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Star hurdler back in limelight as political advisor

[ 2009-03-12 14:08]     字号 [] [] []  
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Athletics star Liu Xiang yesterday had a major hurdle to clear after making his maiden appearance as a member of the top political advisory body - a media scrum.

Scores of journalists jammed the exit of the conference room where the world and Olympic 110m hurdles gold medalist was attending a panel discussion of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC).

And when he stepped out, flanked by security guards, the questions flew thick and fast amid blinding camera flashes.

"I've come to catch the end of the conferences because I felt obliged to, not because of public pressure as some are speculating."

He was responding to criticism in the media and online about his absence from the annual session and doubts raised about his eligibility to be a member.

The 25-year-old is one of the youngest of the 2,235 members of the 11th National Committee of the CPPCC. He was absent from last year's session to attend an athletic event in Spain.

In a statement released as he was attending the panel discussion, Liu explained the reason behind his absence from the previous days of the session, his understanding of being a CPPCC member and his foot injury.

"It is an honor and a great responsibility to be a CPPCC member advising on national issues," he wrote. "I have always been dedicated to serving the country and am grateful for such an honor given by the people."

Liu said his foot injury is getting better but could not tell when he can return to the track.

The defending 110m hurdles champion at the Games last year disappointed the nation by limping out of a preliminary round with an Achilles tendon injury.

He returned to China on Sunday following three months of surgery and rehabilitation in the United States.

After spending one day in Shanghai for a physical check-up and light training, Liu came to Beijing on Tuesday night for the last two days of CPPCC session.

"I am still young; I think I will just listen and learn (how to be an effective CPPCC member)," Liu told the press upon his arrival in Beijing.

"I feel a little nervous because this is the first time I'm attending a CPPCC session," Liu told China Daily yesterday before the panel discussion.

Liu made no remarks throughout the panel discussion, nor did he present any proposals - he "simply listened", an attendant said.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Star hurdler back in limelight as political advisor

Star hurdler back in limelight as political advisorBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op’Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily’s Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.