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Thread: Jet Li’s ONE Foundation

  1. #31
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    Sad news

    I'm surprised he can't just move it out of China. He has the international clout to do so.
    Jet Li's One Foundation may not last
    Thu, Sep 16, 2010
    China Daily/Asia News Network
    By Zuo Likun

    Three years into the One Foundation founded by actor-turned-philanthropist Jet Li, the charity itself is in need of help. Its private status prevents it from direct public fundraising.

    The One Foundation, in Li's words, is "a kid without an identity". It has operated as a partnership with the official Red Cross Society of China, but that is about to end this year. Without the contract, the foundation will face legal restrictions collecting money..

    Li's announcement on Sunday during an interview with China Central TV that the nascent charity could be suspended sparked an immediate debate on similar situations faced by many of China's private charity groups. Li's distress about the charity's fate was obvious.

    But according to Wednesday's Legal Evening News, a supervisor surnamed Ye at One Foundation said the foundation is running as usual and its contracts with Red Cross would continue. She said Li's words shouldn't be misinterpreted as a sign that the foundation is giving up, but rather they should be interpreted as an alarm call on the shared plight of private charity groups in China.
    Maybe he's just giving up doing it himself and focusing on representing others.
    Jet Li to be first-ever International Red Cross Ambassador
    By Liang Kaixin | Posted: 22 September 2010 1516 hrs

    SINGAPORE: China-born actor Jet Li has been appointed to be the first-ever Goodwill Ambassador for the International Red Cross.

    His appointment is an extension of a three-year partnership between Li's One Foundation and the Red Cross Society of China.

    The One Foundation, which supports international disaster relief efforts, has a private status which prevents it from direct public fundraising.

    It has been able to raise money through its collaboration with the Red Cross.

    Questions over the future of the partnership had led to speculation that the foundation was in trouble and may have to be shut down.

    But Li confirmed this was not true.

    "The first thing I did was apologise to Red Cross, our benefactor. It's been three years since One Foundation was created and both Red Cross and I have yet to receive a both-party termination written notice.

    "So we have automatically renewed our contract, for another three years," he said.
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  2. #32
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    Hongmen Banquet

    I wonder what they are serving.
    Banquet is 'a test of Chinese rich'
    08:03, September 29, 2010

    Amid the weeks-long buzz created by the visit of US billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, the most pressing question is: Guess who's coming to dinner on Wednesday evening?

    Beijing Chateau Laffitte Hotel, a European-style lodging house in the north suburbs of the city, is reported to be hosting the Chinese and American super-rich guests starting at 5 pm.

    Details of the "private gathering" between the Chinese rich and two of the richest Americans remained mostly secret. The attendees are still unknown.

    The banquet - dubbed by local media as the Hongmen Banquet, a historical anecdote indicating a feast or meeting set up as a trap for the invited - has ignited a fierce debate on the merits and difficulty of philanthropy and charity for the country's newly wealthy.

    Only a few of the 50 Chinese billionaires on the invitation list have publicly answered the call, with names including "China's No 1 philanthropist" Chen Guangbiao, CEO of Jiangsu Huangpu Recycling Resources Co Ltd, who is worth an estimated $440 million according to last year's Hurun rich list.

    Also among the confirmed names are dairy giant Niu Gensheng, kungfu movie actor Jet Li, car maker Wang Chuanfu, real estate developer Zhang Xin, glass maker Cao Dewang and e-commerce titan Ma Yun.

    China is second to the United States in number of billionaires.

    But many of the Chinese titans invited to the dinner have been slow to respond to the event due to their fears of being pressured to donate.

    Property developer Wang Jianlin has shunned the invitation, saying it is more important to build a stronger company to help more Chinese people than donating money now.

    Software magnate Gates and investment baron Buffett insisted in a letter to Xinhua News Agency earlier this month that they will not pressure China's super-rich to give away their money at the banquet.

    The two, who have succeeded in calling on 40 wealthy individuals and their families - including CNN founder Ted Turner and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg - to hand over more than half of their fortunes this June, said they hope simply to learn about China's approach to philanthropy on Sept 29.

    Whatever the approach, the timing is good for Chinese rich to put their wealth back into society, experts say. China's Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, has been above the 0.4 benchmark since 2000, an alarming level that is far above most industrial countries' levels between 0.24 and 0.36.

    "With the gap between the rich and poor becoming wider, charity is an excellent and voluntary way to redistribute wealth," said Zhou Qing'an, a researcher with Tsinghua University.

    Giving is not new to the Chinese rich.

    In 2009, charity donations reached about 33.27 billion yuan ($ 4.89 billion), with nearly 60 percent of the donations from businesses, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

    The top 50 philanthropists donated nearly 3.9 billion yuan in total last year, according to the 2009 Hurun Philanthropy List, four times the figure from six years ago.

    But the environment is not ready in China for rich people to donate large sums of their fortune, where the progress is mainly led by the government and driven by the public, said Wang Zhenyao, director of the Center for Philanthropy Research at Beijing Normal University.

    Donations from rich people are still not popular in China, partly because of their fears that their fortunes will be exposed, and because China's charity systems are still underdeveloped.

    "The banquet is not only a test of the Chinese rich, but also a test to our charity environment and system," Wang said.

    Chinese rich people cast doubt on the transparency of charity operations. For example, very few of the country's growing number of charity organizations and foundations offer feedback to the donors or publish the money flow, said Wang.

    Movie star Jet Li told Reuters on Tuesday that China needs a philanthropy law in order to give reassurances to would-be donors.

    Li's One Foundation, a partner with the Red Cross Society of China, has been unable to get government approval to set up as an independent charity.

    "Creating a foundation in China is just like driving a car on the freeway, but there are no red or green lights, only yellow. I've been driving through yellow lights for three years, and don't know if the next one will be red or green," he said.
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  3. #33
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    The follow-up

    Oh to have been a fly on the wall for that gathering.
    Gates, Buffett Say China Charity Meeting a Success
    By MICHAEL WINES
    Published: September 30, 2010

    BEIJING — After a night of wining and dining 50 of China’s richest people in the name of promoting philanthropy, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates told a horde of journalists on Thursday that the biggest difference between eating with Chinese tycoons and Western ones was the food.

    Thus ended the two billionaires’ mission to promote charity in China, a journey which provoked weeks of breathless speculation here about whether this nation’s much-resented class of super-rich was too miserly to measure up to Western philanthropic standards.

    At a news conference, Messrs. Buffett and Gates said the answer was an emphatic “no.”

    “I was amazed last night, really, at how similar the questions and discussions and all that was to the dinners we had in the U.S.,” said Mr. Buffett, who had wisecracked about the food. “The same motivations tend to exist. The mechanism for manifesting those motivations may differ from country to country.”

    Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates, two of the best known and most admired Westerners here, announced last month that they planned to invite 50 wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs to dinner in Beijing to encourage philanthropy among this nation’s newly minted rich. The mission became the object of feverish news coverage — and something of a litmus test of Chinese generosity — after it was reported that some tycoons were turning down the invitation because they feared they would be pressed to donate money.

    The two men have made headlines worldwide for enlisting Western tycoons in a public promise to give away their fortunes either during their lifetimes or in bequests after their deaths. To date, 40 people have taken the pledge, and at least one Chinese multimillionaire has said he will join them.

    On Thursday, the two men pronounced the dinner an unqualified success, saying that two-thirds of those who were invited had shown up, and that more than half of those at the dinner had offered their own ideas on how Chinese philanthropy should work.

    The guest list was not made public, but Chinese news media reported that it included Jet Li, the film star; Niu Gensheng, the founder of a Chinese dairy business; and Pan Shiyi and Zhang Xin, who control the SOHO China real estate empire.

    As with four earlier dinners held in the United States, Mr. Buffett and Mr. Gates said, no one at the Beijing event was asked to donate money or make any promise to engage in charity. While they have made follow-up telephone calls to some previous dinner guests, Mr. Buffett said, “Bill and I will not be calling anybody. What happens in China will depend on what the Chinese people feel about a project of this sort.”

    China is widely reported to be second only to the United States in the number of dollar billionaires. Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffett said the nation is unique in that its wealthy class has arisen almost wholly in the last 30 years, so philanthropic practices that are entrenched among European and American dynasties are new here, and open to change.

    “What you have is a first generation of fortune,” Mr. Gates said, “and it’s natural they they’re thinking through, in this society in particular, ‘What do you do?’ ”

    The two said the dinner with China’s superrich was not a long-planned matter, but an offshoot of a trip that Mr. Buffett had already scheduled to Guangdong and Hunan provinces, where BYD Company, a fast-growing maker of clean-energy automobiles, has factories. Mr. Buffett’s investment conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, holds a 10-percent stake in the company.

    “Bill and I did not sit down, take a map of the world, and say, ‘We’re going to go to that one and that one and that one,’ ” Mr. Buffett said.

    But Mr. Gates suggested that their philanthropic globetrotting was not yet over. “We may do an event in India,” he said.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #34
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    Jet fighting back?

    This is becoming an interesting study of charity in PRC
    Jet Li makes bid to save One Foundation
    * Source: Global Times
    * [08:20 November 08 2010]
    By Huang Shaojie

    Charity organization One Foundation (OF) will continue its push for public foundation status, said program founder Jet Li on Saturday. His comment follows the recent move to phase out Li's association with the foundation he helped establish in 2008.

    The Chinese-Singaporean movie star made the statement at an OF awards ceremony Saturday, when the program endowed 13 grass roots charity organizations across the country, six of which received 1 million yuan ($150,263) each.

    Their bid for their legal right to independently carry out public fundraising is being submitted to government agencies, Li told reporters at the ceremony.

    "We are working on it," Li said, refusing to go into detail about the application process that, if successful, will change the organization's official status from a charity initiative under the administration of Red Cross Society of China (Red Cross) to a public foundation, allowing them more flexibility to operate.

    Due to lacking an independent bank account and other unspecified legal issues, OF was prevented from carrying out its initiative, "One Yuan, Each Person, Every Month," which gave China's 700 million mobile phone users a chance to pledge at least one yuan a month through text messages.

    Li's program will continue even though there is no guaranteeing when, if ever, its foundation status will be granted, he told reporters on Saturday.
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  5. #35
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    Donation brothers

    1 yuan at a time can't compete with millionaires
    09:17, November 09, 2010

    China needs more prominent charitable entrepreneurs and former government officials to promote philanthropic causes, film star Li Lianjie, better known as Jet Li, and former civil affairs official Wang Zhenyao jointly stressed in a news conference held in Beijing Normal University on Saturday.

    Li is the founder of the One Foundation ( a NGO aiming to help poor and disabled people) and now the director-general of Beijing Normal University's Philanthropic Research Institute, while Wang was once head of the Department of Social Welfare and Charity Promotion at the Ministry of Civil Affairs and is now the head of the institute.

    "It's not difficult to raise money, but it's difficult to spend every penny effectively, since we must be responsible for our donators," Li said.

    Li highlighted that China should learn from experienced foreign NGOs, studying useful models and applying them to China. "This can help us find shortcuts. It needs time and adjustment. We can't take three years to go through a process that took a century in the West. But we could manage it in 30 years," Li said.

    Many aspects of charity work need to be improved, including building up professional staff and establishing philanthropic networks, said Wang.

    Wang suggested philanthropic courses should attract more former government officials such as himself. "Former government officials are invisible treasures, who will bring more public appeal and funds to these courses," Wang said.

    Li used his experiences to prove Wang's point. He said he participated in a party organized by former US President Bill Clinton's eponymous foundation last year.

    "When rich men had a chance to shook hands with Clinton, they would donate at least $1 million," Li said.

    "The One Foundation encourages people to denote one yuan ($0.15). How could it compete with Clinton's foundation? I've built up a network of donators, including former British PM Tony Blair, whom I refer to as brothers. We can be like members of one family."
    ...but every little bit helps. After all, it's not a competition, is it?
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  6. #36
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    Shenzhen

    Looks like a good resolution to the issue.
    Jet Li's One Foundation turns into independent public fund-raising organization
    English.news.cn 2011-01-12 16:41:36
    by Xinhua writers Wu Chen and Wu Caixia

    SHENZHEN, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The One Foundation, begun by Kung Fu star Jet Li, has ended its cooperation with the Red Cross Society of China and announced the establishment of an independent public fund-raising foundation here on Tuesday.

    This is the first case that a non-governmental foundation affiliated with a government-run organization has successfully been transformed into a public fund-raising organization.

    Experts say this is a great step forward in China's social organizations management system reform and shows the support of the Chinese government in the development of NGOs.

    The Jet Li One Foundation had been operating as a special program under the Red Cross Society of China, since China does not have laws or regulations which allow the establishment of non-governmental public fund-raising foundations.

    Wang Rupeng, spokesman for the Red Cross Society of China, says the One Foundation, under his organization, raised more than 190 million yuan (nearly 29 million U.S. dollars) in the past three years and distributed some 140 million yuan to different philanthropic projects.

    Actually, many individuals or NGOs choose to cooperate with foundations or organizations run, or partly run, by the government, in order to receive permission to raise money from the public. For example, more than 40 "foundations" are currently under the organizational umbrella of the Chinese Red Cross Foundation.

    However, Jet Li complained that the One Foundation had little say in deciding on the use of money it had raised. According to his plan, his foundation sought to focus more on supporting domestic grass-roots NGOs, which lack both money and professionals, while the Red Cross Society of China is an organization paying more attention to disaster relief.

    Li has been trying hard to apply to establish an independent public-raising foundation.

    And this is a common problem faced by Chinese NGOs when establishing public fund-raising foundations. Further, a lack of transparency by NGOs is another concern of the government.

    In recent years, especially after the devastating Wenchuan Earthquake in 2008, Chinese NGOs have been developing rapidly, in terms of both quantity and quality, according to Wang Zhenyao, director of the Beijing Normal University One Foundation Philanthropy Research Institute.

    The government has seen this development and has started to encourage the expansion of NGOs, says Wang Zhenyao, who is also a retired official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

    China started a trial project in Shenzhen, China's first special economic zone, to advance the reform of the civil affairs system in July 2009, which allowed the city's authorities to approve the creation of public fund-raising foundations. In the past, only the Ministry of Civil Affairs had this authority.

    Liu Runhua, director of the Shenzhen Civil Affairs Bureau, says they invited the One Foundation to register in Shenzhen while knowing the obstacles it has been confronted by.

    Finally, the Shenzhen One Foundation successfully registered on Dec. 3, 2010.

    Besides Jet Li, most of the 11 members on the council of the Shenzhen One Foundation are top Chinese entrepreneurs, including Tencent CEO Ma Huateng and Alibaba Group CEO Ma Yun. Economist Zhou Qiren was selected as director of the council and Vanke Chairman Wang Shi is acting as the executive director.

    Wang Rupeng says, at the request by One Foundation, the Red Cross Society of China will audit One Foundation's financial records and the rest of the fund and ongoing projects will be transferred to the Shenzhen One Foundation.

    Wang Shi noted that the newly established foundation will continue its original projects, including philanthropic funding to grass-roots NGOs, training professionals and assisting with disaster relief.

    It will also develop new projects according to the demands of the public.

    "A development strategy in the upcoming three years will be discussed at the next council meeting, which will be held no later than early March," said Wang Shi during an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

    Wang Zhenyao says the establishment of the Shenzhen One Foundation is a milestone for the development of China's NGOs.

    "It is a breakthrough in the system and can be copied by other organizations," Wang Zhenyao says.

    Ma Hong, director of the Shenzhen NGO administration bureau, says the door to registering public fund-raising foundations is now open to all NGOs.

    However, it does not mean many of them will be approved in the short term, she says.

    "We have to evaluate them properly and make approvals when they meet the standards," Ma says, adding that credibility and transparency are critical for the development of NGOs.

    Wang Shi says the successful experience of the establishment of the Shenzhen One Foundation includes transparency, professionalism and following rules and regulations.

    "Other NGOs may learn from it," he says.
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  7. #37
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    Jet on the move

    Never mind Expendables 2, Jet's been on the move since his recent U.S. trip.
    Jet Li calls for transparency among charities
    Updated: 2011-09-11 18:08
    (Xinhua)

    HANGZHOU - Charities should build up their own professional teams and promote transparency in management, said Jet Li, famous Chinese kung fu star and founder of the One Foundation, on Saturday.

    Li noted that there is insufficient legislation over the philanthropic sector in China.

    "The lack of professionals and transparency has hampered the development of charities in China," he said during the 8th Netrepreneurs Conference in East China's Zhejiang Province.

    "I almost died in the 2004 tsunami. I don't know when I will be close to death again, so I set up the foundation," Li said.

    The One Foundation was founded in 2006 in Chinese mainland. It initially operated as a special program under the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC), but the cooperation ended in January.

    Since the cooperation with the RCSC ended, the One Foundation has become the first non-governmental foundation affiliated with a government-run organization to successfully transition into a public fund-raising organization.

    The RCSC recently came under fire after a woman named Guo Meimei, who claims to be affiliated with the society, posted photos of her lavish lifestyle to her microblog.

    People in online communities speculated that her extravagant purchases may have been funded by money embezzled from the RCSC, showing public demand for information disclosure by charities.
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  8. #38
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    The ONE & Project vision

    Follow the link for a vid
    Jet Li’s One Foundation Helps Elderly Beat Cataracts
    Created: Jan 18 2012

    Martial arts movie star Jet Li celebrates charity work carried out under Project Vision at an event in Hong Kong.

    Li is a survivor of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami. After the tragedy Li set up the One Foundation, specializing in philanthropy and disaster relief. The name comes from the fact that it encourages supporters to donate one dollar per month. Project Vision is run by Li’s organization to help elderly people in mainland China and Hong Kong to get surgery for cataracts.

    [Jet Li, Martial Arts Actor, One Foundation Chairman]:
    "After Project Vision started I was very excited, having this feeling of knowing who the money we donate goes to, knowing that this money can help a cataracts sufferer and can help them see clearly again. I feel very moved that in Hong Kong, in just several decades, I could have mastered the art of making movies and also mastered the art of charitable giving. This is a mighty city, it is the pride of the world."

    Li’s organization funds the operations for people older than 65 who have low incomes. He says one operation can make a difference to the patient’s entire family.

    [Jet Li, Martial Arts Actor, One Foundation Chairman]:
    "When the children and family members of 200 cataracts sufferers are added together it amounts to around two thousand people, so I hope that all of the friends who hear this, from all over the world, Chinese people all over the world will support this activity."

    Patients who had received free operations were at the event to thank Li and support the work of his foundation.
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  9. #39
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    Jett Rules!

  10. #40
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    crap

    Contra Costa County...that's our 'hood.
    Women gets 6 1/2 years for theft from One Foundation
    Bob Egelko
    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    A Contra Costa County woman with a long criminal record and a history of disruptions while in custody has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison for stealing $94,325 from a charity.

    Sharee Hall, 34, of Rodeo was convicted by a jury in October of defrauding One Foundation, a charity founded by actor Jet Li. She has been in jail since her arrest in March 2011. Her sentence, imposed Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg, includes an order of reimbursement to the charity.

    Prosecutors said Hall transferred the money from One Foundation's bank account to her account at an Oakland bank in January 2009. Hall denied stealing the money and blamed a girlfriend, who she said had access to her account.

    Prosecutors sought a 10-year sentence for Hall and argued that she was responsible for more than $678,000 in losses to the foundation. Her lawyers asked for a sentence of less than 6 years and noted that the jury had acquitted her of additional charges.

    Hall had 13 previous felony convictions for crimes that included burglary, forgery and fraud. At one point during pretrial proceedings, prosecutors said, she refused to leave the courtroom, claimed she was bleeding and pulled down her pants before marshals carried her off. At another point, prosecutors said, Hall said she would kill herself unless her trial started in three days, a threat she did not carry out.

    Those incidents, and past disruptions in prison, were evidence of Hall's "unstable mental condition," her lawyer, George Boisseau, said in a court filing. In another filing last week, he said Hall was unable to rationally discuss her upcoming sentencing and was "obsessed with issues which have little bearing on sentencing."

    Psychologists examined her twice before the trial and found she was mentally competent.
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  11. #41
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    aw man

    I really hope this isn't so.

    Jet Li denies embezzlement allegations
    POSTED: 24 Apr 2014 19:05

    Martial arts action star Jet Li hit on Wednesday denied allegations that he had embezzled 300 million yuan (S$60.4 million) from his One Foundation charity.

    BEIJING: Action star Jet Li on Wednesday denied allegationsthat he had embezzled the 300 million yuan (S$60.4 million) earmarked for projects to help the victims of last year’s Lushan earthquake in China, from his One Foundation charity, reported Chinese media.

    In an open letter posted on his micro blog, which set out to illustrate how it is impossible for him to do so, Li said he “really wants to take the One Foundation’s 300 million yuan” but didn’t know how to do it.

    He noted that he doesn’t have the power to authorise the transfer of the organisation’s funds.

    Li went on to add that it was impossible for him to transfer the foundation’s money to his personal account “without the media finding out, the bank knowing and without being caught and thrown in jail by the authorities”.

    “Can anyone teach me how to do this?” said Li.

    The 50-year-old actor said that if the One Foundation is corrupt, then all its board members, who are already quite wealthy, are corrupt as well, and it would be tough to divide the embezzled money.

    “They (the One Foundation board members) all have companies that are worth billions… the misappropriated 300 million yuan would not be enough to go around.

    “Can you all help me think of a way to split this little bit of money?” said Li.

    The One Foundation explained in a blog post on Wednesday that disbursing the funds it collected will take some time as the bulk of it is meant for the reconstruction of five schools in the affected region, and this will only take place in July.

    - CNA/ha
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  12. #42
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    10 years

    Kung-fu Star Jet Li Holds Charity Event for "One Foundation"
    2014-12-17 18:05:53 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Guo


    Kung-fu star Jet Li receives an interview at the charity event for his beloved 'One Foundation' on December 16, 2014. [Photo: sohu.com]

    Kung-fu star Jet Li held a star-studded charity night in Hong Kong this week for his beloved 'One Foundation'.

    Celebrity's including Andy Lau, talk show host Chen Luyu, and Hong Kong director Johnnie To attended the event to raise money for the cause.

    The "Expendables" star said that the event was a celebration of One Foundation's decade long hard work.

    "Because it's been ten years, so we use this opportunity to commemorate this occasion. We also wanted to show our gratitude towards all those who participated and supported us from the beginning. Because without them, there wouldn't be a One Foundation in China."

    Li started the One Foundation in 2005, after narrowly escaping death during a family vacation in 2004 when a tsunami struck the Maldives. 

    Since then, the foundation has provided relief funds to victims of other natural disasters such as the 2008 Sichuan, China earthquake, and the 2009 Taiwan flood.
    China calls Jet the "Expendables" star? srsly?
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  13. #43
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    Premieres Saturday


    BroadTones
    Kung Fu Superstar Jet Li: How I’ll Bring Tai Chi to the Olympics
    The iconic actor hopes to light up future Games with an innovative take on traditional martial arts.
    Nov 06, 2017
    Lu Hongyong
    Lu Hongyong is an editor at Sixth Tone.

    This Saturday will see the premiere of a new martial arts movie, “Gong Shou Dao.” With a run time of just 20 minutes, it certainly wasn’t made for its box office potential. The short film, which stars Jack Ma — the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce platform — brings together 11 of China’s best-known martial artists and will premiere during the eighth annual Singles’ Day shopping event, when hundreds of millions of the world’s consumers will scour Taobao, Alibaba’s shopping platform, for deals.

    The man behind the film is Jet Li, a celebrated actor whose movies include “Shaolin Temple,” “Fist of Legend,” and “Hero.” Li and Ma are co-founders of Taiji Zen, a lifestyle company that promotes wellness through a combination of tai chi and meditation. Central to the company’s ethos is gongshoudao (GSD), a new form of tai chi that Li and Ma hope will elevate Chinese martial arts to Olympic status.

    Sixth Tone sat down with Li to talk about the power of tai chi, his friendship with Ma, and his future hopes for GSD. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

    Sixth Tone: What is special about GSD compared to other forms of martial arts, and how does it relate to the Olympics?

    Jet Li: I was just 8 years old when I began studying martial arts. I’m 47 now, and over the past four decades or so, I’ve been fortunate enough to make something of a name for myself, acting in Hollywood movies and traveling the world giving talks on this distinctly Chinese form of combat. Countless Chinese dream of the day that martial arts are officially recognized as an Olympic event, but so far, we have been unsuccessful.

    A key reason for our failure to date is the fact that there is no consensus on the standards or categories of the various forms of wushu — martial arts. There are simply too many styles and variations to merit inclusion in the Olympics just yet. Use your fists, and people call it boxing; use your legs, and they call it taekwondo; throw your opponent to the floor, and people call it judo. How, in the end, should we codify something as broad as Chinese martial arts? Jack [Ma] and I hope that GSD will at least define it for the purposes of international sport.

    Sixth Tone: You have mastered several different martial arts styles. Why did you choose to base GSD on tai chi?

    Jet Li: About seven or eight years ago, I read a Harvard University study that looked at 800 published medical papers devoted to the relative merits of tai chi, some of which concluded that it could provide relief for sufferers of heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, and depression. This level of discussion is almost nonexistent in China, where we tend to take it for granted that tai chi is good for us. Yet even if it is good, that doesn’t mean it’s a magical cure-all or that it obviates the need for medicine. We must keep putting our faith in science.

    I used to believe there were only four things that mattered in life: fame, money, power, and love. Now, I know that I must gain a clear perspective on what life is really about.
    - Jet Li, actor
    Around the same time, Jack and I met to talk about his dream of shooting a film to help popularize tai chi. Having practiced tai chi for 30 years, he sees it as a symbol of traditional Chinese culture. Two years later, we founded Taiji Zen together. Our shared goal is to get Chinese martial arts — specifically GSD — enshrined as an Olympic event. To this end, we have drawn up detailed rules for GSD, with an eye toward making it more combative and watchable. Domestically, the first GSD tournament will be held in Beijing on Nov. 15.

    Sixth Tone: In the past, China has failed to convince the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to include traditional martial arts at the Games. How do the prospects look now?

    Jet Li: In January, Alibaba put its name to a 12-year partnership with the IOC. Covering the next three Olympic cycles, the contract establishes Jack’s company as one of the IOC’s premier global partners and doubtless gives GSD a leg up in the fight for Olympic status. In fact, Jack personally explained GSD to the IOC’s current president, Thomas Bach, in August.

    I don’t doubt that the Olympic spirit is a good thing. Yet even as the quest to be higher, faster, and stronger has allowed us to redefine humanity’s limits, it has also damaged athletes’ bodies. In our attempts to push ourselves, we’ve lost sight of an important part of the sporting mindset: balance. The world today is changing at an extraordinary pace, so it’s only natural to feel off-balance. But to paraphrase one of Jack’s most quoted comments, it pays to slow down if we want to live happy lives.

    In 1997, around the time I was filming “Once Upon a Time in China and America,” I found myself overcome with doubt for the first time in my life. Ever since I was a little boy, I had always believed that if I simply worked hard, respected the law, and did my best, there was nothing I couldn’t accomplish.

    However, at that point, I realized that in spite of all my wealth, I was still eating the same things I had always eaten and drinking more or less what I had always liked to drink. The only difference was that when I was younger, I’d relieve myself in Beijing’s public restrooms, where other guys stood in lines ****ing all over the urinal trough. Now, though, I lived in a big home with something like eight bathrooms. That was the grand sum of all my achievements: a different bathroom for each day of the week.

    Fundamental to tai chi is a spirit of peaceful coexistence — the belief that in you, there is a piece of me, and in me a piece of you.
    - Jet Li, actor
    I used to believe there were only four things that mattered in life: fame, money, power, and love. Now, I realize that’s not the case, and I know that I must gain a clear perspective on what life is really about. Not long ago, I found myself chatting with Yang Xingnong, Taiji Zen’s CEO and the dean of our academy. Over the course of two hours, we talked about everything from movies and martial arts training to charity and altruism, yet we kept circling back to the same questions: What is life? What is pain? What is love? What, at the end of the day, is the point of living?
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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    Continued from previous post

    Sixth Tone: How does your adaptation of tai chi capture those moral revelations?

    Jet Li: GSD combines physical training with the sort of meditative self-reflection you might expect from Zen Buddhism. Over the past few years, I’ve spent six hours a day meditating, searching for the answers to these questions. I’ve tried going without life’s mundanities — I once went over a week without showering — and attempted a couple things more grandiose, such as when I spent several years staring into caves high in the Nepalese Himalayas. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, because today, my thoughts and purpose are fully aligned.

    When people hear the name Jet Li, they tend to think of the martial artist, the kid who started studying when he was 8 before becoming a national champion and entering the film industry. My first movie, “Shaolin Temple,” came out in 1982 and broke Chinese mainland box office records for a Mandarin-language film. Though I went on to enjoy a successful career in Hong Kong and Hollywood, that Jet Li has now stepped out of the public eye.

    These days, I spend my time thinking about how I can help people live better, including through charitable work. Ten years ago, I launched the One Foundation, a charity focused on helping communities recover from disasters, protecting and educating children, peer support, and innovation.

    Sixth Tone: Your 1982 film debut, “Shaolin Temple,” made Chinese viewers fall back in love with martial arts. Are you expecting to leave a similar impression with GSD?

    Jet Li: I like to say that while “Shaolin Temple” revived interest in martial arts, it failed to capture their essence. The action-packed movie inspired a generation of kids who dreamed of one day being martial artists, but ended up as security guards. My current hope is that Taiji Zen will cultivate a generation of Zen practitioners, thinkers, and warriors — a generation in which everyone has their own thoughts and outlook on life, and everyone is receptive to feedback and willing to support one another. No more children will grow up dreaming of becoming mere fighters; they will also know the value of Zen as a guiding path to self-realization.

    China’s national character is scarred by memories of fighting foreign aggression. But the tide has turned. Today, there’s no need to go around talking about how strong the Chinese people are. Fundamental to tai chi is a spirit of peaceful coexistence — the belief that in you, there is a piece of me, and in me a piece of you. All of us share this spirit, regardless of ethnicity. At present, there are about 150 million tai chi practitioners around the world, and the global influence of Chinese martial arts is something I am immensely proud of.

    I hope tai chi, in the form of GSD, has a good chance of becoming an Olympic sport. Two of the characters in its Chinese name, gong and shou, stand for “kung fu” and “defense,” respectively. China has been an agricultural civilization for centuries, and although the country is now industrializing rapidly, different forms of kung fu, including tai chi, play a vital — I would even say foundational — role in Chinese culture as a means of protecting our homes, land, and territorial integrity. In the future, I hope to see GSD become a symbol similarly deserving of our pride in China’s martial heritage.

    Translator: Kilian O’Donnell; editors: Lu Hongyong and Matthew Walsh.

    (Header image: A still frame of Jet Li’s character in the 2006 film ‘Fearless.’ VCG)

    The Art of Attack and Defence (Gong Shou Dao) = The Olympics & Wushu + TaijiZen & ONE Foundation.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #45
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    New PRC philanthropy

    A New Generation of Philanthropy in China
    March 26, 2019 12:00 p.m. ET


    From left: Lawrence Chan, Niu Gensheng, Dee Dee Chan, Jet Li, Jack Ma, Li Ka-shing. ILLUSTRATION BY GLUEKIT; SOURCE IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES AND BLOOMBERG

    In Hong Kong, home to some of the richest people in the world, philanthropist Dee Dee Chan is making sure her generation learns how to give back.

    In 2014, Chan, who is in her 30s, started a group for her peers—young people from families with at least US$500 million in assets who play an active role in their families’ businesses—to learn about philanthropy and to put it into practice. The hope is to “raise the ‘future generals’ who will make a huge impact on society through their own charitable efforts,” she says.

    Chan is the granddaughter of billionaire Chan Chak Fu, who ran a global hotel and real estate business. Today, she’s managing director at Park Lane Capital Holdings, formed in 2007 from the fortune made by her father, Lawrence Chan, who developed and operated hotels and real estate projects.

    She’s also director of the Seal of Love Charitable Foundation, a foundation started by her father in 2010, which donated 80 million Hong Kong dollars (US$10.2 million) in 2017 to the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University to support an industry that has become a growing employment sector for the underprivileged in Southeast Asia.

    The six or seven core members in each of the two chapters of Chan’s Next Generational Organization (NGO, for short) contribute to a collective pot that they allocate as a group, traveling twice a year for field visits to grassroots nonprofits in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. “The point is really to make mistakes early together and also have a forum in which we can actually do this together,” Chan says.

    Lawrence Chan, 65, says his daughter’s NGO chapters will redefine philanthropy, as his generation—including Hong Kong’s wealthiest man and philanthropist, Li Ka-shing—is “starting to fade away.”

    “ The point is to have a forum in which we can actually do this together. ”

    —Dee Dee Chan
    Great fortunes have been made in Asia in the past decade. But as the region’s riches have swelled, and as a younger generation emerges, China’s wealthy are increasingly seeking to maintain their family legacies and to give back. Groups have formed to encourage collaboration and education, including the China Global Philanthropy Institute, founded by three Chinese philanthropists—Niu Gensheng, He Qiaonyu, and Ye Qingjun—along with U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Ray Dalio. Jack Ma, through the Alibaba Foundation, meanwhile, has sponsored the biannual Xin Philanthropy Conference since 2016.

    Ma represents a newer, more visible wave of philanthropists who are trained abroad, globally engaged, and in touch with the concepts of philanthropy, says Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center at Harvard, which runs the China Philanthropy Project. But there are a rising number of individual philanthropists within China who are having a profound influence, notably Niu Gensheng, a billionaire born to extreme poverty who made a fortune as the founder of China Mengniu Dairyin Inner Mongolia. Niu, 61, began the Lao Niu Foundation in 2004 to support the environment, cultural education, and development of the philanthropic sector.

    One strategy that the Lao Niu Foundation is using to boost philanthropy is to train nonprofit professionals, “so that they’re regarded as professionals, just as public officials and private-sector individuals are,” says Melissa Berman, president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which is aiding the foundation.

    The One Foundation, founded by Chinese actor Jet Li, is also helping to strengthen nonprofits by being transparent about what they fund, and which outcomes they achieve, Berman says.

    While Niu and others have turned to the West for inspiration and practical advice, Rob Rosen, a director at the Gates Foundation, expects philanthropy in China to remain uniquely Chinese.

    China’s philanthropists will want to know whether their funds are “being directed toward important issues in a deeply thoughtful way, and if they are taking an appropriate level of risk to really lead to bold change,” Rosen says. “They’re definitely on the pathway there.”

    THREADS
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    Chinese Tycoons, CEOs & Tuhao
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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