President-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and the Dalai Lama were named yesterday as being among the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine.
Lou Jiwei (樓繼偉), chairman of the China Investment Corp sovereign wealth fund, also made the list, as did actress Mia Farrow, who is due to speak on China’s human rights record today in Hong Kong.
The listings for the Dalai Lama and Hu — alongside political figures such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President George W. Bush and the three remaining US presidential candidates — were the first time they appeared together on the list.
The citation for Ma, written by Time contributor Michael Schuman, spoke of his ability to defuse Taiwan’s six-decade conflict with China 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,” Schuman wrote.
“However, as with any reformer, the challenges facing Ma in his quest are as imposing as the goal he is seeking to achieve. Though Beijing appears willing to cooperate in Ma’s effort, it is hard to know how far the Chinese leadership is willing to go on issues it considers highly sensitive,” he wrote.
In the citation for the 72-year-old Dalai Lama, 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 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 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.