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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: March 13, 2009 NO. 11 MAR. 19, 2009

Ex-FM Spokesman's New Challenge

Liu Jianchao, former chief foreign ministry spokesman of China, has been appointed the 13th Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1975.

Liu, 45, studied international relations at Oxford University from 1986 to 1987. He began to serve as spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in June 2002 and remained at the post until this January. He is so far the longest-serving spokesman of the ministry.

Liu is known for his communication skills, which are expected to help him deal with the ongoing territorial dispute between China and the Philippines.

Philanthropist Calls for Infrastructure

Chen Guangbiao, a businessman who is on Forbes Asia's recently published "Heroes of Philanthropy" list, has made headlines with a call for the building of 1,000 schools and 2,000 clinics across the country to help the poor, especially those from minority ethnic groups.

Chen, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, proposed the ambitious poverty-relief program at the annual session of this top advisory body of China.

Chen, 39, Chief Executive of Jiangsu Huangpu Investment Corp., is known as "China's No.1 Philanthropist." He has donated more than 475 million yuan ($68 million) to various charity programs over the past decade, which benefited more than 200,000 needy people.

Top Fencing Coach Stays

French fencing coach Christian Bauer renewed his contract with the China Fencing Association on March 9, which allows him to remain as head coach of the Chinese saber team over the next four years.

According to Bauer, he expects bigger success in China because Chinese fencers still have much room to improve.

Bauer, 58, is one of the most successful foreign coaches in China. Two years after he took over the Chinese saber team in 2006, he led them to gold and silver Olympic medals in Beijing last August. The gold was China's first in the sport in 24 years.

Bauer has trained hundreds of elite fencers. He coached France to world titles in 1997 and 1999. In the Athens Olympics in 2004, his Italian pupil Aldo Montano won a gold.

"If the president were a criminal, how could the opposition faction consider him a credible negotiator to seek political reconciliation?"

Liu Guijin, special representative of the Chinese Government for Darfur, blaming the arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir that was issued by the International Criminal Court for disrupting the political process in the Darfur region

"Advanced military equipment would surely be one of the parade's highlights, but not the only one. The parade will definitely bring surprises to the people of the nation."

Fang Fenghui, Commander in Chief of the National Day military parade, talking to reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress. The parade will be held in Beijing on October 1

"When, in times of crisis, jobs become scarce, women are often the ones who are the first to go."

Helga Schwitzer, a leader of Germany's IG Metall union, calling for intensified protection of women's rights at a gathering marking International Women's Day in Emden on March 8

"The right moment has come today, for the first time after the end of the Cold War, for making real progress in resuming the global disarmament process on a broad agenda."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, calling for an end to a decade of failure in global disarmament talks at a meeting of the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on March 7

"It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda-and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology."

U.S. President Barack Obama, after signing an Executive Order on March 10 to end the federal funding ban for stem cell research

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