China media: Travel worries

Media are expecting travel chaos after the festivities Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Media are expecting travel chaos after the festivities

Media expect more travel chaos as the Chinese New Year holiday draws to an end and millions of people head back to work.

"Chunyun" (Spring festival travel rush) is a term used to describe the period of high traffic before and after the festive period. According to Chinese media, this is believed to be the biggest annual human mass migration on Earth.

The People's Daily reports that the number of passengers during the whole period of the travel rush has increased by 14.3% compared to last year.

It adds that the country's railways are running 403 more trains in order to cope with the increased number of people.

The Chinese New Year holiday will end on Thursday and the Beijing Times expects that in the first round of "travel madness" about 400,000 people will be travelling back to Beijing on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The second round will come on Sunday, it warns, as college students go back to school. The third round is expected next Friday when migrant workers return to work, the paper says.

The Liberation Daily observes that volunteers, mostly young people, are being deployed at railway stations to help with crowd control.

Holiday "gifts"

Moving on to other news, in a survey conducted by Beijing News, 80 out of 100 people interviewed said that they had spent more than 1,000 yuan ($164.; £101) on festive gifts.

"The gifts are mostly for parents or elders, only very few are for officials," the paper says.

However, a Xinhua news agency report tells a different story and reveals that the custom of giving presents to civil servants is still very much alive.

Last year, in an effort to crack down on corruption, the central government banned officials from receiving festive gifts such as shopping cards, alcohol and tobacco.

"It's not easy for the leaders to use shopping cards now, so we give red envelopes… consisting of 500 yuan for ordinary civil servants, and 1,000 or 2,000 yuan for the leaders… if you don't build a good relationship with government departments, they might just delay your work process," a property company employee tells Xinhua.

Meanwhile, a commentary in the Beijing Times applauds the Research Division of the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection for pointing out that "various problems" in the system are hindering anti-graft investigations.

The paper says that arresting just a few corrupt officials won't solve the problem.

"To fight corruption, it is necessary to break the vicious circle of hiding and covering up issues that often reduce a mistake to something less serious. There is a need to put in place a mechanism of public checks and balances," the daily argues.

And finally, a man has conned several people over the internet by pretending to be a wealthy woman who is desperately searching for someone who can help "her" to give birth to a son in return for a handsome reward, writes Beijing Morning Post.

The con artist succeeded in charming his way into the victims' hearts by speaking in a gentle voice, probably with the help of a voice changer, the paper explains.

The police later found out that the fraudster had successfully used the same con over 20 times and had pocketed more than 200,000 yuan ($32,988; £20,235).

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