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A controversy over a Nobel laureate’s return to China


  • Nobel laureate courts controversy over decision to come back to China / Global Times
    World-renowned physicist and Nobel laureate Yang Zhenning 杨振宁, together with Turing Award winner and computer scientist Yao Qizhi  姚期智, has given up his American citizenship and joined the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Yang, 94, went to the U.S. for his Ph.D. In 1957, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with Li Zhengdao 李政道, becoming the first Nobel laureates of Chinese origin. Seven years later, Yang was granted American citizenship. Chinese netizens are divided on Yang’s return — see this Weibo comment thread (in Chinese). Some applaud Yang’s decision and view it as a sign of China’s growing appeal to talents. Others insinuate that his real motive is to dodge high inheritance taxes in the U.S. Yang has previously been the subject of a controversy: In 2004, at the age of 82, he married a 28-year-old master’s student.

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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.