Chinese leader, Dalai Lama rank among Time’s most influential

May 1st, 2008 - 3:08 pm ICT by admin  

Hong Kong, May 1 (DPA) Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Dalai Lama were named Thursday as among the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine. Taiwan’s president-elect Ma Jing-Jeou and Lou Jiwei, chairman of the China Investment Corp sovereign wealth fund, also make the list as did actress Mia Farrow, who was due to speak on China’s human rights record Friday in Hong Kong.

Other personalities included on the annual list were Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and actors George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr.

The listings for the Dalai Lama and Hu - alongside political figures such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President George W. Bush - were the first time they appeared together on the annual Time 100 list.

In Time’s citation for the 72-year-old Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, author Deepak Chopra wrote: “Beijing has grown more ruthless in suppressing Tibetan aspirations, as we’ve seen this Olympic year. Yet he has found a way to think kindly of those who oppress his people and vilify his name. … He said to me, ‘I don’t dislike the Chinese, only their actions’.”

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, in the citation for Hu, praised the 65-year-old Chinese leader for his mastery of international affairs and described him as “thoughtful, extremely well-prepared and very courteous”.

Referring to US-Sino relations, Kissinger wrote: “In foreign policy, Hu undoubtedly believes that China is entitled to a role appropriate to its growing potential. He is not a crusader, however, and will try to accommodate the imperatives of both sides.”

Time’s citation for Ma spoke of his ability to defuse Taiwan’s six-decade conflict with the mainland and said his message of hope could “put to rest one of the last vestiges of the Cold War in Asia”.

“Ma Ying-Jeou is one of those rare politicians who have an opportunity to shape the destiny not only of their own nation but also of an entire region,” the magazine said.

Time described Lou as “the man who controls China’s huge pool of investment dollars” and said the China Investment Corp, which he heads, “could quickly turn Lou into one of the most powerful fund managers on the planet”.

Farrow, the star of “Rosemary’s Baby” and numerous Woody Allen films who is better known today as a campaigner against China’s policy in the Sudan, was praised in Time by Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager whose heroism in saving 1,268 people during the 1994 Rwandan genocide inspired the Hollywood movie “Hotel Rwanda”.

“At a time in her life when many would be resting on their laurels, Farrow has chosen the path of activism by championing those who are most in need,” Rusesabagina said of the 63-year-old actress.

“Her humanitarian work sets a shining example for what each of us can do in our own lives to change the world,” he wrote.

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