions due to the shockwaves of the US financial woes.

    All the yuan-denominated A-shares rose to their daily limit of 10, or 5 percent. The 5-percent limit applies to shares of special treatment companies, which saw negative profits in the previous two years.

    The rally came after the Ministry of Finance announced overnight that the stamp tax on stock purchases will be scrapped from Friday. Investors interpreted the move as a signal that the government will not let the market fall further.

    The State-owned investment agency Central Huijin provided another boost. As the majority shareholder of three major banks, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and China Construction Bank, Huijin said it would buy shares of the three lenders in the secondary market.

    The aim is to "guarantee the government's controlling stake" and "boost their [the three banks'] stock prices", it said in a statement.

    At the news, all financial shares jumped 10 percent, the maximum allowed by the exchanges, propelling a broad rally in other shares.

    Banking shares alone account for more than 25 percent of the Shanghai Composite Index. Therefore, their performances can partly determine whether the rebound is short-lived or sustained.

    On top of the Huijin pledge, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission voiced its support for major State-owned firms to buy back their shares.

    An overnight surge on Wall Street also helped the Chinese market sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average leapt 410 points on Thursday to 11,019, powered by reports of a US government and Congress plan to soak up bad debts from troubled banks.

    Shrugging off the on-going scandals involving dairy producers, Beijing Sanyuan Food Co. surged its daily limit, as none of its products were found to contain melamine, a chemical that have led to the deaths of four babies across the country.

    The long-awaited official rescue came after the Shanghai index lost 70 percent in less than one year, with valuations nearing record low levels. Experts have called on the government to intervene to boost investor confidence.

    At the start of the week, the central bank cut lending rates and reduced the amount of cash small banks must set aside as reserves in a sharp reversal in the country's monetary policy.

    The tight monetary policy put in place at the end of last year to fend off inflation was partly blamed for the stock woes.

    However, the energizing impact of loosening credit was overwhelmed by fears over the spillover effect from financial turmoil in the US, in which Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection and Merrill Lynch found help in the arms of Bank of America.

    Investors doubt whether Friday's rally can sustain, as earlier government measures to revive the market have failed. The stamp tax was cut to 0.1 percent from 0.3 percent in April and restrictions were imposed on the sale of previously un-tradable shares, but only to see the stocks continue to slide after knee-jerk rebounds.

    "Whether the rally can continue depends largely on investors' confidence," said Wang Dong, vice finance professor with the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University.

    He was confident about the long-term performance of China's equity market, thanks to the steady development of the country's economy.

    "China's overall economy fares relatively well, " he said. "Small and medium enterprises can get through the current difficulties and growth will pick up again."


  • Two girls drum to cheer at a booth of north China cuisine during 2008 Autumn/Winter Food Fair in Shanghai, China on September 17, 2008. Some 150 chefs participated in the fair to show their unique cuisine.


    A chef cooks the beefsteak during 2008 Autumn/Winter Food Fair in Shanghai, China on September 17, 2008. Some 150 chefs participated in the fair to show their unique cuisine.


    A fashion model helps to recommend dishes at a booth of cantonese cuisine during 2008 Autumn/Winter Food Fair in Shanghai, China on September 17, 2008. Some 150 chefs participated in the fair to show their unique cuisine.


    A model with coloured pattern on her back helps to recommend at a booth of Sichuan cuisine during 2008 Autumn/Winter Food Fair in Shanghai, China on September 17, 2008. Some 150 chefs participated in the fair to show their unique cuisine.

  • People visit the Shanghai Port International Passenger Terminal yesterday as it prepared for its trial run today. The building, a glass hemisphere in the shape of an irregular ellipse, is expected to become one of the architectural landmarks of the city. The passenger shipping terminal has an 880-meter wharf giving it the space to berth three passenger liners. The project is part of the city's development plan of the northern Bund. (PhotoSource: Shanghai Daily)
  • Peonies made of pure gold hit market in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province, Dec.18, attracting many people who are seeking New Year goods.

     

  • The Silver Bar of the Year of the Mouse was officially released on December 4, 2007, by the National Museum of China. The silver bars of 4 different sizes, all made of pure silver. It is engrossed with the painting of Xuanzong Emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

     


  • Modern artworks from the U.S. and Russia were on display in Beijing Nov. 26, drawing many Chinese people. Visitors said they were deeply impressed by these bold, imaginative, and exotic works of art.