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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: April 17, 2009 NO. 16 APR. 23, 2009

New Chief for CITIC Pacific

Amid management reshuffling at the battered CITIC Pacific, Chang Zhenming, 52, currently Vice Chairman and President of China International Trust and Investment Co. Group (CITIC), the mainland-based parent of Hong Kong-listed CITIC Pacific, has taken over the helm.

Chang was named Chairman and Managing Director of CITIC Pacific, replacing co-founders, former Chairman Larry Yung Chi-Kin and Executive Director Henry Fan Hung-Ling.

Yung and Fan resigned on April 3 after police raided the company's headquarters as part of a probe into alleged false statements and fraud of CITIC Pacific, which reported huge losses from wrong bets on foreign exchanges last October.

Chang, a native of Beijing, graduated from the Insurance College of New York with an MBA. Since his entry into the CITIC banking sector in 1983, Chang has held several posts including Vice President of CITIC Industrial Bank, and Executive Director of the CITIC Group. He was assigned Vice Chairman and President of China Construction Bank, the country's top property lender when the massive state-owned bank was then going through restructuring and seeking an overseas listing in 2004. He returned to CITIC in 2006.

Chinese Appliance Tycoon Convicted

Gu Chujun, former chairman of Guangdong-based Kelon Electrical Holdings Co., once China's leading home-appliance manufacturer, had his appeal rejected by the Higher People's Court of Guangdong Province on charges of business fraud and embezzlement of public funds on April 9.

Gu, president of Greencool Enterprise Development Co. (GED), which held 26.4 percent stake in Kelon, was detained in 2005.

He received a 12-year jail term and was fined 6.08 million yuan ($994,900) for embezzling 313 million yuan ($45.79 million), false statements and fraud from verdicts given by the Foshan Intermediate People's Court last year.

Gu, 47, born in Yangzhou city, eastern Jiangsu Province, received a master's degree from Tianjin University in the 1980s, and patented his first refrigerant technology in the 1990s.

Ace Hurdler Back in Training

Chinese star hurdler and former Olympic champion, Liu Xiang has returned home to resume training following a speedy recovery from ankle surgery in the United States.

The 25-year-old Liu was forced to withdraw from the preliminary rounds of the men's 110-m hurdles race at the Beijing Olympics in August 2008 due to an injury in his right foot. He underwent surgery in December in Houston to remove four small pieces of bone from his right Achilles' tendon.

According to Liu's coach, Sun Haiping, the surgery proved successful and Liu is recovering. If he can run the 110-m hurdles in 13.20 seconds, he would compete in the World Championships at Berlin this August.

Liu, one of the most popular Chinese athletes, was born in Shanghai, and is currently enrolled at East China Normal University. According to Forbes, Liu, whose donation to the Sichuan earthquake relief reached 2.5 million yuan ($364,000), was estimated to earn 163 million yuan ($23.8 million) in 2007 alone.

"Hong Kong's status as an international financial center is irreplaceable due to its unique geographical advantage, a long history of financial management, extensive channels of financial operation, a full-fledged legal system and a rich pool of financial expertise."

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in an interview with Hong Kong and Macao reporters responding to a question about whether building Shanghai into a world financial center might threaten Hong Kong's current status

"Military exchanges between the mainland and Taiwan could start from academic exchanges by experts in a mechanism of mutual trust in military security, or from exchanges between retired military servicemen."

Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, China's cabinet, briefing a press conference

"Stability and a prosperous life cannot in any way be set off against political rights and freedoms."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in his interview with an opposition newspaper published on April 15

"We have heard beautiful words (from Obama). But the problem is what are the realistic means that could turn these words into a reality?"

Lebanon's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, believes cooperation is possible between Iran and the United States under the Obama administration, although he discounted any hope of an alliance between the adversaries in an April 15 interview with the Associated Press

"I could hardly see or breathe. "

A young Guantanamo detainee, 21-year-old Mohammed el Gharani from Chad, who was given permission to call a relative but instead phoned al Jazeera, a Qatar-based television network on April 14

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