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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

PEOPLE

By Alexandra A. Seno


A Wholesome Career Change for Shu Qi

With her success in Jackie Chan's Gorgeous, winsome starlet Shu Qi finally seems to have shaken off her blue image and made the great leap to family entertainment. About time too, the former Taiwan porn actress is probably saying. For two years now she has been making mainstream movies, with supporting roles in last year's hits Portland Street Blues (for which she won a prestigious Golden Horse Award) and The StormRiders. But what she really needed was a major role in a big film. Ever the hero, Chan came to the rescue, casting Shu as the female lead in his action-comedy blockbuster. Critics praised Shu's acting, with some claiming her performance out-shone Chan's. But even though she may be moving on, her past hangs over her like a bad hairdo now that old film clips and nude photographs of her have surfaced in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The 22-year-old took it calmly enough, though. She told one publication: "If you ask me why I did it, I really cannot remember. For fame? Perhaps. For money? Maybe. I chose the path myself." On her steady climb to superstardom, Shu is probably one to watch this year. The stakeout has already started. The tabloid press is camped out in front of her Hong Kong apartment following reports of a romance with pop idol Leon Lai Ming.

Kumble Bowls the Cricket World Over

It's the Everest of cricket - one of the great challenges the game has to offer. And India's Anil Kumble, 28, has conquered it. The Indian spin bowler earned a mention in the history books by taking all Pakistan's 10 second-innings wickets in a test match between the great South Asian rivals. The last time such a thing happened in a test was back in the 1950s, when English legend Jim Laker humbled the Australians. Kumble (pronounced Kumblay) is now the toast of a nation that places cricket above just about everything else. In his home state of Karnataka, transport officials honored him with a customized car license plate: KA-10-N-10. The number went nicely with the $14,000 Maruti car he got courtesy of the local cricket association and an auto dealer. That should help drive him on to new achievements.

High-Ranking Hit

Qing dynasty emperor Yongzheng was probably not the kind of person you would like in your house. He executed family members, foes and subordinates alike. But for TV viewers in corruption-ridden China, that's a large part of the attraction about the man - Yongzheng was a graft-buster. Since it was first screened in January, the 44-part series Yongzheng Dynasty has dominated primetime rankings on Chinese TV. Apart from the chord it strikes with the current political mood, the series also has the draw of popular 46-year-old Tang Guoqiang as the king (who lived from 1678 to 1735). The actor (Romance of Three Kingdoms) is associated with nice-guy roles. The program is proving such a hit that the network has had to begin airing the drama from the start on another of its stations. Of its millions of fans, one has a particular interest in beating corruption. Premier Zhu Rongji is said to be an ardent follower.


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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

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


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