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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: October 26, 2009 NO. 43 OCTOBER 29, 2009

Military Chief Visits U.S.

Xu Caihou, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of China, would visit the United States from October 24 to November 3 at the invitation of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Ministry of National Defense announced on October 19.

Xu is the highest-ranking Chinese military officer to visit the United States in three years, following CMC Vice Chairman Guo Boxiong's U.S. trip in July 2006. In addition to meeting Secretary Gates, Xu is scheduled to visit the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, the Nellis Air Force Base, the North Island Naval Air Station and U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu.

Xu, 66, joined the People's Liberation Army in August 1963 and was promoted to General of the Army in September 1999. He has served as Vice Chairman of the CMC since March 2005.

The CMC is China's highest military organ, with President Hu as its chairman.

Billionaire Philanthropist

Chen Fashu, a self-made Chinese billionaire based in southeast China's Fujian Province, announced on October 20 that he would set up a charity foundation with about 90 percent of the shares he holds, which are worth 8.3 billion yuan ($1.2 billion).

Chen's foundation, which is modeled after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will be the largest private charity fund ever established in the country. An independent management team will oversee its operation. The foundation will also cooperate with other charity funds in China.

Chen, 48, is president of Newhuadu Industrial Group Co. Ltd. The majority of his wealth comes from Zijin Mining Group, a leading gold, copper and non-ferrous metals producer and refiner in China with Chen as the second-largest stakeholder. With an estimated net worth of 25 billion yuan ($3.6 billion), Chen ranked 15th on the 2009 Hurun Rich List released by the Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute.

Chen, who dropped out of school in fourth grade, plans to focus his foundation on building primary and middle schools in poor areas and assisting college students from impoverished families.

Corrupted Ningxia Official

Li Tangtang, Vice Chairman of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, is being investigated for corruption, the Communist Party of China's top discipline watchdog said on October 15.

Li is suspected of "serious violation of discipline," according to a Xinhua News Agency report that citied sources with the Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Li, 55, began to serve as Vice Chairman of Ningxia in May 2008, taking charge of education, culture, press and sports affairs. Ningxia is one of China's five provincial-level ethnic autonomous areas with Hui Muslims accounting for the majority of its population.

Before he was transferred to Ningxia, Li was Vice Governor of neighboring Shaanxi Province. In 2007, he received a "warning" sanction from the CCDI for violating the Party's election rules.

"The Chinese bring what Africa needs: investment and money for governments and companies. China is investing in infrastructure and building roads."

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, defending China's program of investment in developing African countries in an interview with German daily Handelsblatt

"Continuous innovation of technology and upgrading of industries are the driving forces of modern economic growth for China."

Justin Yifu Lin, Senior Vice President and chief economist at the World Bank, giving his interpretation of the "China miracle" at an international economists' forum in Frankfurt, Germany, on October 15

"We have to have a better deal. We should be able to come out with an amicable understanding that everyone survives. If the Maldives can't be saved today, we do not feel that there is much of a chance for the rest of the world."

Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, speaking on October 16 at the world's first underwater cabinet meeting, which was held to bring attention to the risks of climate change before a landmark UN climate change meeting in December. The island nation fears that rising sea levels could eventually leave it completely submerged

"We proved to the Olympic Committee that we have plans and proposals for Rio de Janeiro. We proved that our current policy not only consists of going into battle, it also consists of keeping the peace."

Rio state Public Safety Director Jose Beltrame, pledging to host a violence-free 2016 Olympics despite bloody drug gang shootouts that left 14 people dead on October 16

"I prefer the national interests of Afghanistan over my personal interests."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, admitting on October 20 that he fell short of victory in the country's disputed presidential election and agreeing to a runoff election on November 7

"I'm pretty confident that there are Earth-like planets everywhere."

Stephane Udry, astronomer at the University of Geneva, after his team found 32 new planets outside of the solar system

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