For many Chinese, the real revolution didn't happen in 1949. It came nearly three decades later--specifically, on May 5, 1978. That's the day a seemingly drab headline--carry out the socialist principle of distribution according to work--signaled the advent of Chinese capitalism, and a whole new life for a revolution that had failed its people miserably until then.
Park Ha Joon promised to be home in a month. The 47-year-old South Korean ship's engineer had made this kind of trip hundreds of times before, so when he said goodbye to his wife and two daughters last September, nobody got too upset. "Be healthy," he said to his wife, "and take care of the kids." Park boarded a 2,600-ton cargo ship called the Tenyu in the southern port of Ulsan and set sail for Indonesia.
When the topic is Malaysian crony capitalism, Halim Saad's name is usually one of the first to come up. In the 1980s, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his economic guru, Daim Zainuddin, recruited the talented Malay businessman to run a company set up to manage the ruling party's businesses.
THERE MAY BE A FINANCIAL crisis in Indonesia, but Ida Royani's business is booming. Her fashion collection has been rushed off to the stores, where outfits are flying off the racks as women buy new clothes to celebrate this week's end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.
WHO SAYS NOTHING'S GOING TO CHANGE IN Hong Kong when the clock strikes midnight on July 1? Across town, 400 government workers with welding torches, hammers and paint buckets in hand will jump into action to erase the last traces of Britain from Hong Kong's offices and walls.
IT ALL BEGAN WITH "VERSION NUMBER ONE," an ominous-sounding report of a Russian coup plot. According to the alleged plan, published in the liberal Obshchaya Gazeta newspaper, an "eminent public figure" would announce on TV that Boris Yeltsin could no longer manage the country's affairs because of "the serious deterioration in his health." A group of conservative officials would then declare a state of emergency to combat the catastrophic economic situation and soaring crime rate.
Bill Clinton got his first chance to comment on the news while the University of Arkansas track team was visiting the White House. "This is a very, very good day, not only for the people of Russia, but for the people of the United States and all the people of the world," he said.
The world watched breathlessly as Boris Yeltsin battled with the Russian Parliament last week, but the real power struggle took place elsewhere. On the first night of the Congress of People's Deputies, 160 local potentates from around Russia gathered in Moscow and coolly invited Yeltsin to address them.
For a few moments, Boris Yeltsin seemed almost proud of his decision to name a conservative as his new prime minister. After a stroll through Beijing's Forbidden City, the Russian president praised the Chinese model of gradual economic reforms, just the kind that Viktor Chernomyrdin, a heavyset industrialist from the centrally planned economy, seems to favor.
The three thugs and their pint-size boss barged into the back office of a St. Petersburg beer hall just before closing time. One yanked the phone wire out of the wall; a leather-jacketed goon blocked the door, "Who's going to pay for the funeral?" the boss demanded.