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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: July 20, 2009 NO. 29 JULY 23, 2009

'Marshall Plan' With Chinese Characteristics

Xu Shanda, a former senior tax official, recently suggested the Chinese Government launch a $500-billion financing assistance program for developing countries, in order to speed up the world's recovery from the ongoing economic crisis.

The program, which Xu names "World Harmony Program" or "Development Sharing Program," is expected to share some features of the Marshall Plan implemented by the U.S. Government in the 1940s to revive the post-war European economy. It is proposed in consideration of China's huge foreign currency holdings (capital surplus), overcapacity of the Chinese manufacturing sector and the growing credibility of the Chinese currency.

According to Xu, the money could be provided for cash-strapped developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas mainly in the form of low-interest commercial loans to help them improve weak domestic capital infrastructure and develop trade capacity. Based on the loans (including Chinese currency loans worth $400 billion), these countries would increase their purchase of Chinese goods and labor services, thus boosting China's export-oriented economy, Xu said.

Xu, 62, obtained his doctorate from Britain's University of Bath in 1990. He served as vice minister of the State Administration of Taxation between January 2000 and December 2006.

Zhejiang Man Buys British TV Station

Ye Maoxi, a businessman from east China's Zhejiang Province, acknowledged in early July that he was negotiating to buy a British TV station.

Sources with Beijing-based Xiking Group, which was founded by Ye in 1994, also confirmed the takeover bid. They said details of the deal, including the price, were still under negotiation.

The broadcaster involved in the bid is Leeds-based Propeller TV, a not-for-profit organization which was launched in February 2006. According to an introduction on its official website, Propeller TV is the first digital satellite television channel in Europe to screen new and original programming.

City Express, a local Zhejiang newspaper, said in a report that Ye offered to acquire Propeller TV after he learned earlier this year that the broadcaster was looking for strategic investment after the government slashed its support.

Ye, 50, entered the business arena in the late 1980s by creating an advertising agency in Beijing. His Xiking Group now engages in advertising, printing, manufacturing, mining, real estate and international trade.

Propeller TV would become a bilingual broadcaster offering both English and Chinese programs after the takeover and give more attention to China, especially Chinese culture, according to Ye.

Cued up for Victory

Liang Wenbo, China's second-ranking snooker player, won the first professional title of his career on July 12, coming from behind to beat the world's No.2 player Stephen Maguire 7-6 in the 13-frame final of the Beijing International Challenge.

Liang, 22, based at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield, England, turned professional in 2004. Known for his offensive fighting style, this left-handed player was also the first Chinese quarter finalist in the World Snooker Championship in 2008. His current ranking in the world is 27.

Liang is now widely considered as a challenger to the status quo in China's snooker world, where Ding Junhui, another 22-year-old sensation, has remained No.1 since 2003. Ding, who achieved three ranking tournament wins in 2005 and 2006, is the world's No.13 player in the 2009/10 season.

"The relationship between the ethnic groups has been generally amicable, though, as in all families and multiethnic communities, frictions occasionally happen. We call such frictions 'problems among people,' meaning they can be solved through coordination and are not a life-or-death struggle."

Fu Ying, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, refuting views that frame the July 5 violence in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as an ethnic conflict in her article Unity Is Deep in China's Blood, which was carried by the Guardian newspaper on July 13

"All rights and responsibilities are respected and are equal and individuals are not judged by their poverty or wealth, nor are nations by their size or military and economic capabilities, nor are peoples by their color or religion."

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, appealing for the establishment of a new international order based on pluralism and the democratization of international relations at a ministerial meeting of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement summit on July 13

"We recognize that we've been given a rare second chance at GM, and we are very grateful for that. And we appreciate the fact that we now have the tools to get the job done."

Fritz Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, speaking at a July 10 news conference at the company's headquarters in Detroit. Once world's largest automaker, GM has exited bankruptcy protection with reduced debts of $48 billion in 41 days, far quicker than expected

"Collectively, our findings are a reminder that (strains of the A/H1N1 flu) have not yet garnered a place in history, but may still do so."

A study by the World Health Organization. The world body warned on July 13 that the A/H1N1 flu pandemic has grown "unstoppable" and all nations will need access to vaccines

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