Boao Forum chief Zhou Wenzhong suffers facial burns from TV light

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 5:02am

Zhou Wenzhong, the Boao Forum for Asia secretary general, suffered facial burns from a spotlight during an interview with a TV station at the forum in Hainan .

Zhou cancelled almost 10 discussion sessions and meetings scheduled at the forum because of the accident. He then appeared with a red and swollen face at a press conference yesterday marking the close of the forum.

"I kept accepting interviews in past days," he said. An assistant asked photographers to avoid using flash during the press conference.

Real estate baron Pan Shiyi, who attended the forum, warned on his microblog that participants should be careful when being interviewed by TV stations.

Zhou said 3,800 people had attended this year's forum, including more than 1,000 media representatives, the most for any Boao forum to date.

Zhou said this year's forum received "very thorough coverage", and that most participants said it was successful in terms of the number and rank of attendees and the design of the agenda.

There were more panels and functions this year, from early morning to as late as 10pm, and a visit by President Xi Jinping gave it added importance in the eyes of officials, businessmen and the media.

Zhou, 67, was a veteran diplomat who spent most of his time handling American affairs. He was appointed China's ambassador to the United States in 2005 and returned to Beijing in 2010.

As ambassador, he called on China and the US to enhance mutual trust, stressing bilateral ties had progressed despite their ups and downs. He had also called on Washington to respect Beijing's core interests in handling Taiwan and Tibet.

China and the US would achieve "mutual benefits if they stay in harmony with each other, but would cause damage if they were in conflict", Zhou had said before returning to Beijing.

Zhou has been forum secretary general and vice-president of the China-US People's Friendship Association since 2010.