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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: September 17, 2010 NO. 38 SEPTEMBER 23, 2010

Agriculturist's Pledge


Yuan Longping, known as the "father of hybrid rice," has outlined a goal of raising the crop's yield to 15 tons a hectare in 10 years when celebrating his 80th birthday on September 7.

As the world's population is growing and about 10 million hectares of farmland are reduced each year, the human race could face food shortages, said Yuan. He said hybrid rice developed in China is still the most cost-effective and efficient way to raise the yield of rice.

Hybrid rice is produced by crossbreeding different kinds of rice. Yuan developed the first Chinese hybrid rice varieties in 1974. The second-generation super hybrid, which was released commercially in 2006, yields 9 tons of rice a hectare on average.

Yuan's hybrid rice has been exported to many other developing countries and has become a successful crop in Thailand and Viet Nam.

If half of the paddy fields around the world were planted with hybrid rice varieties, Yuan said, global rice yield could be increased by 150 million tons—and that could feed another 400 million people every year.

Yuan's achievements have won him many honors, including the State Science and Technology Award of China in 2000, and the Wolf Prize in agriculture and the World Food Prize in 2004.

Ex-Spokesman's New Role


Qin Gang, a former spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has taken over as minister or deputy chief of mission at China's Embassy in the UK.

This is Qin's third stint in London, after working there as third and second secretary at the Chinese Embassy in 1995-99 and counselor in 2002-05.

When introducing Qin on his London debut on September 13, Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming described the 44-year-old diplomat as an expert on UK affairs and said he wanted him to make a greater contribution to China-UK relations because of his knowledge, insight and experience with Britain and its people.

Former Football Head's Case


Xie Yalong, former chief of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), is being investigated on suspicion of bribery and match fixing, said the police on September 12. Sources with the Ministry of Public Security said police and prosecutors had obtained clues after receiving tip-offs with the help of the General Administration of Sport.

Xie is the third former senior CFA official thought to be involved in a football corruption scandal. Former CFA vice presidents Nan Yong and Yang Yimin were arrested earlier this year on related charges.

Xie, 55, was appointed vice president of the CFA and chief of the Chinese Soccer Administrative Center in 2005. During his tenure, Chinese men's and women's football teams suffered a string of defeats in international competitions, including the FIFA World Cup tournament, the Asian Cup and Olympic Games. He stepped down in 2009 and later became board chairman of the China Sports Industry Group, the only listed company of the General Administration of Sport.

Two subordinates of Xie at CFA—Wei Shaohui, former manager of men's national team, and Li Dongsheng, former chairman of the CFA's Referee Commission—are also being investigated.

"The size of a company doesn't matter when it comes to the bankruptcy issue."

Li Rongrong, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, on the restructuring of China's state-owned enterprises. Nearly 5,000 state-owned enterprises reportedly went bankrupt each year from 2002 to 2009

"We are suggesting imposing carbon tax on thermal power plants and using the revenue to subsidize solar and wind energy development."

Cheng Siwei, a renowned Chinese economist and former senior legislator, putting forward future directions for China's emissions reduction efforts at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2010, also known as the Summer Davos, in north China's port city of Tianjin

"I think the decisions that were taken are the right decisions, they go in the right direction, and I also believe the fact they gave the banking industry so much time for implementation clearly reduces the effects on the real economy, which is also very positive."

Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank's CEO, after the world's major central banks endorsed Basel III rules on September 12, which will gradually require banks to hold a greater capital buffer to absorb potential losses

"The people who do this, these are people without a soul, without a heart."

Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Russia, after a suicide bomber killed at least 16 people and wounded 100 others in North Ossetia on September 9

"We're putting nature's systems under huge strain, and we can't go on like that if we want to hand over something reasonably worthwhile to our children and grandchildren."

Prince Charles, expressing dismay toward climate-change doubters, during an eco-tour of Britain

"With the project we wish to help these young students to launch their entrepreneurial careers."

David Wei, Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group, China's largest e-commerce company, announcing on September 11 a $3-million initiative for e-commerce job creation to help 3,000 U.S. students in 2011

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