Exciting news (well, exciting to international news geeks like me) out of Berlin: The Vietnam-born Dr. Philipp Rösler will become the country's new health minister in the CDU-FDP coalition government currently being assembled, reports German newsweekly Der Spiegel.
Rösler is a member of the liberal (in European terms; in American terms, it's libertarian) FDP, which was the big winner in the recent federal elections in Germany. He is currently the economics minister of the state of Lower Saxony (in German: Niedersachsen).
The 36-year-old politician is noteworthy not only for his many accomplishments (medical doctor, and a rocket-like rise through the ranks of the FDP) but because he was born in Vietnam and came to Germany at a very young age, where he was raised by adoptive parents -- who've got to be pretty darned proud of their son. (German tabloid Bild calls him "the shooting star of the FDP.")
We've heard endless talk in the United States about how we're the only country where a racial minority could rise so high in the political sphere. In our case, we've got Barack Obama as president. Germany's got Rösler, and I suspect we'll see more of him as he continues to rise. Give him time.
(Photo courtesy Philipp Rösler web site.)