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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: August 17, 2009 NO. 33 AUGUST 20, 2009

New Risk Monitor

Xuan Changneng, the former research chief of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), now heads up a powerful department in the central bank dealing with financial risks.

Xuan, 42, holds a master's degree in law from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D in finance from the University of Texas in Austin. He worked for JP Morgan in New York, the China Securities Regulatory Commission, China Construction Bank and U.S. private equity fund JC Flowers & Co., before joining PBOC in 2008 as director of its research institute.

The Financial Stability Bureau, established in 2003, is responsible for assessing, preventing and resolving systematic risks in China's financial sector.

Fireworks Artist Bags Award

Cai Guoqiang, chief designer of the fireworks display at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony last August, has been awarded the Arts and Culture Prize at this year's Fukuoda Asian Culture Prizes, as well as 3 million yen ($330,000) in prize money for his acute awareness of contemporary issues and the originality and universality of his creative abilities.

Organizers of the prizes said in a statement that Cai, in his practice as an artist, has always been ahead of international artistic society in the originality with which he expresses his spectacular vision of mankind and the universe, while at the same time breaking down existing artistic concepts.

Cai, a 52-year-old native of Quanzhou, in south China's Fujian Province, now lives in New York. He is considered one of the most exciting contemporary artists in the world, renowned for his art creations using gunpowder explosions and fireworks. As the winner of the Venice Biennale International Prize (Golden Lion) in 1999, his other stunning works also include a cityscape firework show in Shanghai in 2001.

The Fukuoda Asian Culture Prizes was inaugurated in 1990 to honor outstanding achievements by individuals, groups or organizations in preserving and creating the unique and diverse cultures of Asia.

Nuclear Boss Under Probe

Kang Rixin, General Manager of the China National Nuclear Corp., was being investigated for alleged "grave violations of discipline," said the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China on August 5.

Though the Party's top disciplinary body did not give more details, local media reports said that Kang had been found involved in corruption cases worth more than 1.8 billion yuan ($260 million). He reportedly had squandered public money to buy stocks and interfered in the bidding results of nuclear power projects after taking bribes from a foreign company.

The state-owned China National Nuclear Corp., with more than 100 subsidiary companies and institutes, is the main investor and operator of nuclear power plants across China. Kang, 56, took the company reins in September 2003.

"Lack of political will is the fundamental cause of the slow progress of climate change talks in finding a global deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol."

Yu Qingtai, China's special representative for climate change negotiations, urging developed countries to abandon the practice of only "giving lip service but no concrete actions" toward curbing global warming before a new round of climate change talks in Bonn, Germany on August 10-14

"We're not talking the Green Revolution here, with genetically modified food and pesticides. We're just talking about getting the basics right. There is no reason that Africa needs to import 60 to 70 percent of its food."

Richard Cornwell, an independent security analyst in Tshwane (Pretoria), suggesting Washington pay as much attention to helping Angola create jobs in the agricultural sector as it does on securing oil supplies there, during U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent visit to the African country

"Parties to armed conflict continue to use sexual violence with efficient brutality. Like a grenade or a gun, sexual violence is part of their arsenal to pursue military, political, social and economic aims."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, calling for stepped-up efforts worldwide to prevent and respond to sexual violence at a Security Council meeting on August 7

"We have managed to avoid a second Great Depression...but full recovery is at least two years [off] and probably more."

Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, telling a world capital markets conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on August 10 that the worst of the global economic crisis was over

"I hope and I pray that they start fighting among themselves. It will make the job so much easier."

Mehmood Shah, former head of security in Pakistan's tribal areas, responding to reports that the Pakistani Taliban is engaged in a bloody leadership contest

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