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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: December 25, 2009 NO. 52 DECEMBER 31, 2009

Climate Negotiator


Su Wei, China's chief climate negotiator at the UN climate talks, has become a household name for his high-profile defense of the interests of China and the developing world as a whole at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Many of his quotes, in particular, are among the hottest hits on the Internet. For instance, when criticizing developed countries of failing to offer enough aid to developing countries in the fight against climate change, he said that a mooted $10 billion in yearly financial help from rich nations would not "cover a coffee in the rich world or a coffin in poor countries at the sharp end of changes in climate," as they were only at a level of less than $2 per person if divided by the world population.

Su is director general of the Department of Climate Change of the National Development and Reform Commission. He began to participate in UN climate talks in 1989.

Bioethics Scientist


Professor Qiu Renzong has been awarded the 2009 Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science by the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

A UNESCO statement said Qiu was a pioneer in the field of bioethics and that the prize committee had made the award to Qiu as a recognition of his research on the ethics of science and steadfast public advocacy of ethical issues related to science.

Besides his work on life-sustaining technology, assisted reproduction technology, public health and cloning, Qiu has made a leading contribution to policy on ethics with more than 20 volumes and nearly 280 articles published on related issues and guidelines for researchers and policy-makers.

Qiu, 77, is currently an emeritus senior research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and chairman of the Academic Committee at the Center for Bioethics at the Peking Union Medical College.

The biennial Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science, named after the 11th-century physician and philosopher Abu Ali al-Husain Ibn Abdallah Ibn Sina, known in Europe as Avicenna, aims to encourage activities of individuals or groups in the field of ethics in science.

Sacked Official


Sun Shuyi was removed from his post as chairman of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and was also deprived of membership of the local advisory body on December 17.

Though the CPPCC Shandong Committee did not disclose the reason for Sun's dismissal, media reports said Sun was allegedly linked to a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors of about 4 billion yuan ($588 million) in 1996-2007. A businessman in Jinan, capital of Shandong, operated the once largest investment fraud in China, who fled abroad in 2007. Sun served as Jinan's Party chief between 1995 and 2004.

Sun, 64, was elected chairman of the CPPCC Shandong Provincial Committee in January 2004. Before that, he had served in many Party posts at different levels in the province since 1970, including vice secretary of CPC Shandong Provincial Committee in 2000.

"Near the factory we found some of the people who are leading the world to economic recovery: Chinese men and women, their struggles in the past, their thoughts on the present and their eyes on the future."

Time magazine, on Chinese workers who are runners-up in its selection of Person of the Year for 2009

"It's the first time we have these snow conditions in this place in 15 years."

Eurostar Chief Operating Officer Nicolas Petrovic, blaming powdery snow for a three-day service shutdown after some 2,500 people were trapped on trains inside the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain for up to 16 hours on December 19

"History is being made today because this dispute has soured global trade relations for too long."

Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU Trade Commissioner, after the EU and Latin America signed a deal ending the so-called banana wars, the world's longest trade dispute, on December 15

"This is a fundamental moment in cancer research. From here on in, we will think about cancers in a very different way."

Michael Stratton, lead researcher and scientist of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, Britain, on their groundbreaking discovery of the entire genetic code of lung and skin cancer

"One could say he was the first one to see it from a plane. But how many millions of indigenous eyes saw it, and prayed to it? No one should refer to Angel Falls any more."

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying on December 20 that the world's tallest waterfall in his country should bear an indigenous name rather than that commemorating the U.S. pilot who spotted it in 1933

"It used to be that China is doing something and the rest of the world has to guess what China is up to, but now the world could know exactly what China is doing due to its more and more transparent reporting environment."

David Wivell, senior producer of TV news from Associated Press's Beijing bureau 

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