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People & Points
Print Edition> People & Points
UPDATED: January 29, 2010 NO. 5 FEBRUARY 4, 2010

Ace Moviemaker


Chinese director Jia Zhangke was honored as the "director of the decade" by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), together with Apichatpong Weerasethakul from Thailand. They were chosen by a panel of 60 film historians, critics and film archive curators around the world.

Three of Jia's feature films—Platform, Still Life and The World are on a list of the 30 most respected films of the 2000s compiled by the panel, occupying the second, third and 24th spots, respectively.

"Each of Jia's films articulates an abstract structure of time and space, and a more sensual structure of feeling, through which we can see and feel our way to coming to grips with a new, changing world," said TIFF Chairman Piers Handling in an interview with Xinhua News Agency. "He is one of the leading filmmakers in our time."

Jia, who began his career as a movie director in 1997, said that the award shows the Western audience's growing interest in contemporary China and its people.

The 39-year-old Jia is generally considered a leading figure among China's Sixth Generation directors. His Still Life won the coveted Golden Lion at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival in 2006. He is shooting the official film of the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Corrupt Judge


Huang Songyou, former Vice President of the Supreme People's Court (SPC), was sentenced to life imprisonment for corruption on January 19.

Huang, 52, was convicted of taking more than 3.9 million yuan ($574,000) in bribes from 2005 to 2008 during his tenure as SPC vice president, said the Intermediate People's Court of Langfang, north China's Hebei Province. He was also found to have embezzled 1.2 million yuan ($177,000) of public funds in 1997, when he was president of the Intermediate People's Court of Zhanjiang, south China's Guangdong Province, the court ruling said.

Huang is the first chief judge to have been prosecuted on corruption charges in the history of the SPC, China's highest judicial organ.

Shanda Reshuffle

Diana Li (CFP)

Alan Qunzhao Tan (CFP)

Diana Li, CEO of Shanda Games Ltd., China's second largest online game operator, had resigned to pursue other interests, and Alan Qunzhao Tan will assume the duties of both board chairman and CEO of the company after Li's departure, the company said on January 22.

The NASDAQ-listed Shanda Games was spun off from Shanda Interactive Entertainment, a Shanghai-based digital entertainment portal, in a $1-billion initial public offering last September.

Li, one of the first female executives in China's online game industry, has served as CEO of Shanda Games since April 2008. She is thought to be starting up a business with her husband.

Tan is a co-founder of Shanda Interactive Entertainment and became chairman of the Board of Shanda Games in May 2009. He served as president and chief technology officer of Shanda Interactive from April 2008 to January 2010.

"We are confident that we will accomplish the mission in Haiti. We are ready."

Wang Yurong, head of the second Chinese medical team to Haiti that arrived in the earthquake-ravaged Caribbean country on January 26

"You have got to decide do you want to obey the laws of the countries you are in or not. If not, you may not end up doing business there."

Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, on Google's threat to pull out of China in an interview with ABC television on January 25

"It's very difficult to talk about the liberation of women through a law that constrains."

Mohammed Moussaoui, head of a French coalition of Muslim organizations, on the parliamentary panel recommendation that France ban face-covering veils in public locations

"The proof of their commitment, their credentials will be demonstrated if the $10 billion flows as promised. If it doesn't, we would believe that developed countries aren't serious about climate change."

Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, calling on wealthy nations to honor their climate change aid commitments to poor nations after a meeting in New Delhi where Brazil, China, India and South Africa promised an action plan to battle global warming

"While the UK officially exited recession in the fourth quarter of 2009, it could only crawl out."

Howard Archer, chief UK economist for IHS Global Insight, on the news that the UK has emerged from the longest recession in its history

"The Taliban, we recognize, are part of the political fabric of Afghanistan at this point."

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on U.S. support for Afghanistan's ongoing efforts to reach out to the Taliban

"Everything in negotiations is going fine, 95 percent of the new deal's issues have been agreed upon."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, on the progress of a landmark Russia-U.S. nuclear arms reduction treaty

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