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Ex-PM Brundtland wins first Tang Prize

Former Norwegian premier Gro Harlem Brundtland was on Wednesday named as the first recipient of the Tang Prize, touted as Asia's version of the Nobels, for her work as the "godmother" of sustainable development.

Ex-PM Brundtland wins first Tang Prize
Gro Harlem Brundtland. Photo: Norwegian Labour Party
Brundtland was awarded the debut prize, created by one of Taiwan's richest men with a $100 million donation, with winners in three other categories to be announced this week.
 
The winner in each category will receive Tw$50 million ($1.7 million), with Tw$40 million in cash and the remainder in a grant — a richer purse than the eight million Swedish kronor ($1.2 million) that comes with a Nobel Prize.
 
Brundtland was awarded the biennial prize for "her innovation, leadership and implementation" of sustainable development, of which she was known as the "godmother", said Yuan T. Lee, chair of the award selection committee.
 
A former director general of the World Health Organization, she also headed the UN World Commission on Environment and Development. The commission's work paved the way to the first Earth Summit, which led to the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases.
 
Winners in the three other categories — biopharmaceutical science, Sinology (the study of China) and "rule of law" — will also be unveiled daily from Thursday to Saturday.
 
"The Tang Prize is not supposed to compete with the Nobel Prize but to make up for what it is short of," Lee, himself a winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986, told reporters.
 
Nobels are awarded in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.
 
Named after China's Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), the Asian prize was founded by Samuel Yin in 2012 with a donation of Tw$3 billion. Yin, head of the sprawling Ruentex business empire which has invested heavily in China, said he had fulfilled one of his biggest dreams with his donation.
 
"I hope that the prize will encourage more research that is beneficial to the world and humankind…but I also hope the prize would help promote the Chinese culture to the world," he said.
 
Yin has said he will donate 95 percent of his wealth to charity during his lifetime. His net assets are estimated by Forbes magazine at $4.5 billion.

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CHINA

Norway central bank deputy denied security clearance over Chinese wife

The deputy governor of Norway's central bank resigned on Friday after he was denied security clearance because he is married to a Chinese citizen, the bank said.

Norway central bank deputy denied security clearance over Chinese wife
Illustration photo: Drahomír Posteby-Mach on Unsplash

“The Norwegian Civil Security Clearance Authority informs me that the reason that I will not receive a renewed security clearance is that my wife is a Chinese citizen and resides in China, where I support her financially,” Jon Nicolaisen said in a statement from the bank.

“At the same time, they have determined that there are no circumstances regarding me personally that give rise to doubt about my suitability for obtaining a security clearance, but that this does not carry sufficient weight. I have now had to take the consequences of this,” he added.

As deputy governor, Nicolaisen had special responsibility for following up the bank's task of managing Norway's sovereign wealth fund, the world's biggest valued at more than 1 trillion euros.

According to the bank, Nicolaisen and his wife have been married since 2010.

He was appointed to the job in 2014, and his position was renewed in April 2020.

Diplomatic relations between Norway and China also went into a long deep freeze after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Ties were normalised in 2017.

READ ALSO: Norway oil fund loses 18 billion euros in first half of 2020

 

 

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