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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

OCTOBER 29, 1999 VOL. 25 NO. 43

Getting Around London

Jiang Zemin makes the rounds
MALAYSIA: We Should've Done It My Way

Seek and Ye Shall Find
Still lost in Cyberspace? It's time to look smart

Thailand: The Struggle for the Highlands
Accused of endangering the environment, Thailand's tribespeople face eviction and an uncertain future
• Searching for a Balance: Can minorities and forests co-exist?
• 'We Are Not a Zoo': When tribes are turned into objects

Theater: Butet's Royal Skewering
An actor with an irreverent take on presidents takes on Indonesia

People: She's Keeping the Baby
Jackie Chan's controversial new role

Newsmakers: Getting Around London
Jiang Zemin makes the rounds

Newsmakers: Murder Claim
French accusations fly in Cambodia (10/22/99)

Newsmakers: Pressing Ahead
James Soong is riding a post-Quake wave (10/15/99)

Newsmakers: Donald Tsang gets lost in Las Vegas
The Financial Secretary's trip inspires fear and loathing in Hong Kong (10/08/99)

Newsmakers: Paper Wars
Accusations fly as Hong Kong's Print media do battle (10/01/99)

British protocol traditionally dictates that visiting heads of state make the trip from Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham Palace by carriage to meet with Queen Elizabeth. The short ride can be triumphal, but for President Jiang Zemin and his wife Wang Yeping, it was one of tactical discretion. Despite the fine weather a closed landau, usually reserved for rainy days, carried them through the heart of London. In the months before Jiang's arrival, it was made clear there would be little tolerance by the Chinese for embarassing displays by protesters, although some managed to breach the seamlessly tight security that enveloped Jiang. But chiding Beijing over its human rights record wasn't the aim of the British, who are Europe's largest investors in China. With negotiations with the European Union over entry into the WTO unresolved, the man to watch in the entourage is Foreign Trade Minister Shi Guangsheng. Last year the British invested about $1.2 billion in China and both sides are keen to keep the money flowing.  

SAR Press Pass
Since 1986, Cheung Man-yee has presided over Radio Television Hong Kong as the government-funded broadcaster's director. She was a favorite interview for visiting journalists prior to the 1997 return of the territory to Beijing's control - a strong-minded woman who managed to maintain journalistic integrity despite government pressure to sometimes do otherwise. After the handover, press watchers predicted her days were numbered and rumors of job changes often surfaced. The rumors became reality on Oct. 19, when her "promotion" - the government's term - to the post of economic and trade representative to Tokyo was announced. To quell the immediate wave of protests, the government trotted out Chief Secretary Anson Chan to defend the move, calling it normal government policy to rotate talented people through various postings. Cheung, 53 and due to retire in two years, played down the re-assignment, and placed the onus for RTHK's continued independence on her successor - her deputy, Chu Pui-hing. RTHK journalists, who know when to go on or off the record, are taking a very wary wait-and-see attitude.  

We Should've Done It My Way
So feels Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad of Asia's and the IMF's response to the economic crisis. He hasn't given up on the idea of a regional monetary organization, an alternative to the IMF that would "deeply and constantly engage in East Asian monetary cooperation and problems on a daily basis," as he put it at the World Economic Forum's East Asia Economic Summit in Singapore. "Had such an EAMF existed, I believe that the East Asian currency crisis of 1997 and 1998 would not have occurred, would not have endured and would not have gone to such ridiculous depths," he claimed. The idea of an Asian fund is not new - it was floated by the Japanese in 1997. And several years before that Mahathir had envisioned an East Asian Economic Caucus. The Japanese called their plan an "Asian Monetary Fund," but the PM prefers "East Asian Monetary Fund." After all, he points out, that's where the countries "making real progress" are located these days.  

 • EXECUTION STAYED Josefina Esparas, 46, the first woman to be sentenced to death in the Philippines, by President Joseph Estrada, on Oct. 13. Esparas was found guilty of drug smuggling in 1994, after she tried to bring 20 kg of methamphetamine hydrochloride - "ice" - from Hong Kong. Estrada decided it would be unfair to execute a simple courier, while the "Chinese" dealer she worked for went unpunished. Esparas's sentence was commuted to a 40-year jail term.

 • TRIAL ORDERED TO CONTINUE for Anwar Ibrahim, 52, Malaysia's former deputy premier, and his adopted brother Sukma Darmawan Sasmitaat Madja, 37, by the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The case was to resume on Oct. 21. Judge Arifin Jaka rejected defense lawyers' arguments that the government had not presented a credible case to support its sodomy charges. Anwar's counsel, Karpal Singh, said he will call PM Mahathir Mohamad and attorney-general Mohtar Abdullah as witnesses.

 • RESIGNED Karina Constantino-David, 53, as chairman of the Philippines Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council and chief housing adviser to President Estrada, on Oct. 15. The resignation follows Estrada's creation of a Presidential Commission on Mass Housing, with himself as chairman, which in effect duplicates David's agency. Jose Luis Yulo, whose family is the country's biggest landowner, replaces her as the president's housing adviser.

 • INDICTED Calixto Zaldivar, director of the Lung Center of the Philippines, on Oct. 19, for criminal negligence. Zaldivar is accused of ignoring advice from fire inspectors to install safety equipment at the center. In 1998 a fire razed the building, killing 25 patients.

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Asiaweek Newsmap: Get the week's leading news stories, by region, from Newsmap


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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