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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: March 2, 2009 NO. 9 MAR. 5, 2009

Acquisition Expert Government Bound

Xiao Yaqing, former General Manager of the Aluminum Corp. of China, also known as Chinalco, has stepped down after he was appointed deputy secretary general of the State Council, the company announced on February 18.

The appointment came only one week after Chinalco, China's largest metal producer, agreed a $19.5-billion investment in the Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Group. The deal, if approved by shareholders of both companies and the Australian Government, will double Chinalco's stake in the world's third-largest mining company to 18 percent.

Xiao, 50, joined Chinalco in March 2002 and became general manager of the company two years later. He was also chairman of Chinalco's listed unit, Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (Chalco).

During his tenure, Chinalco completed several huge acquisition deals at home and abroad.

Sculptor Creates Environment Prize

A sculpture created by Chinese sculptor Yuan Xikun was unveiled at the headquarters of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, on February 16.

The UN body has also decided to present a miniature, crystal version of the sculpture to each winner of this year's Champions of the Earth Award as a trophy. Champions of the Earth is an international environment award established by the UNEP in 2004.

The sculpture, Urgency From a Polar Region, shows two traumatized polar bear cubs and their helpless mother balancing on the top of a thawing iceberg. Yuan said that the work conveys his calls on people from all walks of life to protect the world's environment and promote sustainable development.

Yuan, 65, is the founder and curator of the Beijing-based Jintai Museum. He is a famous portrait sculptor and painter, who has depicted more than 200 heads of state, government and international organizations.

Web Tycoon Breeds Pigs

Internet billionaire William Ding (Ding Lei) has made headlines for his planned launch of a nonprofit, Web-assisted pig-raising program.

According to Ding, CEO and founder of Nasdaq-listed NetEase.com Inc., the multimillion-dollar program, which resulted from his food safety concerns, will focus on exploring a practical and profitable way for farmers to breed quality pigs.

There have been many reports about pig farmers in China relying on illegal animal feed additives to make money. Last month, pork products contaminated with clenbuterol, a toxic chemical, sickened 70 people in south Guangdong Province.

Ding said that operations of his 10,000-pig demonstration pig farm, reportedly to be located in east China's Zhejiang Province, would be broadcast live online. All the farm's business data will also be published, in order to solicit feedback.

Ding, 38, founded NetEase, now China's second largest online game operator, in 1997. Worth 7.6 billion yuan (about $900 million) in 2003, he topped Forbes magazine's China rich list. Last year, he ranked 17th on the list, with an estimated wealth of 8.5 billion yuan ($1.2 billion).

"We had passion and we had belief and if you have those two things, truly, anything is possible."

Christian Colson, producer of Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, which tells a story of hope amid squalor in Mumbai, India

"In the heat of the crisis, it's critical that all countries refrain from pointing fingers at each other or pursuing their own interests at the expense of others. "

Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, in his article entitled Protectionism Doesn't Pay that was published on The Wall Street Journal on February 20

"If actions taken by the administration, the Congress and the Federal Reserve are successful in restoring some measure of financial stability-and only if that is the case, in my view-there is a reasonable prospect that the current recession will end in 2009 and that 2010 will be a year of recovery."

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in his semiannual address to Congress on February 24

"Even in the midst of this global financial crisis, if we work together and coordinate closely we can still reach better outcomes."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, pledging that economic woes won't wreck global efforts to reduce poverty, war and effects of climate change during his recent Africa trip

"The death of a language means at the same time the disappearance of a cultural heritage, from stories through legends to proverbs and jokes."

Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The UN body warned on February 19 that some 2,500 of the world's 6,000 languages are currently threatened with extinction

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