Newsletter No. 164

NEW CENTRE TO COMBAT HEART DISEASE AMONG THE CHINESE Cardiovascular disease and stroke account for 25 to 35 per cent of deaths in Hong Kong and mainland China. In Hong Kong, half of all hospital admissions are related directly or indirectly to heart disease. And the problem is expected to deteriorate with ageing and changing lifestyles. The Centre for Atherosclerosis Studies was formally established on 13 th Apri l to examine the increasing prevalence in Hong Kong, mainland China, and many overseas Chinese communities of heart disease. It w i l l adopt a multi-centre approach, comparing the situations in different Chinese communities. Most Chinese atherosclerosis patient s have no traditional risk factors such as smo k i n g , h y p e r t e n s i o n, h y pe r- cholesterolemia, or diabetes mellitus. Yet research has shown tha t Chinese in modernized cities such as Hong Kong, Sydney, and San Francisco have higher risk o f heart disease or stroke than Chinese living in rural areas in Southern China. The effects of modernized lifestyles and dietary habits as well as other emerging risk factors such as abdominal obesity and increased o x i d i z e d l o w - d e n s i ty l i p o p r o t e i n- cholesterol w i ll be the foci of the centre's studies. Conference Examines Challenges for the 21st Century The Hong Kong Institute o f Asia-Pacific Studies organized its tenth anniversary conference entitled 'Into the 21st Century: Challenges for Hong Kong and the Asia-Pacific Region' from 13th to 15th April at the Cho Yiu Conference Hall. Over 20 well-known academics and experts from Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Africa, Australia, and the US participated i n the conference and a total of 15 papers were presented. Topics included 'Political Freedom i n Asia: Prospects for Democratization', 'Hong Kong's Partial Democracy Under Stress', 'Ageing Population and Gender Issues', 'APEC's Prospects as an International Organization', and 'Hong Kong Technology Roadmap'. Prof. Ambrose King , pro-vice-chancellor o f the University, officiated at the opening ceremony of the function on 13th April. Training for Administ rators f rom Wel fare Agencies on the Mainland The Department o f Social Work organized an intensive trainin g course for senior administrators of non-profit organizations from mainland China in March and April as the experimental phase of a training programme. For one and a half months, the participants were given many opportunities to acquire knowledge about social welfare and the actual practice of welfare agencies in Hong Kong through classes and agency visits. The closing ceremony of the programme took place on 15th April. Officiating at the ceremony were Mr. Xu Yongguang, vice-chairman and secretary-general of the China Youth Development Foundation, and Dr. Allen Choate, Director of Programme Development of the Asia Foundation. The course will be evaluated and assessed, and the second phase of the programme to train another batch of senior administrators from China's non-profit organizations is also being planned. Teams from T op Chinese Universities Me et in Accounting Competition Students from The Chinese University and Taiwan Un i ve r s i t y shared the championship o f the Dragon League Accounting Case Competition 2000 held on the CUH K campus from 1st to 3rd Ap r il 2000. Jointly hosted by the School o f Ac c o u n t a n cy and the Society o f Accountancy of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the participants of the competition were top accounting students f r om Peking Un i v e r s i t y, Fudan University, Taiwan University, and CUHK. Given the financial statements of a real listed PRC-based share- A and share-H company, the teams were required to prepare a five-page written report in 17 hours and deliver a 30- minute oral presentation to a panel of judges consisting o f academic and accounting professionals. Teams f r om C U HK and Taiwan University outdi d the other two teams by their in-depth analysis o f the problem, practical proposals, and impressive oral presentation. The event is one o f the annual student exchange activities organized b y the Dragon League, an academic alliance founded in 1998 to promote accounting education and research through academic exchanges amo n g its membe r s 一 accounting schools and departments from the four universities. Posing with the winning team are director of the school Prof. Simon Ho (far left), and trainer Prof. Kevin Lam (far right) C U H K Develops Free WAP Services The University's Department of Information Engineering developed , a WAP portal allowing WAP phone users instant access to various services free of charge, including the world's first real-time Chinese-English bilingual HTM L to WML conversion, Chinese search engine, news and financial information, one-click auction, and e-mail on the Internet. WAP or Wireless Application Protocol involves the combination of Internet and wireless communication. These innovative services were introduced to the public on 14th April by Prof. Wong Wing-shing, principal investigator of the project which led to the invention. In tervarsity Debating Contest 2000 The I n t e r v a r s i t y Deba t i ng Contest 2000 between The Chinese University and the University of Hong Kong was held recently. This was the 29th event since the inception of the contest in 1972. This year, in line w i th the government's efforts at promoting language skills, the format was revised and three contests — in English, Cantonese, and putonghua respectively —we re held in the same year. The English and putonghua contests took place separately on 25th March and 2nd Ap r i l at HKU , and the Cantonese contest, on 1st Ap r i l in the Chung Chi Chapel. The CUH K team won the putonghua contest and Miss Lok Man- y i n and X u Guyun received the Best Debater award of the Cantonese and the putonghua contests respectively.