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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: September 3, 2010 NO. 36 SEPTEMBER 9, 2010

Pseudoscience Fighter


Fang Zhouzi, a popular science writer, has pledged to continue his efforts to expose academic scandals in China after being attacked and injured slightly.

On August 29, Fang said, he was attacked by two unknown men in the street near his home at about 5:00 p.m. A man sprayed pungent liquid on his face and another man hit him in the middle of his body with a hammer.

Fang said the attack must have been launched in revenge for his exposure of some misconduct. Police investigation of the assault is ongoing.

Fang, 43, received Ph.D in biochemistry from Michigan State University in 1995. One of China's earliest bloggers, he created the world's first online Chinese literature magazine New Threads in 1994 along with several friends. Since 1999, he has devoted great efforts to disclosing bogus research and academic frauds on his website and in a variety of publications.

When meeting reporters on August 30, Fang also said he had received threatening calls during the past 10 years. Despite this, Fang said he would not give up fighting academic wrongdoings.

Changing Business Leaders

Qin Xiao (CNS)


Qin Xiao, Board Chairman of Hong Kong-based China Merchants Group, has retired and former company President Fu Yuning has taken over.

Qin, 63, had been chairman of China Merchants Group since 2000. During his tenure, assets of the company jumped from 49.6 billion yuan ($7.29 billion) to 268.28 billion yuan ($39.45 billion) and its annual profit soared from 1.29 billion yuan ($189.85 million) to 17.85 billion yuan ($2.63 billion).

Qin received Ph.D in economics from the University of Cambridge in 2002. He had also served as Chairman of China Merchants Bank Co. Ltd. since 2001. Before being transferred to China Merchants Group, he was vice board chairman and general manager of China International Trust and Investment Corp.

Fu Yuning, 53, with a Ph.D in offshore engineering from Brunel University, UK, became president of China Merchants Group in 2004. He has listed overseas expansion as the company's next priorities.

State-owned China Merchants Group, founded in 1872, is considered the epitome of China's industrial and commercial enterprises of the modern times. It was the earliest developer of Shenzhen, China's first special economic zone established in 1980.

Fraudulent Taoist


Li Yi, head of the Shaolong Taoist Temple in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, has resigned as vice chairman of the Chinese Taoist Association, the country's top Taoist organization, after the State Administration for Religious Affairs launched an investigation into accusations against his alleged supernatural capabilities.

He claimed he was able to perform miracles including holding his breath underwater for two hours non-stop. He also claimed to be a "health master" and offered expensive health and meditation programs at his temple. But initial investigations by local authorities show Li fabricated content. When he performed in a televised underwater survival show in 1997, he was actually in a transparent sealed container filled with air in a glass tank full of water.

Li, 41, said he converted to Taoism at the age of three. He became a Taoist priest in 2000.

"Mass extraction of rare earth will cause great damage to the environment. That's why China has tightened controls over rare earth production, exploration and trade."

Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, defending China's rare earth export control measures

"Without an institutional guarantee to secure the interests of workers, the goal of common prosperity can hardly be realized."

Yue Jinglun, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, on Shenzhen's imminent new labor regulation. The regulation is expected to stipulate class salary negotiations be conducted at least once a year

"Western-led development strategies, however well meaning, did not break the cycle of underdevelopment in Africa. Chinese investments, made for sound business reasons and boosting employment and growth, offer new hope and an alternative way forward."

Financial Times editorial, August 25, under the headline "China's New Scramble for Africa"

"For us this is an important project because we are beginning to diversify the supply of our energy resources."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, opening the Russian section of a long-awaited oil pipeline that will carry Russian crude to China, on August 29

"This is a day that will remain in the memory of all Iraqis. Today, Iraq has become a sovereign and independent country."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, in a televised speech on August 31 when U.S. forces ended seven years of combat operations in the country

"There should be a review of the strategy in the fight against terrorism, because the experience of the last eight years showed the fight in the villages of Afghanistan has been ineffective apart from causing civilian casualties."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, criticizing coalition strategy in fighting Afghanistan's stubborn insurgency when meeting with visiting German Parliament speaker Norbert Lammert on August 29

"Every year thousands of people, mainly women and children, are exploited by criminals who use them for forced labor or the sex trade. No country is immune. Almost all play a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, at a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly to launch the Global Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons on August 31

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