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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: July 16, 2010 NO. 29 JULY 22, 2010

Star Mathematician


Wang Xiaoyun has become the youngest and only female winner of China's top accolade for applied mathematics, the Su Buqing Prize. She was awarded it on July 8.

Wang, 44, has decoded two international cipher systems, MD5 and SHA-1, widely used for digital signatures in e-commerce.

Wang first declared her research results on MD5 at an international cryptography conference in the United States in August 2004, and in 2005, she made a breakthrough in spotting loopholes in SHA-1.

MD5 was developed by American mathematician Ron Rivest and SHA-1 was developed for the U.S. Government and later became an industry standard.

Because of Wang's work, a new cipher system is being developed and is expected to be unveiled in 2012.

Embattled CEO


Tang Jun, China's highest-paid business executive, has come under fire for alleged dishonesty.

Fang Zhouzi, the muckraker, provided scanned pages of Tang's autobiography, My Success Can Be Reduplicated, and video clips of an interview with Tang indicating Tang had received a doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1990. Fang said, however, there were no records of Tang's graduation or dissertation in Caltech's database.

Tang rejected Fang's accusation, saying his education was misrepresented in the first version of his autobiography because of publisher's errors. He showed a doctorate diploma awarded by the Pacific Western University in the United States, currently known as California Miramar University. But Fang said the university was mentioned in a 2004 report issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office as being unaccredited.

Tang, 48, joined Microsoft in 1994 and was appointed president of Microsoft Greater China in 2002. After leaving Microsoft in 2004, he became president of Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd., one of China's largest online game operators, and led the company to list on NASDAQ. Tang began to serve as CEO of New Huadu Industrial Group based in southeast China's Fujian Province in 2008, with a salary package worth 1 billion yuan ($147.6 million) in cash and stocks.

Credit Rater


Guan Jianzhong, Chairman and President of Beijing-based Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. Ltd., made headlines on July 11 after his company unveiled China's own sovereign credit rating report. Dagong is the first non-Western rating agency to assess the world's sovereign credit and risks.

Dagong's report covered 50 countries whose GDP accounts for 90 percent of the world's total, and gave markedly different valuations of 27 countries compared with those given by Western rating rivals Moody's, Standard & Poors and Fitch.

Guan said at a press conference the current Western-led rating system "provides incorrect credit-rating information" and fails to reflect changing debt-repayment abilities.

"We want to make realistic and fair ratings and mark a new beginning for reforming the irrational international rating system," Guan said.

Founded in 1994, privately owned Datong provides credit rating and risk analysis research for all bond issuers in China. Guan, who took up a post as its chairman and president in 1998, developed China's first proprietary credit risk assessment system.

"Food security in China will always be based on grain self-sufficiency. The Chinese people should never put their 'rice bowls' in the hands of others."

Han Changfu, Minister of Agriculture, in a recent interview with the People's Daily Overseas Edition

"Technically, it is highly possible that we will complete the manned lunar landing mission around 2025."

Long Lehao, Deputy Chief Designer of China's lunar probe project, in a lecture on July 10

"China's military budget and spending are strictly monitored. There is no hidden expenditure."

A press officer with China's Ministry of Defense, quoted by Xinhua News Agency, in response to recent Japanese media reports saying China's military spending would total 788 billion yuan ($116 billion) this year, about 1.5 times higher than the budget unveiled earlier this year

"The spy scandal was throwing a huge shadow on the philosophy of the resetting of U.S.-Russian relations and both sides badly wanted to finish it at all costs. Any deal would suit both Moscow and Washington."

Andrei Piontkovsky, a senior researcher at the Moscow-based System Analysis Institute, on the July 9 spy swap in Austria's capital between the United States and Russia

"When governments are cutting budgets and people suffer reduced services and support, we cannot accept a banking culture that puts pay and perks above sustaining capital and credit for Europe's economic recovery."

Arlene McCarthy, member of the European Parliament, after the European legislature imposed caps on bankers' bonuses on July 7

"We're in a situation like nothing we've ever lived through before."

Juan Gallardo, Director of School Safety in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, one of the areas where schools are teaching students to dive to the floor and cover their heads as a result of increasing urban gunfights between drug gangs

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