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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: June 11, 2010 NO. 24 JUNE 17, 2010

Shenzhen Mayor


Xu Qin was elected mayor of Shenzhen, the booming city in south China's Guangdong Province, on June 5. He replaced acting mayor Wang Rong, who was appointed secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China in April.

Xu, 49, is the youngest mayor of Shenzhen since the city was established in 1979. He received Ph.D in business administration from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in November 2004.

A former official with the National Development and Reform Commission, Xu was promoted to deputy director of the Hi-tech Industry Department of the commission in May 2003 and director of the department in July 2005.

At his first press conference after election, Xu said he was confident the city's gross domestic product would top 1.5 trillion yuan ($220 billion) in five years and pledged more investment in improving people's wellbeing.

Mars Researcher


Wang Yue, the only Chinese volunteer to participate in an international simulated Mars expedition, entered the Mars-500 module in Moscow, on June 3. He will spend 520 days with three Russians, a Frenchman and an Italian-Colombian in the facility in total isolation to imitate a manned flight to Mars.

Wang, the youngest member of the crew at 27, is a teacher at the China Astronaut Research and Training Center in Beijing and is involved in the selection and training of astronauts for China's space program. He has a bachelor's degree in prevention medicine and a master's degree in aviation, space flight and marine navigation medicine.

The Mars-500 test is being conducted by the Russian Federal Space Administration, Russian Academy and European Space Bureau. The main goal of the experiment is to observe how isolation and space food over a long period affect the physical and mental health of astronauts.

Corrupt Officials

Xu Mangang (FILE)

Zuo Lin (FILE)

Two former senior officials with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) have been handed jail terms on bribery charges.

Xu Mangang, former Director of the Supervision and Inspection Department, has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for taking 3 million yuan ($439,368) in bribes between 2005 and 2008 in return for helping three businesses involved in illegal foreign exchange deals circumvent investigations against them.

Xu, 42, joined SAFE in 1989. He participated in drafting the Foreign Exchange System Regulations, People's Bank of China Law, Commercial Bank Law and a number of rules concerning foreign exchange process.

Zou Lin, former spokesman and Director of the General Affairs Department of SAFE, received six years for taking 550,000 yuan ($80,527) in bribes in a separate case.

Zou, 42, joined SAFE in 1988. He had headed the administration's Balance of Payments Department, Capital Accounts Management Department and General Affairs Department and was appointed its spokesman in late 2008. He was among drafters of the Administrative Measures for the Provision of Foreign Guarantees by Domestic Institutions and Procedures on the Administration of Borrowing of International Commercial Loans.

"The Chinese Government once had too many favorable policies to attract foreign investment. The current policies are not so favorable as they were, which caused complaints."

Cheng Enfu, Chairman of the World Association of Political Economy, rejecting accusations of rising discrimination against foreign investment and a worsening regulation environment in China

"We believe maintaining security in the Asia-Pacific region serves China's interests, and it is also China's responsibility."

Ma Xiaotian, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, speaking at the Ninth International Institute for Strategic Studies Asian Security Summit in Singapore on June 5

"If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth."

NASA astrobiologist Chris McKay, after NASA's Cassini probe discovered signs of life on Saturn's biggest moon, Titan. Organic chemicals had already been detected on Titan but the liquid is methane, not water, and scientists expect life there to be methane-based

"Climate change for us is not some future indeterminate threat. It's happening in front of our eyes. We can see it."

John Holmes, UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, warning of the possibility of "mega-disasters" as a result of increasing weather-related catastrophes before high-level talks on humanitarian aid in Australia early this month

"What Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav couldn't do, this oil may well accomplish."

John Hewitt, leader of oil-spill-recovery efforts at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, on the drastic effects on wildlife of the BP spill

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