Keynote Speaker: Ms. Christine Loh
Christine Loh is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the independent, non-profit public policy think tank, Civic Exchange. Loh had a 14-year career in the private commercial sector, where she was engaged in commodities trading and strategic planning, before having a highly successful career in politics for nearly a decade. She is a published author of many books ranging from the environment to history and politics.
Loh is an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She is also a Board Member of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, First Pacific Company Limited, and Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company. She is a member of the External Review Committee of Royal/Dutch Shell’s Sustainability Report. Loh is a Board Member of numerous non-profit organisations in Hong Kong and abroad involved in the environment, urban planning, as well as human rights. Loh is also a trustee on several family foundations.
Loh has been widely recognised for her achievements, including being recognised as one of the ‘Heroes of the Environment’ by TIME in October 2007, and named ‘Woman Who Makes A Difference’ in 2009 by RBS Coutts/Financial Times’ Women in Asia Awards.
Yu Jie (余杰) is a renowned dissident writer and human rights critic in China who has published over 30 books in the past 14 years. He spent five years to write China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao, his latest publication, which scrutinized the Chinese Premier’s diplomatic and economic policies and charged him with being partly responsible for substandard livelihoods across the country. In July 2010, Beijing police detained and questioned Yu in order to threaten him not to publish China’s Best Actor: Wen Jiabao. The book was eventually printed and widely sold in Hong Kong.
Born in 1973 in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, Yu received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s of Arts degrees from Peking University. His first book Fire and Ice not only gained him a “Top Ten Good Books” literary award by the Xishu reading club in 1998, but also his enduring friendship with famed author Liu Xiaobo who later wrote Charter 08, a manifesto co-signed by over 350 intellectuals calling for gradual political reforms. Liu was sentenced to prison in 2009 for 11 years and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.
Because of his close friendship with Liu, Yu was kidnapped and tortured by Chinese officials on December 9, 2010, the day before the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony as revenge. After months of illegal house arrest and surveillance, Yu left China early this year. Living with his family in Virginia, Yu is going to publish his new book, the biography of Liu Xiaobo in this summer.
Yu also won The Society of Publishers in Asia’s Honourable Mention of Best Opinion Piece for his article “Fight For China” published in Asia Week in 2000.