Giant on the move
from Left field:
As mayor of Beijing for most of the period running up to the 2008 Olympics and now Vice Premier of China with responsibility for financial and economic affairs, Wang Qishan has been a very busy man over the last few years.
He has, however, made time to indulge his passion for tennis and been highly influential in the growth of the China Open tournament, now one of the top events in women’s tennis with ambitions of becoming an Asian major.
Wang also likes to take to the court, and who can blame him when he is offered the chance to trade forehands with some of the best women in the professional game?
“I know for a fact he’s played many of our (women) players behind closed doors, as have many members of the standing committee,” Beijing-based WTA President David Shoemaker revealed during an interview with Reuters this week.
The annual gathering of China’s National People’s Congress, the largely ceremonial parliament that concluded on Friday, was a nine-day stretch of often unremarkable meetings sandwiched between high-profile comments by top leaders at the open and close.But occasionally, unrehearsed dialogue among some of the thousands of delegates provided a glimpse at the rhetorical flare that sometimes enlivens debate.As Reuters correspondent Simon Rabinovitch reports, some off-the-cuff exchanges – like this one involving Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and delegates from Hunan province — got extra mileage once they started being passed around over the Internet after a report on the Economic Observer’s website.Read Simon’s story by clicking here, “Unscripted reply show China’s foreign M&A caution”
It’s not often that speeches by Chinese policy makers make you laugh, but that was certainly the case on Wednesday evening when Vice Premier Wang Qishan spoke to an audience of U.S. business leaders after two days of high-level economic talks in Washington.
Speaking off the cuff, Wang had the audience rolling as he delicately broached the subject of the negative publicity surrounding the Olympics, which reached a cresendo earlier this year when riots in Tibet sparked protests along the Olympic torch relay in cities such as London and Paris.