BEHIND THE BLUSTER, IT'S BUSINESS AS USUAL BETWEEN ASIA'S GIANTS An H-share company has for the first time appointed a Japanese executive as its general manager. Chongqing-based and Hong Kong-listed Qingling Motors has announced that Yoshiyuki Miyatake, 51, will step into the shoes of outgoing 52-year-old chairman Wu Yun. Mr Miyatake is also an executive director at Qingling shareholder Isuzu Motors. Joining Mr Miyatake on Qingling's board is another Japanese executive, Susumu Hosoi. In what has been a tense year for Sino-Japanese relations, Lai See welcomes this timely reminder that the fundamental economic relationship between these two Asian giants is a strong and mutually beneficial one. If only the Chinese government and its muzzled media gave half as much coverage to this aspect of Sino-Japanese relations as they do to every conceivable second world war anniversary. MAGNUS REFUSES TO FADE AWAY After a quarter-century of service at the right hand of Li Ka-shing, Cheung Kong (Holdings) deputy chairman and executive director George Magnus is moving on. Mr Magnus, 70, is resigning from his positions at Mr Li's flagship but he will remain on the firm's board as a non-executive director. He is also stepping down from executive positions at Hongkong Electric (where he is chairman), Cheung Kong Infrastructure (deputy chairman) and Hutchison Whampoa (executive director). As at Cheung Kong, Mr Magnus will remain on each company's board as a non-executive director and thus ensure that his retirement will be a busy one. Replacing Mr Magnus at Hongkong Electric will be the always electric Canning Fok Kin-ning, who has served as the company's deputy chairman since 1993. PATRIOT GAMES As far as foreign exports to China are concerned, it is harder to imagine a more difficult sell than American football. For those who didn't grow up surrounded by the sport, it can be difficult to appreciate its Byzantine rulebook, its start-stop-start-stop rhythm and (especially for rugby fans) all that head-to-toe body armour. But take it from Lai See, whose most cherished childhood outfit was a circa 1970s New England Patriots uniform, there is little to compare with the thrill of a closely fought football game on a beautiful autumn afternoon. Perhaps buoyed by that confidence in the greatness of their sport - and also the heady rush that goes with winning three Super Bowls in the past four years - our beloved Patriots have decided a marvellous market awaits them in the Middle Kingdom. Since last year the reigning Super Bowl champions have hired Tian He, an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to keep a Chinese-language blog ( www.patriots.com/chinese ) dedicated to the team. According to the Boston Globe, Mr Tian's weekly hits have surged from several hundred to several thousand in its relatively short lifespan. The team certainly has one thing going for it - its name. 'Patriots' translates in Mandarin as ai-guo-zhe, or 'those who love their country'. There is no more politically correct word than that in today's China. The New England Patriots, in other words, are a team that even the Chinese Communist Party can love. And that's no small advantage in a market where government support can make or break your business. So look out Manchester United, the Patriots are on the march. Just ask the recently defeated Pittsburgh Steelers.