Trending in China Today

Trending in China Today
Photo credit: Damir Sagolj/Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

Today's biggest stories from around China.

Smog in Sichuan sparks protests

Photo Credit: Corbis/達志影像

Residents in the Chengdu province of Sichuan have protested against a toxic brown haze in the area. There are reports a protest was aggressively put down by the riot police. Residents quickly took to social media, calling for more action and posting photos of themselves with signs saying “let me breathe.”

A netizen posted a picture on Weibo suggesting authorities had banned some school students from wearing face-masks. The police in Chengdu released a notice to drug stores and clinics saying that anyone placing large orders of face-masks should be reported to the authorities. Some residents were stopped and questioned by police simply for wearing pollution masks in the same neighborhood as the demonstration, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).

Toxic clouds of smog are regular features of China’s major cities, with some studies showing pollution has caused about one million premature deaths a year.

China’s Foreign Minister warns against challenging 'One-China' principle

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China's Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said China is strongly against moves to damage the so-called “one-China” principle, after being asked by a reporter about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call with President Tsai, Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Trump and Tsai had a ten-minute telephone call on Dec. 2. China dismissed the event as a “petty action.” It was the first such contact since U.S. President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979.

China appoints officials as “River Chiefs” to tackle water pollution

Environmental problem of plastic rubbish pollution in ocean
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China will appoint "River Chiefs" (河長制) to prevent pollution in the nation's waterways, state-owned Xinhua reported on Dec. 11. It is the latest step taken by Beijing in response to environmental damage.

Officials in the new positions will work to protect water resources, control and prevent pollution and restore ecology. They will be held accountable if environmental damage occurs in the rivers under their supervision and their names and responsibilities will be made public to ensure oversight, according to a document released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council.

Third National Day for commemorating Nanjing Massacre

Japan China Nanjing Massacre
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Today, Dec. 13, 2016, marks the 79th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre (南京大屠殺) in China. A series of memorial activities are being held in the city, including flying the Chinese national flag at half-mast at the memorial hall for the massacre victims.

In 1937, Japanese forces invaded the then-capital of the Chinese Nationalist government. According to Chinese records, more than 300,000 people, mostly disarmed soldiers and civilians, were murdered in the space of six weeks.

It is the third time China has held a Memorial Day for the Nanjing Massacre. In February 2014, China’s top legislature designated Dec. 13, as National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.

Beijing schoolyard bullying sparks widespread discussion

School bully
Photo Credit: Corbis/達志影像

A Chinese article titled "Say No to School Bullying" has been widely spread online since Dec. 9. The author, a mother of a 10-year-old student at a renowned school in Beijing, Zhongguancun No.2 primary school (中關村第二小學), wrote that her son had been bullied by two of his classmates.

The school released a statement about the result of its investigation on its official WeChat account on Dec. 12, saying it has watched the recorded security camera footage. It decided that the behaviors of the two alleged bullies did not amount to "bullying" or "violence."

Still, the event has sparked public concern. In response, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education said it would investigate the issue.

Editor: Edward White