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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: December 31, 2010 NO. 1 JANUARY 6, 2011

Iron Lady's Comeback


Xie Qihua, former Chairwoman of Baosteel Group Corp., China's largest steel maker, has been appointed board chairwoman of the newly launched state asset management company—China Reform Holdings Corp. Ltd.

Xie, dubbed the "Iron Lady" of China's steel industry, is famous for turning a small steel factory into today's mammoth Baosteel during her 28-year tenure at the corporation. Graduated from Tsinghua University in 1966, she subsequently worked for a steel factory in Shanxi Province from 1968 to 1978. She started working for Baosteel in 1978, becoming its general manager in 1994. She became chairwoman of the corporation in 2003 and retired from Baosteel in 2007. She was named one of the 50 Most Powerful Business Women by Fortune magazine in 2002.

China Reform Holdings Corp. Ltd. will focus on reorganizing small state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are not related to national security or crucial to the national economy. The launch of the new company marks an important move toward an optimized restructuring of state-owned economic entities. Profits of China's SOEs in the first 11 months hit 1.81 trillion yuan ($271.92 billion), up 43.1 percent year on year, according to figures released by the Ministry of Finance on December 17, 2010.

MIIT's New Minister


Miao Wei, former President of Dongfeng Motor Corp. (DMC), was appointed Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) December 25, 2010. Miao, 55, had served as vice minister of MIIT since its establishment in March 2008. He replaces 65-year-old Li Yizhong, who has been MIIT's minister since its founding.

Miao graduated from the Hefei University of Technology in 1982 with a major in internal combustion engines. He became Secretary of the CPC Committee of DMC in 1997 and became general manager in 1999. Miao served as Secretary of the CPC Committee of Wuhan, Hubei Province, and was a member of the Standing Committee of the Hubei Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China from 2005 to 2008.

Youngest Chess Queen


Hou Yifan, 16, won the 2010 Women's World Chess Championship in Antakya, Turkey, making her the youngest world chess champion, male or female, in history. Hou beat her teammate Ruan Lufei in the final of a four-game playoff after the regulation portion of their contest ended in a tie. Hou won 3 to 1. She is the fourth Chinese women's world champion after Xie Jun, Zhu Chen and Xu Yihua.

Hou was born in Xinhua in east China's Jiangsu Province. She showed great talent soon after she started playing chess. Before the 2010 Women's World Chess Championship, she won the first gold medal for the Chinese International Chess Team at the Guangzhou Asian Games. The Shandong team, of which she is a member, won first place in Division A of the 2010 Chinese Chess League; she was also selected the best woman chess player in the tournament.

" Inflation expectations are more dire than inflation itself. I am confident of keeping prices at a reasonable level."

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, urging people to remain confident and government agencies to stabilize prices during a question-and-answer session on a recent live radio program

"[It] raises serious questions about selective prosecution—and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, expressing concerns over Russia's conviction of two former business tycoons, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev

"I am shocked that a group of people have concrete plans to commit a serious terrorist attack in this country. I want to stress that regardless of today's event it remains my conviction that terrorism must not lead us to change our open society and our values, especially democracy and free speech."

Danish Prime Minister Loekke Rasmussen, commenting on an imminent terrorist attack that Danish and Swedish police thwarted on December 29. Five suspects were arrested for planning to shoot as many people as possible in a building housing a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad

"If the U.S. Government is going to expel our ambassador there, then do it. If the U.S. Government is going to break off diplomatic relations, do it."

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying he is ready for the United States to expel Venezuela's ambassador and break off diplomatic ties in retaliation for Venezuela's five-month refusal to welcome the Obama administration's choice of the next U.S. envoy to Venezuela

"I don't want to write this book, but I have to. I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying he's being forced into penning an autobiography to keep his organization from going under

"A higher percentage of soldiers with higher education degrees are being recruited to enhance the army's ability to master modern weapons and tactics."

Chinese Defense Minister, General Liang Guanglie, on China's defense and military modernization

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