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Up, down and without its handler pausing for a breath, the brush dances along the rice paper, stopping when its strokes have rendered the word for dragon in Chinese calligraphy.
Wang Hanguang is a noted calligraphry artist, science whiz and tech-startup impresario. [Photo/China Daily]
Wielding the brush is Wang Hanguang, who as a member of the Chinese National Calligraphy Association is respected practitioner of the art. His work is valued by collectors and has even been given as gifts by China's diplomats to counterparts in the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Singapore.
But that's not the only distinction for the multitalented Wang.
In February, Wang flew on the plane with China's Vice-President Xi Jinping as a guest when Xi was to meet US President Barack Obama. In June, he was in Northern California to finalize a property contract as Xi and US Vice-President Joe Biden looked on, during the China-US Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum.
The contract-signing launched Hanhai Investment Group and opened its more than 80,000-square-foot office building in San Jose, making Wang the owner of China's biggest privately held business-incubation provider in the US.
As chairman of Hanhai Zhiye Investment Group, Wang oversees a Beijing-based empire with 300 million yuan ($50 million) in assets, including a business park, five scientific-technology incubator buildings with over 3 million square feet and more than a decade of experience developing Chinese startups.
Born in the 1960s in Zibo, Shangdong province, Wang was raised by grandmother, whom he describes as strong, thrifty, hard-working and kind. Life was hard for the family, but she instilled in her children and grandson principles that Wang still follows.
"My grandmother always told me not to hesitate to make an effort to help other people, even if it means losing money or spending extra time," he said "What you win over is a person's heart and friendship, and those are the most valuable things in life."
Wang earned his reputation in his early 20s when he worked for Qilu Petroleum and Chemical Co, one of the biggest companies of its kind in China. His scientific research earned four awards from Shandong's provincial government as the year's best technical contribution from a young person.
What impressed his co-workers most, however, was an incident they won't forget.
A testing machine had broken down and was about to explode with dangerous chemicals during a demonstration with over 100 people watching. Wang climbed atop the machine and shut it down just in time, saving the lives of the stunned attendees. The machine's shaking, however, threw him high into the air. His hard fall to the floor left Wang hospitalized for several days until he regained consciousness.
His heroic act recognized, Wang was named a "model citizen" of the city, not only for saving lives but also preventing the loss of expensive company equipment.
Wang attributes most of his success to serendipity. "I just happen to be there at the right place and right time, and making the right decision," he said.
Bounding into the US market with a real estate investment makes him especially proud.
"The board was kind of shocked when I told them my decision, but they all supported me after I explained to them why.
"This is an effort we make to integrate commercial real estate management with technology industry aggregation. We want to demonstrate our company's ambition and confidence in breaking into one of the largest markets in North America."