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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

NEWSMAKERS


FOREIGN MINISTER UNDER PRESSURE

IN A MOVE THAT shocked Thailand's political watchers, the respected Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan was not selected to the central executive committee of the Democrat Party last month. How could it happen? Although Surin is a high-profile political figure and a close and respected friend of PM Chuan Leekpai, the former academic lacks grassroots support. A Muslim, Surin will never rise very high in Buddhist-dominated Thailand. He is a southerner like Chuan, but he is not crucial in delivering southern votes. Another obstacle is Arthit Urairat, who covets the foreign minister's job but has had to be satisfied serving as the speaker of parliament instead. Arthit lobbied against Surin within the party, showing his weak power base. Some feel Surin will be dropped by the popular Democrats after the next election - assuming, as is likely, they win it.


STRANGE DISSIDENT BEDFELLOWS

IT'S THE SORT OF meeting that makes American liberals' heart go pitty-pat. The Dalai Lama and China's recently released dissident Wei Jingsheng crossed paths at a closed-door meeting of academics near Boston. The pair posed for pictures, but Wei, whose blunt speaking about the Clinton administration's attitude toward human rights in China is rapidly alienating his new-found friends in Washington, did not make a public statement. The Dalai Lama has been hard-pressed recently, too. When Apple Computer dropped him as one of their "Think Different"advertising icons, he was left looking a bit out of the loop. But his support for President Bill Clinton's rapprochement with Beijing has left more militant anti-China Tibetan activists as well as hard-liners like Wei looking a bit too strident for the American mainstream.


IVORY TOWER UNHAPPINESS

HOSTILITY FROM STAFF AT the University of Hong Kong won't be enough to stop a management shakeup that gives Vice Chancellor Cheng Yiu-chung sweeping powers. Members of the faculty worry that Cheng may head a "dictatorship" that could circumvent the traditional committee system now in place. Cheng dismissed his critics:"It would be easy for me not to carry out any reforms. But I don't think the taxpayers would be happy." In Hong Kong, where budgets are tight these days, his logic is sure to find backers.


AN AID PROPOSAL WITH LEGS

HYUNDAI FOUNDER CHUNG JU Yung, one of South Korea's wealthiest men, remains thwarted in his quest to donate more food aid to North Korea. He wants to drive 1,000 head of cattle into the North, via the Panmunjom "peace village" straddling the DMZ. Chung's donation of 10,000 tons of corn was accepted, but "We're still waiting for a North Korean response" on the cattle drive, a Hyundai spokeman said.


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AsiaNow


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TIME:

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



ASIAWEEK:

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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