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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: December 17, 2010 NO. 51 DECEMBER 23, 2010

Diplomat Promoted

Zhang Zhijun has succeeded Wang Guangya as executive vice minister of foreign affairs. Wang was reappointed to head the office of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs.

Zhang's previous position was vice minister of foreign affairs, responsible for dealing with news media and other related work. Cui Tiankai took Zhang's previous position.

Zhang, 57, has worked for the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) for 34 years. He was first secretary at the Embassy of China in the United Kingdom from 1991 to 1994. After working as vice minister of International Department of CCCPC from 2000 to 2009, he became vice minister of foreign affairs in 2009.

Zhang's appointment was the latest in China's diplomatic personnel reshuffle this year. Earlier, Cui Tiankai, Fu Ying and Zhai Jun were successively promoted to positions as vice ministers. With the completion of this year's reshuffle, Beijing will boast an elite team of diplomatic officials all born after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. All have impressive academic backgrounds and overseas work experience.

Actress of the Decade

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi received the Actress of the Decade award from CineAsia, an annual regional film trade show, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center on December 9, 2010.

It's the second time that Zhang has received an award from CineAsia. In 1999 the then little-known graduate of the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing was awarded the Star of Tomorrow prize by the film event. During the past 10 years, nearly 20 films featuring Zhang have won nearly 100 awards at various ceremonies in China and abroad. Zhang's work includes Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, House of Flying Daggers, and 2046.

Zhang recently finished shooting Gu Changwei's AIDS-focused drama A Tale of Magic and is expected to film an English version of the Chinese classic tale Hua Mulan.

"In the past 10 years, she has accomplished the life dreams of many actors in endeavors others can't even imagine. Her difference from others and supereminence has made her the representative of Asian movies," said CineAsia President Robert H. Sunshine. "Much has changed, but my passion and curiosity for the humanity of the characters I play remain," said Zhang after the awards ceremony.

Corrupt Officials Sentenced

Huang Yao

Pi Qiansheng

Huang Yao, former Chairman of the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), has received a death sentence with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes.

In return for more than 9.54 million yuan ($1.4 million) in bribes, 62-year-old Huang assisted others in affairs relating to business, land planning and job promotions by abusing his positions as Party chief of the Qianxinan Buyi-Miao Autonomous Prefectural Committee, deputy secretary of the Guizhou Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, and chairman of the CPPCC Guizhou Provincial Committee between September 1993 and early 2009.

Since Huang cooperated with investigators, and confessed to all his crimes and returned all of his illegal gains, he was given a suspended death sentence. Apart from the sentence, the court also confiscated all of his personal property.

Pi Qiansheng, a former member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Tianjin Municipal Committee, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve for taking bribes and abuse of power.

The Shenyang Intermediate People's Court said Pi was found to have taken advantage of his position as head of Tianjin Economic and Technology Development Zone and Tianjin Binhai New Area to enable financial gains for others, extorted money and accepted bribes totaling 7.55 million yuan ($1.11 million) from 1995 to 2005. He also abused his power when heading the Tianjin Economic and Technology Development Zone Administrative Committee from 1996 to February 1998, the court ruled. His illegal actions resulted in 220 million yuan ($32.4 million) worth of losses in state assets. The court deprived Pi of his political rights for life, and confiscated all his property.

"My objective is to try to get North Korea to calm down a bit, see if we can reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula."

Bill Richardson, Governor of the U.S. state of New Mexico, who is travelling to North Korea on an unofficial diplomatic mission to ease regional tensions

"We are allocating very serious, significant funds for the rearmament program. I am even scared to pronounce this figure, 20 trillion rubles($65 million)."

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the allocation of funds through 2020 to modernize and re-arm the country's military, as he visited a navy shipyard in Severodvinsk on the White Sea on December 13

"Most inflation so far we see in China is food, which is reversible if there are better crops next season. "

Ethan Harris, head of the Developed Economics Research in Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Global Research, on China's increasing CPI

"This country doesn't need early elections."

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, in a speech after he narrowly survived two confidence votes on December 14

"If we send the Kyoto Protocol to the bin, we will be responsible for 'ecocide,' and thus for genocide, because we would be attacking humanity as a whole."

Bolivian President Evo Morales, on the saving of the Kyoto Protocol and the creation of an international climate justice tribunal at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun

"Seoul and Tokyo are discussing plans to allow our troops to conduct rescue operations in case of contingencies."

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, speaking in a meeting with families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea on December 10. The comments were later denied by Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku

"The departments should conduct strict payment-related inspections to ensure migrant workers' pay is not delayed."

Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimin, calling for government departments to ensure migrant workers are paid on time before the upcoming New Year holiday and Spring Festival

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