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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: September 10, 2010 NO. 37 SEPTEMBER 16, 2010

Minister's Taiwan Visit


Cai Wu, Honorary Chairman of the Chinese mainland-based China Friendship Association of Cultural Circles, visited Taiwan on September 2-8.

Cai, Minister of Culture, attended a cross-Straitscultural forum in Taipei on September 6 at the invitation of the Taiwan-based Sheen Chuen-Chi Cultural and Educational Foundation.

"We hope the two sides across the Taiwan Straits conduct extensive talks on the cultural exchange pact and then sign it, to create a cross-Straits cultural cooperation mechanism," said Cai at the opening ceremony of the forum.

Cai said since the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in June had boosted cross-Straits economic relations, the two sides should now work to deepen cultural exchanges.

Economic and trade ties are very important, but they are no substitute for exchanges of culture and thought, he said.

Philanthropist's Pledge


Chen Guangbiao has undertaken to donate all of his wealth, at present about 5 billion yuan ($735 million), to charitable funds in China when he dies. He made the commitment in a letter posted on his company's website on September 5, in response to the Giving Pledge campaign initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

Chen was the first Chinese person to meet Gates and Buffett's call for the world's wealthiest people to donate at least 50 percent of their fortune to philanthropy in their lifetime or soon after death.

Chen said he would soon have his personal assets notarized and put them under public scrutiny. Any future increase in the assets would also be handed out, he said.

Chen, 42, is president of Jiangsu Huangpu Investment Group, which is now the largest waste recycling company in China. Known as China's No.1 philanthropist, he has donated 1.34 billion yuan ($197 million) to charity programs since 1998 when he started up his business from scratch, with beneficiaries exceeding 700,000. Earlier this year, he donated 1 million yuan ($146,821) apiece to earthquake-hit Chile and flood-ravaged Pakistan.

Former Sex Slave's Anger


Wan Aihua, an 82-year-old former Chinese "comfort woman," will appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) later this month to pressure the Japanese Government to issue an apology to her and other women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II.

Wan is the first Chinese woman to use her real name when accusing Japanese invaders of crimes during the war. She has lost three earlier lawsuits in Japan since her first appeal in 1992.

The Japanese army forcibly sent as many as 200,000 women, mainly from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, China and the Philippines, to wartime Japanese military brothels to work as sex slaves in the 1930s and 1940s.

Although the Japanese Government acknowledged the army was involved "directly or indirectly" in sexual slavery, it refused to compensate the victims.

Wan wrote to former Japanese prime ministers Yasuo Fukuda and Yukio Hatoyama, asking for apologies and compensation to former "comfort women," but has received no response.

 "Development will not be possible without competition which, in turn,demands fair play."

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, reiterating the Chinese Government's commitment to building a more open, optimal investment environment for foreign firms in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second World Investment Forum in Xiamen, southeast China's Fujian Province on September 7

"Chinese people have not been to the Moon before the country launched Chang'e 1, so we were very prudent at that time. But it's different now."

Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist at the China Lunar Exploration Project, on the launch of China's second lunar probe, Chang'e 2, in an interview with Xinhua News Agency. He said Chang'e 2 would be launched at the end of this year and reach lunar orbit within five days, compared to 13 days, 14 hours and 19 minutes for Chang'e 1

"China gives a new dynamic to the reconfiguration of world power to the emergence of a larger multi-pluralism, which is a challenge and an opportunity for peripheral countries and their development models."

Editorial in Argentine daily Clarin, September 7

"Europe must show it is more than 27 different national solutions. We either swim together, or sink separately. We will only succeed if, whether acting nationally, regionally or locally, we think European."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, calling on Europe to match economic might with diplomatic muscle in his first ever State of the Union address on September 7

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

Stephen Hawking, physicist and author of the new book The Grand Design, saying God wasn't needed for the creation of the universe

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