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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: June 14, 2009 NO. 24 JUNE 18, 2009

Mainlander to Run HK Bourse

Charles Li, a Beijing-born investment banker, has been appointed CEO of the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. (HKEx), which operates Asia's third largest stock market. He will become the first non-native head of the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Li will join HKEx in October and formally take the reins of the bourse in January when current CEO Paul Chow retires, the company said in a statement on June 3.

The 48-year-old Li, now Chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s China unit, is a long-time Wall Street veteran. Once an oil driller and a journalist on the Chinese mainland, Li began to study in the United States in 1986, receiving a Bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Alabama and a PhD from the Columbia University. After working at two major New York law firms, he joined Merrill Lynch in 1994 and moved to JPMorgan in 2003. He played a role in completing the earliest overseas public offerings by state-owned Chinese mainland enterprises.

Industry insiders believe Li's appointment is conducive to enhancing cooperation between stock markets on the mainland and in Hong Kong, as well as promoting the development of HKEx, where Chinese mainland companies account for 90 percent of total listings and more than 50 percent of market capitalization.

Teen Pianist Big Winner

Zhang Haochen, a teenager from China, won top prize at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 7, along with Japanese pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii. They are the first Asian winners in the competition since it was inaugurated in 1962, each receiving $20,000 and an offer to record a CD.

Zhang, who turned 19 on June 3, was the youngest contestant in this year's competition. "For a pianist at my age there is nothing more challenging or stressful than the Cliburn competition," he said in an Associated Press report.

After graduating from an academy of arts in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong Province, Zhang began to study at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music four years ago. Gary Graffman, who helped tutor another Chinese star, Lang Lang, into a world famous pianist, now tutors him.

Shenzhen Mayor Investigated

Xu Zongheng, Mayor of Shenzhen, China's largest special economic zone in southern Guangdong Province, "is being investigated for suspected serious disciplinary offenses," said Xinhua News Agency in a report on June 8, quoting sources with the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Party's top discipline watchdog. The report did not give more details.

Xu, 53, was transferred from central China's Hunan Province to Shenzhen in 1993, holding several posts in local CPC organizations thereafter. He was elected executive vice mayor of Shenzhen in 2003 and replaced Li Hongzhong as mayor of the thriving business hub in 2005.

Media reports linked the probe against Xu to either illegal land transactions in Shenzhen or his alleged involvement in a corruption ring with Huang Guangyu, once the richest Chinese mainlander, at the core.

"The declaration of phase changes... is not simply getting up in front of press cameras or making an announcement. It's really a way of preparing the world to deal with the situation."

Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization, before the world body raised its pandemic flu alert to level six on June 11

"Our software is simply not capable of spying on Internet users, it is only a filter."

Zhang Chenmin, General Manager of Jinhui Computer System Engineering Co., denying allegations that software developed by his company to filter pornographic content was a kind of "spyware." New computers produced or sold in China after July 1 are required to pre-install filter software packages

"The iron ore trade is gradually advancing in the direction of monopoly."

China Iron and Steel Association, saying in a June 9 statement that it "resolutely opposes" the iron ore joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, the world's third- and second-largest mining companies, for probable market manipulation

"There is so much fear, so much mistrust. But if we choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward."

U.S. President Barack Obama, pledging to forge a "new beginning" for Islam and America in a speech at Cairo University on June 4

"For too long, the education sector and the government have treated international students like cash cows, not like human beings."

David Barrow, President of Australia's National Union of Students, refuting the Australian Government's "discriminatory" policy toward foreign students when Indian students and community members rallied in Sydney on June 8 against growing violence and inequality toward them

"The far right growth is a really bad sign, and this is clearly linked to the economic crash. "

Gerry Gable, editor of the anti-fascist monthly Searchlight, after center-right parties won European Parliament elections on June 7

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