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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

MARCH 31, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 12

 
  ALSO IN ASIAWEEK

COVER: Seismic Changes
Can president-elect Chen Shui-bian meet the historic challenges posed by a changing Taiwan - and by China?
The Challenge: Now comes the hard part
Reality Check: Beijing will have to deal with the new Taiwan
Profile: Chen's split personality

Editorial: Taiwan and China have reason aplenty to make peace
Editorial: Asia needs new policies to combat prostitution

THE NATIONS
South Asia: Clinton to India and Pakistan - Start Talking
'Limited War': Don't let the term fool you
Philippines: Sister Christine vs. Estrada - yet another scandal
Extended Interview: Salamat Hashim calls for independence
Myanmar: Behind the secret "Chilston" meetings
Inside Story: Asia's "Insiders" - four people who have blown the whistle on wrongdoing
Viewpoint: A Malaysian race for Islamization?

ARTS & SCIENCES
People: Sumo's big brother calls it quits
Heritage: The struggle to save Penang's old George Town
Art: Digital works blur the line between tech and expression
Books: Why healthcare was so bad in Suharto's Indonesia
Health: Noni - The craze over a smelly green fruit
Newsmakers: Thai "List of Shame" riles the privileged

TECHNOLOGY
Games: Microsoft's X-factor
Computing: IBM's Deep Blue man is now into e-commerce
Cutting Edge: An e-book horror story

BUSINESS
Bankruptcy: The court-ordered restructuring of TPI suggests Thailand is coming to grips with deadbeat borrowers
Room to Improve: Inadequate laws in Indonesia and Korea
No Hype: Can Singapore's Pacific Internet regain investor favor?
Renong: The Malaysian conglomerate sells off key assets
Business Buzz: A deal to lift Singapore's spirits

Investing: How rising U.S. interest rates will affect Asia

Now Comes The Hard Part
Chen Shui-bian's victory heralds a new era for Taiwan. But major challenges confront everybody, from the next president down. Here's a summary of the key tasks ahead:
By ALEJANDRO REYES Taipei

TRANSITION:
Lee Teng-hui is trying for a graceful exit, complicated by the mutiny he faces within the KMT which may see him step down as party chairman as early as March 24, sooner than he wanted. Chen will have to engineer a smooth transfer of power to his team, forming a government that includes talent from his own Democratic Progressive Party as well as figures from the other parties and independents. DPP loyalists have been waiting for this moment for years, so Chen will have to keep some eager cadres at bay, and not let the scrounging for spoils get out of hand.

REALIGNMENT: If presidential runner-up James Soong Chu-yu is to stay relevant for the next four years, the Nationalist renegade must find a political party to call home. That could be the new party of his own -or the KMT. But reports say big loser Lien Chan could take over from Lee as KMT leader. Chen may have to deal with a realignment of his own, especially if his party's move to formally dump its pro-independence platform upsets the minority of diehard Taiwan chauvinists.

REFORM: Chen won because of his reform agenda. To pursue it, he will need to overcome such obstacles as a KMT-dominated legislature and an entrenched bureaucracy staffed heavily with mainland-born professionals, many of whom backed Soong. But Chen could find common ground with the Soong camp and KMTreformists in pushing through changes in the party-asset laws, as well as measures against corruption and "black gold." Post-Lee, the KMT will likely have to democratize the party and make its leadership more accountable and its operations more transparent.

CROSS-STRAIT TIES: This is Chen's department now. He has already gone some distance by offering to discuss the issue of "one China" at a peace summit. He must prove that his pragmatism is for real and that he really has no intention of pursuing independence or a referendum on nationhood. The question is whether China will give him the benefit of the doubt or insist he fully embrace its definition of one China before any talks.

ECONOMY: Chen must continue to build bridges to the business community, particularly the large companies and industrial groups that have had long symbiotic relationships with the KMT. Chen and the DPP must prove they are pro-business. But they must also carefully reconsider Taiwan's economic strategy and industrial policy, which has long favored KMT-linked firms and conglomerates.

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