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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: November 11, 2008 NO. 46 NOV. 13, 2008

Mainland Envoy Visits Taiwan

Chen Yunlin, the mainland's top negotiator with Taiwan, made his first visit to the island on November 3-7.

Chen, President of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), is also the first ARATS chief to visit Taiwan in 17 years after the nongovernmental organization was established for carrying out negotiations on cross-Taiwan Straits exchanges under the authorization of the Central Government.

Chen met with his counterpart Chiang Pin-kung, Chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), in Taipei on November 4. They signed four agreements on direct shipping, air and postal services and food safety.

The agreements, according to a Xinhua News Agency, are expected to end a situation that has prevailed since 1949, which required air and sea movements between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to go through a third location.

Chen, 66, was elected president of ARATS in June, after serving as director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council for more than 10 years.

Soon after his election, Chen hosted Chiang in Beijing in June, resuming the highest-level contact between ARATS and SEF that had been suspended for nine years. Chiang's mainland visit is the second for a SEF head, following late Chairman Koo Chen-fu's tour in 1998.

Eminent Economist Honored

Cheng Siwei, a former leader of China's top legislature, has received the Globalist of the Year Award from the Canadian International Council (CIC).

The award, according to CIC, is given to individuals whose work contributed to better international relations and cooperation.

Cheng, whose 10-year tenure as vice chairman of the National People's Congress expired in March, is one of China's most prestigious economists, known as the "father of venture capital investment in China." The 73-year-old shifted his career focus from chemistry to economics at 46. He is one of the first Chinese to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree, in 1983.

Since 2006, Cheng has attended three consecutive sessions of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as a leading member of the Chinese delegation.

The CIC, founded in 2007, is a non-partisan, nationwide council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs.

Hurdle King's Tough Choice

Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang heard two judgments about his Achilles injury during a recent U.S. trip-one bad, one good. The bad one said that he might need surgery, which Liu didn't expect, to remove the calcification in his tendon that prevented him from defending his Olympic title on home soil in August. The good one is that he is very likely to stage a comeback six months after the operation if everything goes well.

Liu kicked off the journey on October 29. In Houston, Durham and Charlotte, he visited several top U.S. foot specialists, including Robert B. Anderson, President of the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society.

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