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Bishop in Shaanxi accused of corruption

HONG KONG (UCAN): A group of priests in Hanzhong in Shaanxi province has accused 85-year-old Bishop Louis Yu Runshen of corruption and are demanding that he step down.

A letter signed by 20 of the 27 priests in the diocese, including the coadjutor bishop, 87-year-old Bishop Matthias Yu Chengxin, who is partially paralysed, was sent to Bishop Louis Yu.

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Nuanced one child policy won’t stop population ageing

BEIJING (AsiaNews): The nuanced readjustment that Beijing made to its long-standing One Child Policy on January 1 last year when it increased the number from one to two, is having a positive effect, the Health and Family Planning Commission reports.

A divisional director of the commission, Yang Wenzhuang, said that statistics show more than 18.46 million babies were born in mainland hospitals in 2016—11.5 per cent more than 2015 and the highest since the record was set in 2000.

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Backdoor smuggling hole for China

HONG KONG (UCAN): Conservationists have welcomed a move against the ivory and shark fin trades by China, but are worried that the different regulations in force in Hong Kong will leave a few loopholes for the trade to flourish in the special administrative region.

The State Council announced in Beijing on December 29 that China would stop all sales of ivory and its products by the end of 2017.

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The take-home gospel

HONG KONG (SE): “Remember that the most important gift you can bring home to your family at the New Year is the gospel,” pastors in urban Churches in China have been telling their parishioners, something they say that is especially important for the young and unmarried.

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China and Vietnam are unrelated realities

HONG KONG (UCAN): Government-sanctioned Catholic organisations in China held their Ninth National Congress for Catholic Representatives in December 2016.

What is worrying is that this congress claims to be the supervisor of the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China, while the conference itself claims authority over individual diocesan bishops.

Neither of these two practices are compatible with Canon Law or the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

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Hidden wordplay in congress lingo

HONG KONG (UCAN): The most positive signal coming out of the Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives held in Beijing from December 27 to 29 is that the phrase China’s electing and ordaining bishops on its own appears only once in the work report on the period since the previous conference in 2010.

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Release of new religious regulations expected soon

HONG KONG (UCAN): Wang Zuo’an, the director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, has disclosed that the newly amended regulations on religion will be released in the near future and part of the deal is that the his office plans to pay great attention to their enforcement.

The national meeting for religious directors across China was held in Beijing from January 9 to 10, during which the Wang delivered his remarks while setting out his plan for the year ahead.

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Party member fired for criticising Mao cult

SHIJIAZHUANG (AsiaNews): Zuo Chunhe, a senior Member of the Chinese Communist Party and deputy director of the Culture and News Bureau of Shijiazhuang, was dismissed from his job by the official censors for criticising the great helmsman of modern China, Mao Zedong, and for showing disrespect for his personality cult.

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The Year of the Smog

HONG KONG (UCAN): Northern and northeastern China welcomed 2017 as the Year of the Smog, experiencing heavy pollution in 61 cities. However, this is not a surprising event, as it is in keeping with the predictions of a study by the World Health Organisation that shows China home to the deadliest outdoor air pollution in the world.

The China Meteorological Administration issued an orange alert prior to New Year’s Eve, which deteriorated into a red alert on January 4.

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Conflicting conversations in the Church in China

HONG KONG (SE): “If you had asked me one year ago about the chances of a deal (between the Vatican and Beijing), I would have said remote to nil,” Ian Johnson, the author of Wild Grass, a reflection on civil society and grassroots protest in China, said in a blog posted on SupChina on January 6.

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