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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: January 9, 2010 NO. 2 JANUARY 14, 2010

Diplomatic Promotion


Cui Tiankai (REN ZHENGLAI)

announced on January 3 the appointment of Cui Tiankai, Fu Ying and Zhai Jun as vice ministers of foreign affairs. The three veteran diplomats have each worked in China's diplomatic service for more than 30 years.

Two former vice ministers of foreign affairs, Wu Dawei and He Yafei, were removed from their posts.

The 58-year-old Cui is a versatile diplomat, with a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in the United States. Before his latest appointment, he was China's ambassador to Japan beginning in September 2007. 

Cui had also worked at the Foreign Ministry's Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Information Department, Policy Research Office and Department of Asian Affairs, as well as for China's Permanent Delegation to the United Nations. Between 1996 and 1997, he was a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry.


Fu Ying (XINHUA)

Fu, 57, is the second female vice foreign minister of China since 1949, following Wang Hairong who held the post in 1974-79. During her tenure as Chinese ambassador to the UK since 2007, Fu won recognition as a media-savvy diplomat for her active engagement with local media whenever issues cropped up.

Fu also served as China's ambassador to the Philippines (1998-2000) and Australia (2000-03). She was also one of the first Chinese diplomats participating in the Six-Party Talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, which were launched in 2003 when she was director of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry.



Zhai, 56, had been assistant foreign minister for three years before the recent elevation. Before that, he served as the head of the Foreign Ministry's Department of West Asian and North African Affairs from 2003 to 2006.

Zhai started his service in the Foreign Ministry as an Arabic interpreter for state leaders in 1975. In the past 35 years, he was mainly engaged in diplomatic issues concerning West Asia and North Africa, having served as Chinese ambassador to Libya (1997-2000) and worked at Chinese embassies in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Between 2001 and 2003, he was director of the Foreign Ministry's Bureau for Chinese Diplomatic Missions Abroad.

Top-level Reshuffle


Niu Ximing (CFP)

Bank of Communications (BoCom), China's fifth largest lender by assets, said on December 29 its board of directors had appointed
Niu Ximing as its president and vice chairman to replace Li Jun.

The appointment is subject to approval by the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Niu, 53, holds a master's degree in economics from the Harbin Institute of Technology. After joining the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC) in 1986, Niu served as head of the bank's branches in Qinghai Province and Beijing before being appointed as its vice president in October 2005. Niu resigned from his post at ICBC the day of his new appointment. ICBC now ranks the world's largest lender by market value.

"Whether the world economy develops or not does not rely on one certain nation, but needs the joint efforts of the whole international community."

Jiang Yu, spokeswoman of China's Foreign Ministry, rejecting a British newspaper report that blamed China's development for the latest global financial crisis

"We cannot just complain and not move, not accommodate, not adjust. That's not the way of future. The way of future is to be competitive, to be prepared, to open up and to benefit from the open space and open market out there."

Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, calling on members of the bloc to resist temptation of protectionist measures as the free trade area between the region and China took effect on January 1, 2010

"It is unfair to discriminate against over 150 million people because of the behavior of one person."

Dora Akunyili, Nigerian Information Minister, protesting the West African country's inclusion on the U.S. enhanced screening list because of the botched bombing attack on a Northwest Airlines flight carried out by 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on December 25, 2009

"The cornerstone of Iceland's constitution is that the nation is the highest judge for the validity of law. Now the nation has the power and the responsibility in its hands."

Icelandic President Olafur R. Grimsson, calling for a referendum to decide if the country should repay savers in the UK and the Netherlands who lost out when Icelandic bank accounts collapsed in 2008

"Dolphins are 'nonhuman persons' who qualify for moral standing as individuals."

Thomas White, professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Scientists believe that the second most intelligent animals are so bright that they should be treated as humans and not kept in pens or killed for food 

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