Jonathan Adams

Even In China, English Is King

China's recent rise has brought with it a new conventional wisdom: that everyone must learn Mandarin. But no one's told South Korea yet. Though Chinese is increasingly popular here, the nation seems to be suffering a profound case of English fever.

Cleaning the Straits

South Korea isn't the only democratic success story in Asia these days. The competition isn't just coming from Japan; it's Taiwan, rarely recognized as an independent state, that's making some of the best progress.

The Internet Trembles

In 1866, the British ship Great Eastern lowered a grappling hook by rope down to the frigid Atlantic Ocean floor far below. Its quarry: a line that had snapped the previous year during one of the first attempts to lay a transatlantic cable connecting the United States with Europe.

Delicate Balance

News that China had destroyed one of its own satellites with a missile last week sent shockwaves through capitals from Washington to Tokyo. But for security experts like Lin Chong-Pin, who have closely watched the rise of China's military in recent decades, Beijing's capability came as little surprise.

Failed Expectations

It was a fitting end to a punishing year for Asia's new democracies. Two days before regional heads of state were to arrive in the central Philippine city of Cebu for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' annual summit, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo abruptly postponed the confab--citing an approaching tropical storm.

Divided Island

There's a phrase in Chinese for Taiwan's political divide: lan tian, lu di (or "blue sky, green ground"). The north is the base of the China-friendly Kuomintang and its allies, the "blue" camp, which traces its heritage to the mainland and dreams of a reunified China.

A President's Last Stand?

Annette Lu, Taiwan's vice president, was on a windswept island in the Taiwan Strait when the call came. Back in Taipei, prosecutors were about to indict President Chen Shui-bian's wife for allegedly misusing state funds in a case that implicates the president himself.


In search of a creative way to stop militants and weapons smugglers from infiltrating from across the Egypt-Gaza border, Israelis are talking about building a 10-kilometer moat filled with Mediterranean seawater along the southern boundary.


Al gore is getting good reviews for "An Inconvenient Truth," a book and documentary film in which the former vice president warns us of impending catastrophe unless we curb carbon emissions.

Keeping China Quiet

Of all the points of friction that could have roiled last week's summit meeting between George W. Bush and Hu Jintao--trade, North Korea, human rights--one caused hardly a ripple.

Culture: A Matter of Style

Clad in jeans and a black sweatshirt, Taiwanese singer Lim Giong croons his rendition of a golden oldie. Elvis? The Beatles? Try Sung Dynasty poet Huang Ting-chien, who composed his greatest hit way back in 1087--in script that now ranks among the best surviving calligraphy from imperial China.

Dawn of the Wireless Utopias

Taipei is dreaming big: it wants to be the world's first completely wireless metropolis. Other cities boast a patchwork of hotspots at hotels, coffee shops and colleges, and tiny towns in the United States and elsewhere have already been blanketed with anywhere, anytime Wi-Fi.

'Conditions Aren't Ripe'

The next presidential election in Taiwan is more than two years away, but there's already a front runner. Ma Ying-jeou, the 55-year-old mayor of Taipei, is seen as a shoo-in to be the candidate for the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), which favors closer ties with China and eventual unification.

Can Taiwan Come Back?

The numbers look like a victory for Taiwan. In recent years, Taiwanese manufacturers watched and worried as Korean rivals rose to the top of the consumer-electronics world, with Samsung and LG Electronics becoming global household names in everything from washing machines to televisions.


Raising the Bar AgainCould Turkey become the true victim of the twin "no" votes on the EU constitution in France and Holland? Ankara is due to start formal EU negotiations in October.


One might expect citizens in Hong Kong and Taiwan to share the anti-Japanese fervor of their mainland brethren. But many of them find China's rage over atrocities committed by Japanese invaders more than half a century ago more than a little discomforting.

To Stop a Tech Deal

It's no secret that the two firms share common DNA. The elder, Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp.--the world's second-largest contract chipmaker--owns the patents allegedly used by an up-and-coming Chinese competitor, He Jian Technology.


They battled each other for more than two decades. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian launched his political career as a defense lawyer for critics of an authoritarian regime that counted James Soong as its brightest rising star.


Ask a party bureaucrat in Beijing about China's foreign ambitions these days, and the reply may sound like a beauty contestant's doe-eyed promise to work for world harmony. "Peaceful resolution of global problems is both our aim and our style," asserts one official involved in international affairs.


He's a leader in search of a legacy. Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, often blamed for destabilizing Asia with his fiercely independent rhetoric, now says he wants to talk peace with China.

TAIWAN: The Cold Shoulder

The year of the rooster came in mild in Taipei, and the political climate seemed warmer, too. For the first time in 55 years Taiwan allowed Chinese airlines to land on its territory after a landmark agreement on two-way cross-strait charter flights for the holiday.