China media: China Red Cross debate

A child stands next to tents that serve as dwellings for local residents after the 20 April earthquake, in Longmen township of Lushan county, Sichuan province, 27 April 2013 Debate over the RCSC's role has reignited following the recent earthquake in Sichuan

Media are continuing to report on controversy surrounding the beleaguered Red Cross Society of China (RCSC).

A series of corruption and mismanagement scandals have hit public faith in this government-run charity, with the Ya'an earthquake further igniting debate over its role.

Many newspapers have cited a Southern Metropolis Daily report saying a group of artists have pressed the RCSC for accountability over 80m yuan ($13m, £8.3m) in funds it raised by auctioning work they donated after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.

The Oriental Daily News carries a commentary entitled "New scandals revealed daily about the RCSC; too many hearts of the Chinese have been broken".

It says corruption in society reflects the ecology of China's officialdom, in view of the charity's nature as a "government organised non-governmental organisation".

The Southern Metropolis Daily says the charity should withstand tests, such as the "inexplicably lost" 80m yuan. Now was the time for RCSC to make a determined effort, the paper said.

But the RCSC has denied media reports that it is planning to reopen an investigation into the "Guo Meimei Affair," a scandal that hit the charity's credibility two years ago, according to Global Times.

Secretary-General of RCSC Wang Rupeng was quoted as saying that the charity will "welcome and co-operate" with any investigation launched by the independent committee established to oversee the organisation.

'Swept downstream'

In other news, South China Morning Post reports the warning sounded by Zhang Dejiang that Hong Kong was losing its competitive edge over the mainland.

Mr Zhang, a top official in charge of Hong Kong and Macau affairs, sounded the alarm at a meeting with a political group from Hong Kong.

His comments that the city state will be "swept downstream if it does not forge ahead" was quoted by many newspapers from both the mainland and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong's Apple Daily says the real challenge to Hong Kong is not in the economic field, but that its core values of rule of law and freedom, and the originally clean and neutral civil servants, are being polluted and eroded by influences from the mainland.

Another Hong Kong paper, the Oriental Daily News says that politics on the mainland has corrupted Hong Kong officials.

Commenting on corruption allegations against former officials, the paper says Hong Kong officials have picked up the bad practice of giving extravagant receptions on public expenses from their counterparts in the mainland.

Military plates

In other news, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) and armed police forces have moved to replace license plates on military vehicles, the Global Times reports.

The military will adopt the new plates from 1 May, and the move is to root out loopholes in military vehicle management, the report adds. Vehicles - including high-end cars - with military plates flouting traffic rules are a common sight.

Luxury cars that cost over 450,000 yuan will not be eligible for the new plates, many media outlets including the website of Phoenix TV have highlighted.

Regarding developments on the Korean Peninsula, an editorial in the Global Times asks South Korean politicians to use their bravery and courage to find a breakthrough in affairs instead of uttering strong words against North Korea or setting "ultimatums".

South Korea announced on Friday it would withdraw all its workers from the jointly-run Kaesong industrial park after the North turned down its request for talks.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. For more reports from BBC Monitoring, click here. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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