NEW YORK, Aug 30, 2007 (AFP) - China's Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi and Singapore state investment chief Ho Ching knocked US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice down two notches in the annual Forbes ranking of the world's most powerful women published Thursday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel came top for the second year running in the US magazine ranking of the world's 100 formidable females. But Rice, the top US diplomat, fell to fourth place from last year's second.
Temasek chief Ho Ching was ranked third. In May, Time magazine named her among its 100 Most Influential People in the World, appearing among the 'builders and titans' on the list.
Ms Ho, wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, overhauled Temasek after she was appointed CEO in 2002, establishing guidelines to boost accountability and make the firm more transparent, he wrote.
Four in the latest Forbes top 10 had Asia ties -- the India-born chief executive of US global foods giant PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, was fifth and Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Indian National Congress Party, sixth.
Apart from the German leader, the only other European was Cynthia Carroll, the British head of the mining group Anglo American, who ranked seventh.
The rest in the top ten 10 were Americans, all heavyweight businesswomen: Patricia A. Woertz, co-chair of Archer Daniels Midland; Irene Rosenfeld, chief executive of Kraft Foods; and Patricia Russo, who runs tech giant Alcatel-Lucent.
Just missing the top 10 were two ministers in the new government of French President Nicolas Sarkozy: Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Economic Minister Christine Lagarde, in 11th and 12th place respectively.
Of other notables, Britain's Queen Elizabeth came in 23rd, two places ahead of US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Two-thirds of the women in the power list are in business, and just under a third are in government positions -- including two queens (Elizabeth and Jordan's Rania), three prime ministers, six presidents and two first ladies.
While US women -- most of them chiefs of commerce and industry -- dominated the Forbes list by far, China and Britain each contributed seven.
Aside from Wu Yi, the Chinese included Wu Xiaoling, deputy governor of People's Bank of China (18); Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization (37); and Yang Mianmian, chairman of appliance giant Haier (43). - AFP.
The 10 most powerful women