January 6-13, 2006

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Language exchange

"The most important characteristic of a chief executive of any region is that he or she should be a noble person."

- Li Ka Shing, business tycoon from Hong Kong, on the topic of the special administrative region's future chief executive. see more

Arabian delights

CHEF Tarek Mouriess carried about 10 kinds of ingredients in his suitcase on his flight to Shanghai to host an Arabic Food Promotion at the Hilton Shanghai.
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A question of integrity

By Vikki Roylance

Merriam-Webster, an online dictionary publisher, announced that the most looked up word for 2005 was “integrity.” Hardly surprising considering the world news and events over the previous 12 months, but I still found it somewhat comforting. Amongst all the corruption, tragedy and scandal, people were searching for something true, something genuine.

But what is integrity? Merriam-Webster states it is “firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values.” Another dictionary describes it as “steadfast adherence to a moral or artistic code.” Great words but what does that mean in reality?

The word “integrity” is a noun, and for those of us who needed to pay more attention in English language class, a noun can be a person, place, thing, name, quality or action. But what is “integrity,” a quality or an action
A couple of weeks before New Year’s Day I met another writer for lunch. She is very well respected and talented. I was feeling anxious about meeting her, convinced I would make a fool of myself. I must confess to being a bit of a “Bridget Jones,” secretly convinced that I will be “found out” for the fool that I really am.

I showed up casually dressed having just finished teaching 30 minutes before. Thankfully she was attired to a similar level of formality. Conversation was a little strained at first but once the food arrived we relaxed and started talking. Happy to help me, she gave me a to-do list that would further my writing “career.”

I was instructed to wear a suit, wear low heels, lose weight, get braces (typical Brit), cut my hair and dye it blond, read some self help books that would help me to shed some of this Bridget flailing stuff that happens sometimes in meetings. The list was endless and to my amazement, I wasn’t offended in the slightest. Truth was, I was mortified. I sat across the table from her and realized I didn’t want to lose weight or dye my hair or read books called “Principles of Success.” I like myself just the way I am.

Later that day I e-mailed some editors of magazines I wanted to write for and two of them got back to me within 24 hours to arrange meetings for later that week. I was in complete conflict; did I don the suit, the heels and the power haircut? Or did I just go as myself? I am a casual gal at heart, happiest with clear skin, natural hair and in a venue that allows me to wear jeans without judgment.

Twenty minutes before I had to get into a taxi, I sent the first editor an SMS asking if he would mind if I ditched the suit, left my hair down and came in my jeans. He responded that he really didn’t care. I went to all those meetings relaxed and casual. Every meeting was successful.

It was more of a personal victory than a professional one. I realized how far I would go to “make it” in the writing industry. Eighteen-hour days I can handle. Sending e-mails every day is OK. Constantly attending meetings with editors isn’t a problem. But serving myself up on a plate in pursuit of success is just going too far. I am who I am and I won’t compromise that. It is, after all, a question of integrity.

As 2006 begins I cannot help but wonder, what will be “the word” of 2006? I am hoping for “character.” Definition: “the attributes and features that make up an individual.” Now that is something worth celebrating.
(The author works in education and is a freelance writer for various publications)

Cai Shaoyao

Balance public opinion and judicial independence



End of the Dream
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Auto fans melt away
With the approach of the Formula One Grand Prix, Yu Zhifei, deputy general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, was worried about how to attract enough spectators to the circuit and rev up sluggish fan interest in the event.
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Under artificial eyes

FOR most customers, CCTV (closed-circuit television) surveillance cameras installed in shops, banks, buses or metro stops and many other places, merit little attention. But for Xiao Gang, such cameras have become an agonizing and confusing problem.

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