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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: December 3, 2010 NO. 49 DECEMBER 9, 2010

Epic Film Maker

Movie director Chen Kaige's latest epic film Sacrifice hit theatres on December 4.

The film is adapted from the 2,000-year-old story The Orphan of the Zhao Family, which features jealousy, murder and revenge. Cheng Ying, the hero, sacrificed his own baby son to save hundreds of other babies. The story was once dramatized by French writer and philosopher Voltaire as The Orphan of China.

"It is a classical tragedy, known to Chinese and many foreigners. I didn't want to make the film sound too sophisticated. The purpose of the production is simply to share a good story," Chen said.

As a leading figure of the prestigious "fifth generation" of filmmakers who began their careers in the early 1980s and are the mainstay of China's film industry, Chen, 58, is the earliest of Chinese directors to achieve international recognition. His Farewell My Concubine won the top award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993. Other notable works by Chen include Yellow Earth (1984), The Emperor and the Assassin (1999), The Promise (2005) and Forever Enthralled (2008).

Football Coach Honored

Ma Yuanan, former head coach of the Chinese women's football, has received the Gold Service Award from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Ma was presented with the award for his role in developing women's football in China. He is the only recipient from the Chinese mainland among 38 Asian coaches and instructors who were honored for their years of contributions to Asian football as the AFC marks 2010 as Asian Coaches Year.

Ma, 65, who has already retired, was a football player until 1975. He coached the Beijing Women's Team from 1986 to 1992 and served as head coach of the national women's team from 1992 to 2001.

Ma created a prime era in Chinese women's football. Under his coaching, the Chinese team was runner-up in the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup and the Olympic Games in 1996.

Yogurt Tycoon Arrested

Li Tuchun, founder and former President of Taizinai, a leading Chinese fermented yogurt producer, has been arrested on charges of illegal fund raising, along with three high-ranking executives of the company.

Initial investigation shows that beginning in February 2008, Taizinai raised more than 137 million yuan ($21 million) in a desperate bid to rescue the company from financial problems. The funds were illegally collected from the company's distributors, employees and the public. The company failed to repay most of the money.

Li, 50, founded Taizinai in 1996 with 1 million yuan ($150,000). The company became an industry leader after 10 years' development, with accumulated sales topping 5 billion yuan ($750 million).

Rapid expansion in recent years, however, resulted in the company taking on a debt of over 2 billion yuan ($300 million). Its overseas debtors included Morgan Stanley, Actis Capital, and Goldman Sachs.

In July this year, the local court in Zhuzhou, where Taizinai is based, accepted a bankruptcy lawsuit against the company and ordered it to carry out debt restructuring.

"Showing power and confrontation is not a solution to problems and not in the interests of related parties."

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, calling for efforts to cool down tensions on the Korean Peninsula in a speech at a forum on Asia-Pacific situations in Beijing on December 1

"Time is not with us."

Sun Zhenyu, Chinese Ambassador to the WTO, stressing at a WTO Trade Negotiation Committee meeting on November 30 the need to seize the window of opportunity in 2011 to reach a global trade deal, which was recognized by both G20 and APEC leaders in early November

"You have young people who don't know enough about AIDS, there is less of a fear factor about it."

Paul De Lay, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS, warning complacency among young people is causing a new surge in the AIDS epidemic in the United States and European nations such as UK and Germany

"This conquest is a decisive step forward for our public safety policy. Today, we are turning a page in Rio's history."

Sergio Cabral, Governor of Brazil's Rio State, after the government claimed victory on November 28 in its crackdown on the slums of Rio de Janeiro after an unprecedented military operation to drive out drug traffickers and secure the slums

"Either we agree on anti-missile defense and create full-fledged, joint cooperation, or—if we fail to reach constructive cooperation—(we will face) a new round of the arms race."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in his state of the union address on November 30

"Europe has taken action over recent months to tackle sovereign debt issues in the eurozone and it has shown that it is serious about the protection of the euro."

Klaus Regling, Chief Executive of the European Financial Stability Facility. He said in a recent speech in Singapore perceptions about Europe in chaos and the euro about to disappear were wrong and the latest debt crisis was moving EU member states closer together

"We are focused on catching up with the developed countries, and the gap is narrowing."

Yang Wenzhi, a science popularization director with the China Association for Science and Technology, on a survey by the association that shows only 3.27 percent of Chinese have basic scientific literacy, a level 20 years behind developed countries

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