China's rising political stars named among world's most influential

China's rising political stars named among world's most influentialHong Kong - Two of China's rising political stars were Thursday named among the the world's 100 most influential people in a prestigious annual list to be published by Time magazine.

Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Vice President Xi Jinping are among a diverse list including US president Barack Obama, Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal and disgraced financier Bernie Madoff.

A glowing citation for Wang Qishan - chosen by a panel of Time editors - has been written for the magazine that is to be published Friday by former US treasury secretary Henry Paulson.

Paulson, Wang's partner in the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, described the 60-year-old vice premier as "decisive and inquisitive" and a driver of China's economic success.

"He is the man China's leaders look to for an understanding of the markets and the global economy," Paulson wrote.

"As a result, China has been supportive of US actions to stabilize our capital markets and has not given in to those who advocate reversing economic reform to insulate China from the world."

"He is bold - he takes on challenges, does things that have never been done before and succeeds ... Wang Qishan thinks globally - and because of that, China and the world are better off," Paulson added.

Vice President Xi Jinping is hailed as "the most likely candidate to assume the country's presidency in 2012" in a citation by Joshua Cooper Ramo, managing director at international consulting firm Kissinger Associates.

Ramo describes Xi, 55, son of Long March hero Xi Zhongxun, as coming from the clique known as the princelings but cautions: "To label him so narrowly is an error."

"Xi's own experiences as a provincial leader and his firm politician's instinct suggest that he is trying to knit the interest groups of China's ruling Communist Party into something capable of executing the difficult political and economic reforms that have become essential."

Jack Ma, 44, founder and chief executive officer of the world's biggest business-to-business online marketplace Alibaba, is also included in the list of the world's 100 most influential people of 2009.

Harvard Business Review editor Adi Ignatius says in a citation for Ma: "He once said 'There were three reasons why we survived. We had no money, we had no technology and we had no plan'. Now Ma is rich in all three."

The 2008 Time 100 list included both Chinese President Hu Jintao and the Dalai Lama as well as Lou Jiwei, chairman of China Investment Corp, who did not make it on the 2009 list. (dpa)

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