China morning round-up: Deadly flooding in Beijing

A woman walks on a flooded street during heavy rainfall in Beijing, 21 July 2012
Image caption Many people asked why Beijing's drainage systems could not cope

Newspapers reflect on the deadly floods in Beijing which killed 37 people, forced tens of thousands to evacuate and left many stranded at transport hubs around the capital.

China Daily says millions of people were hit by the heaviest rainstorm in 61 years, causing losses of at least 10bn yuan ($1.57bn; £1bn), according to the Beijing municipal government.

Like many other papers, it carries a photographic account of how rain brought chaos to the city over 20 hours.

People's Daily focuses on the positive side, citing cases in which Beijing citizens tried to help each other out of danger. The Global Times says many Beijingers turned to internet microblogs for information.

The Beijing Times reports the municipal government has promised to withdraw all traffic tickets issued to cars abandoned during the floods, after traffic wardens' acts were heavily criticised by netizens.

Regional newspapers such as Shanghai's China Business News criticise Beijing's drainage systems, especially the fact that many underpasses along major routes were inundated.

Hong Kong's Ming Pao Daily News says the ancient Circular City garden in the northwest corner of the Forbidden City was not flooded at all, thanks to its well-constructed 600-year-old drainage system.

Beijing News says the city's water authority admitted the shortcomings of its infrastructure, but experts said it would take time to upgrade Beijing's flood protection systems.

Shanghai Daily warns that the drainage system in the Chinese financial hub also might not be able to cope with a downpour similar to the one that hit Beijing on Saturday.

Also on Monday, Metro Daily Hong Kong Edition and the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po newspaper mark the first anniversary of the 23 July 2011 Wenzhou train crash, focusing on the rehabilitation of three-year-old survivor Xiang Weiyi.

The crash took 40 lives - including both of Xiang Weiyi's parents - and sparked a national debate on the rapid development of high speed railways.

Mainland Chinese media were silent on this story.

Many newspapers including Beijing News report the death of Ding Guangen, former head of the Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China and railway minister. He was 83.

Ding Guangen was removed as railway minister after a deadly train crash in 1988, says Ming Pao Daily News , but was later put in charge of the party's propaganda work after the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

Beijing News and Southern Metropolis Daily also report the approval by the Central Military Commission for the formation of a garrison in newly-formed Sansha city, which governs disputed islands in the South China Sea.

The Global Times says fresh protests erupted in the Vietnamese capital on Sunday against China's claims in the South China Sea. Academics told the paper that Hanoi "is expected to maintain its tough stance".

And with the London Olympics fast approaching, Shanghai Morning Post runs a multi-page review of the life of Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang over the past four years.

It described how the Shanghai-born Chinese gold hopeful and his family had managed the pressure after Liu's controversial pull out from the 2008 Beijing Games.

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