March 27, 2013 |
When a two-engine Chinese turboprop darted over disputed islands in the East China Sea, the first foreign intrusion into Japanese airspace in more than 50 years, the People's Liberation Army was able to truthfully profess its innocence. The tiny turboprop belonged to China Marine Surveillance, a once-obscure cog in the vast bureaucracy that has become a kind of paramilitary force in Asian waters. A host of Chinese agencies with innocuous titles -- the Maritime Safety Administration, the Fisheries Law Enforcement Command, the State Oceanic Administration -- have become stealth warriors in Beijing's campaign to press its territorial claims in Asian waters.
March 22, 1992 |
As the 40-minute flight from Guangzhou cut through the clouds and began its descent to Haikou Airport, at the northern tip of Hainan Island, we could see new high-rises protruding over rice fields and tumbledown shacks. Lush fields and ribbons of beach lined both sides of the small city below. We were approaching Haikou, capital of Hainan, China's newest province. It took an effort to remember that this was China. Azure water lapped the edges of the land.
December 16, 1990 |
In his wood-paneled office, David S. Tappan Jr. keeps a small gold Buddha, a gift from the deputy minister of Thailand. He has placed it on a special altar because Thai custom requires, out of respect, that Buddha be viewed at or above eye level. Attending to such detail in order not to offend a foreign customer and dignitary is a mark of the silver-haired chairman of Irvine-based Fluor Corp.