Quake Shocks Sichuan
Nation demonstrates progress in dealing with severe disaster
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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: July 23, 2010 NO. 30 JULY 29, 2010

Ambitious Filmmaker



Director Feng Xiaogang expects his latest disaster film about the Tangshan earthquake in 1976 to become the highest-grossing film in China's history, with box office earnings topping 500 million yuan ($73.5 million).

Feng's film, Aftershock, opened in theaters throughout the country on July 22.

The Tangshan quake was one of the deadliest natural disasters of the 20th century. More than 240,000 people were killed when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the city in Hebei Province on July 28, 1976.

The 130-minute tearjerker, costing more than 100 million yuan ($15 million), focuses on the quake's aftermath through the story of a mother's three-decade journey to an emotional reunion with the daughter she thought she had lost in the quake. The mother had to make a choice between saving her daughter or her son and she picked the boy. The daughter, later saved by her foster parents, held a grudge against the mother for 32 years.

Feng, 52, is China's top money-making filmmaker. His products also include Big Shot's Funeral starring Hollywood star Donald Sutherland, Banquet starting Zhang Ziyi and war epic Assembly.

Extreme Challenger



Wang Qiuyang has become the first Chinese woman to complete the "7+2" program. She returned to Beijing on July 15 after scaling the summit of Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, on July 8.

The "7+2" program refers to an extreme expedition to reach the top of seven summits of seven continents plus the North Pole and the South Pole on foot, marking the highest level of extreme expedition of humankind.

Wang, 43, is executive president of the Antaeus (Group) Investment Co. Ltd., a Beijing-based property developer. She started her extreme expedition career by climbing to the peak of Mount Elbrus in Europe in July 2004. The amateur climber ascended Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, in December 2007, and arrived at the north and south poles in April and December 2005, respectively.

Retiring Judge



Andrew Kwok-nang Li, the first Chief Justice to serve Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China since its establishment in July 1997, held his final sitting in the Court of Final Appeal on July 16. After more than 37 years' work as advocate and judge, Li will cease service on August 31 and go on pre-retirement leave on September 1.

As head of the Judiciary, with a range of judicial, administrative and representational responsibilities, the chief justice of the Court of Final Appeal is second only to the chief executive in the Hong Kong Precedence list.

Li, 61, commenced his practice of law in Hong Kong in 1973. In 2008, he received the Grand Bauhinia Medal, Hong Kong's top honor, in recognition of his distinguished public service, particularly his significant contribution to ensuring the successful implementation of the new constitutional order under the "one country, two systems" concept.

"China has set up economic and trade mechanisms in line with WTO rules and requirements, and become one of the most open markets in the world."

Yao Jian, spokesman for China's Ministry of Commerce, saying on July 20 that China has now honored all the commitments it made when entering the WTO

"So far, China has avoided large-scale damage, thanks to its generally effective response. Few countries in the world are able to muster the leadership, manpower and resources needed to respond to natural disasters like this, but China is one of them."

CNN, in a July 14 report on its website titled "Chinese Floods Test Country's Resources"

"Madiba's (Nelson Mandela's) 67 years of uninterrupted and selfless service to the people of South Africa and the world culminated in the birth of a new South Africa, united in diversity."

South African President Jacob Zuma, in a speech to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 92nd birthday on July 19

"Let me remind you that over the last year, the same leaders had absolutely no problem finding the money on a moment's notice to bail out their corporate friends and the greedy Wall Street bankers, yet when it comes to global health, the purse is always empty."

Julio Montaner, President of the International AIDS Society, scorning world leaders who had pared the funding for AIDS at the six-day 18th International AIDS Conference that opened on July 18

"I remain determined that our Afghan national security forces will be responsible for all military and law enforcement operations throughout our country by 2014."

Hamid Karzai, Afghan President, speaking in Kabul at an international conference on the future of the country on July 20

"We're filling in the blanks on everything in the universe from near-Earth objects to forming galaxies."

Peter Eisenhardt, scientist with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, on the abilities of the new space telescope WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer). In six months, it found 25,000 new asteroids

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