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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


By Alexandra A. Seno

A New Cultural Revolution?

WITH HIS SHOULDER-LENGTH HAIR and trademark black jeans, 28-year-old Zheng Jun looks like any other Chinese wanna-be musician. But there's one sizeable difference. Not all aspiring rock stars strike paydirt the way he has -- especially in China. Zheng's new CD, The Third Eye, has gone gold in just six months. Does this new musical star want to change the world? Not really. He says: "I honestly don't care much about the state of society or the future." And that, he says, is the way his fans feel. The real ear-turner in Zheng's music is his use of traditional instruments and minority voices. The Chinese zither, ancient flutes and vocalists from Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan all weave their way into his musical fabric. The best example of this is a song called Return to Lhasa, in which the voice of a Tibetan soloist towers above the mix of guitars and drums. For Zheng, who has listened to ethnic music since childhood, performing pop is something of a musical after-thought. "I didn't hear rock music until I was over 20," he says. "So ethnic music is very important to me. Its influence is enormous."

Market Forces At Play

Hong Kong equities analyst Elizabeth Gouw didn't quite know what to make of it when a local society magazine voted her the territory's "most promising debutante." Says the 26-year-old London School of Economics accounting and finance graduate: "I was concerned that the image of a deb is usually someone who just sits around waiting to get married." Still, with some prodding from parents and friends -- and presumably after taking stock of the situation -- she decided to accept the honor. She and the other awardees were recently feted at a candlelight dinner-dance attended by Hong Kong's "elite 400." Says Jill Triptree, editor of the monthly that gave out the prize: "Elizabeth got the award as someone who we think will be making an impact on the social scene in the years to come. She's very prominent, from a good family and very talented. Aside from her day job, she has other things going on." Indeed she does. One of them, for instance, is her very own high-end boutique selling designer-label Anya Hindmarch handbags.

New York Street Smarts

The tough parking situation in New York is enough to test the patience of a saint -- even a living one. But not any more. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has issued Mother Teresa with VIP permits that will allow her Missionaries of Charity cars to be left in spots that would otherwise be illegal. "If Mother Teresa wants parking spaces, she gets parking spaces," said Giuliani after the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner explained that her mission's charity work was being hampered by city regulations. "I would give Mother Teresa anything she wanted. If she wants more buildings, she'll get buildings," he said. They also discussed more support for her charities. The Calcutta-based nun, 86, was on a visit to the Big Apple.

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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