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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story


THE RIADYS ADMIT THAT they are not particularly close to Indonesian President Suharto. Eldest son James Riady, though, has strong links with another president - America's Bill Clinton. He was one of the few non-Americans invited to a Clinton economic summit shortly before the Arkansas governor's inauguration as president in 1992.

The connection? According to the conservative magazine The American Spectator, Lippo's Arkansas-based Worthen Bank and Trust decided to absorb, with the help of insurance, more than $52 million in losses in 1985. Bevill, Bresler & Schulman, a government securities broker that sold the bank short-term, high-risk repurchase agreement orders, had gone under. Worthen could have embarrassed Clinton by demanding repayment from the Arkansas state government, says the magazine. The governor's control was so tight, it argues, "that he would inevitably take some of the blame for any loss of state money whether or not he was actively involved." Claims the Spectator: "Clinton owes [the Riadys] big time."

"Rubbish," responds Lippo Group chairman Mochtar Riady. "It's absolutely not true," says his son James, who concedes that there were "mistakes" with the way he ran Worthen in the 1980s. Perhaps so, but Lippo's links with Clinton do not hurt. Last year Lippo signed a memorandum of agreement for a $1-billion deal to manage and expand a 1,200-megawatt power plant in China. Its partner? America's Entergy Corp, parent company of Arkansas Power & Light.

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This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek home



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

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