Page 1

Tbe Official Prfulication of tbe Foreign Corresþondents'Club of Hong Kong

ChinA's Secret Famine




C¡rHnv Pnclnc

September r996



tfre President


Corzer Stor-y-



2 Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong Telephone: 2521 1571 Fu:2A6A 4O92

Hungry Gltosts

President Giamini -John Paul Bayfield Flrst vice President Karin Malmström Second vice President


Now IN L,cor\oMY clASS

Cotrespondent Member Govetnors


Jonathan Mirsky, Rob Moùntfort, Keith Richburg, christopher Slaùghter,

Bob Davis, Robiî Lynam,


JVlichael Macke1,, Kees Metselaar,

Hubert vm

lvferrrlrers Travels


with Terry

Hungry Gbosts


Joumallst Member Governors Saul Lockhart, Fmncis Moriarq',


Assoclate Member Govemorc William H. Areson, John corbett, Ronald Ling, Jul¡an walsh

1lÁedia All change at the BBC

Professlonal Coññlttee Conuenor: Michael Mackey

Hoüe Comittee Conuerror: Ronald L¡ng



Englisb Neus Writing

Finance Coflmlttee

H A¡eson Memberehlp Cornfllttee

Conuenor: William

Conuenor: fluber1t van Es



Conuenor: Kai.n Malmström


lfribute Henry Hartzenbusch

F & B Commltt€e Conuenor: Rob:n Lyn m




'wall Commlttee Conuenor': Ilubert \'an Es

Publlcatioß Com¡tt€e


CortuenoË Pail Bayfield

Freedom of the Press Co nue

nor' :


llzIerrrl>ers at lanrge Fttenze Ftenzy


nîcls Moriarty

FCC General Manager

Roben Smdes

The Correspondent


It is with greât regret we record the passing

Re-opening of the Main Bar

EDITORIAL OFFICE JeffHeselwood, Editor Telephone: 2851 0493 Fu:2815 253O Nicola Nightingale, Assistant Editor 2 Lower Albert Road, HonB Kong Telephone: 2521 lSll Fu:286A 4092

Chades R. "Chadie" Smith

Chrb Fileu.s

of Charlie Smith. Charlie


died suddenly among his friends on Septem-


ber 14th. Greatlymissed b¡. members, staff and

O t995 The ¡oreign conespondents' Club of Hong Kong Opinions expressed b) writers in TlJe Coïesþonderrt are not necessarily those of The Foreign Corespondents' Club. TlJe CoÛesþonder?t is published

monthly by

The Foreign Coffispondents' Club of Hong Kong

countless friends. A

full appreciation of


Charlie will appear in

FCC Faces

the October issue of

Noel Quinlan

The Corresþondent.

PRODI'CTION & Printing

FST Line Design

Founh Floor, l5B Wellington Street, Centml, Hong Kong Tel: 2521 7993 Fax: 2521 A366


Hungry Ghosts

The Heart of Asia. Hearrbeat: PTVs are beìng progrcssìvcly introduced in Economy CJass throughour our entìre fJeet


r996 IHE





President's Report -Septernl>er, Associates, a fi-

ago,whenThe Netu York TirnesExecutiYe Editor, Abe

nancial consultbusinesses. For

The club is presently maintaining

Rosenthal retired, he


many years he

of slightly more than 1,400 members. Given the fact that we are due to lose several members between now and rnld-1997, it is essential that we significantly increase our membership in all categories.'We are hoping to atÍract 200 new members during the next year. I am concerned that we haven't atúacted more correspondent members from major wire serwices, cable networks, and newspapers that make Hong Kong their regional headquarters. I understand the reason for this. Most of these people are local hires and do not receive the same benefits that their predecessors received. I am looking for ways to convince these people that the FCC is worth the fees.


took up writing a weekly column called'OnMyMind'. It was immediately dubbed 'Out of My Mind'byTimes'staffers, which pretty much sums up my feelings when writing my monthly column. Hence, this space will carry mostly disjointed tidbits about what the Board of Governors is up to, with a bit of my own coÍìmentary.



bout ten years

served on the fi-

nance committee ofthe Ladies' Re cre ational


prevented him becoming treas-

urer). He has also been the treasurer of our

own FCC Golf Sociefy and has

put that organization on a firm financial footing. I know he'll be an asset to the board.

To be the champion is io be at the peak in the very

a membership

important moments. Only total dedication and determination give the edge to break the

Ryan, as amember of the board and as

honorary treasurer. Purely personal reasons obliged her to resign. As she put it inherletterto me: "I cannot giye my implied promise of full commitment to the club. " She went on to say: "My apologies to those club members who gave me such an overwhelming

vote of confidence in the elections." Dorothy Ryan has given her time and expertise to the club for many years. She has my thanks and gratitude . I know that she will be no stranger to the club. To fill Dorothy's position the board

would normally tum to the roster of associate member candidates and choose the next in line. However, Daniel Truell, who was the only other associate member to stand in the election, is departing Hong Kong in October. Consequently, I have askedJulian \ù7alsh

to step in. Julian, a qualified chartered accountant, is a director ofJ.T. rüØalsh &

Last year the board decide d



a donor of a suitable computer could be found, we should install the Xinhua

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The Freedom Forum, which has consistently supported the FCC's professional progralnmes.

Under the heading of time-flieswhen-you-le ad-an-interesting-1ife, Clare

Members are now able to settle

rù(/e originallythoughtthat this would be used to cope with the expected influx of visitors and for banquets. Howeyer, the board sawno reason why it should not be used for monthly bills. But members choosing this method of payment should be

awatethata3 pet cent service charge will be added to their bill.


is going to celebrate her 85th birthday on October 10th. At the

same time 85 years ago and hall a world away, Dr Sun Yat-sen was declaring the Chinese Republic. The FCC intends to help Clare celebrate by throwing apafty in her honour on or about the 1Oth. Please keep an eye out for faxes and fliers

announcing the specific date and time.

camera system gives the spirit of champion to the world of photographers.

intend to launch a major drive for new members. I welcome any suggestions in this regard.

news service along sidethe otherwire services. John Schidlovsþ, director of The Freedom Forum Asia Center, has kindly donated a 486 Digital com-


and to stay at the peak. Professional photographers capture these split seconds and share the dedication and determination - the spirit of champion.

During the coming months, we

With great regret, I recently accepted the resignation of Dorothy


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Finally, due to popular demand and as cons€quence of an extensive surveybyDr. David Higgins, the Health Corner is extending its hours. It will now be open Monday to Saturdayfrom 7:00 a.m. to Midnight. On Sunday and holidays it will be open from 7:00 a.m. Eitto 6:00 p.m.

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Harvest of Sorrow, about the great stalvation in Ukraine that was caused

by Stalin's crash programme to collectivise agriculture and eliminate the richer peasants.

only a few

sentences long but others ran to 20 or 30 pages. The people who surwived clesperately wanted to talk about it. It

dered at the hands of the Red Guarcls. Becker maintains that the Cultural Revolution was a direct outgrowth of

Chin a's Secret Famine". They include

ordeal, as Mao repeated many of the

publications and received hundreds

tnrn small, private land holclings into vastly procluctive agro-cities. China's

of letters.

Some were

the famine. Mao could hold on to power in the face of the disaster only by postulating a fantastic conspiracy against him. "We've been too s)'mpathetic to

dictator borrowed uncritically many of the Russian agronomists' most bi-

Gltosts by Todd Crowell

zarreagricttltural theories in the hopes of doubling or even triplingfarm)/ields

overnight. 'ùl-hen, predictably, they clidn't work, the party cadres faked the results to remain in favour in Beijing. One fascinating propaganda photograph of the period, reproduced in the book, shows children supposedly

standing on top of a badey field so that one would thinkthat theirweight was sLlpported by the shoots packed

À¡Iillions died in the Grea-t Leal¿ Forqzard, but the Ckrinese still prefer to ta-lk a-l>out the G-ang of Four.

Deng Xiaoping and the others. Lls to be persuaded that they were just victims of the Cultural Revolution. But they had supported Mao in the Great Leap

They've allowed

Fotward and they allowed him to stay in power after that failure."

Not every Chinese historian is willing to go as far as Becker does in

thickly together. In fact, they were really stancling on a concealed bench.

"The worst thing is that there a shortage of food. It was mostly lying in the granaries, and it just stayed there and rotted," never really was

he said.

Actuall1', the worst "shortages" occurred in China's traditional breadbaskets, Sichuan and Shandong provinces. Asked wh1' peasants didn't just seize the grain, he answered: "The peasants stillhad some faith inthepafty.

\Øhen they awoke to the truth, they were too weak to do arything about it."

a nightmare they had never really forgotten. " In today's China there is a great reluctance to think about these events. "Everything that was bad is supposecl to have happened during the Cultural Revolution. Millions died in the Great Leap Forward, but the Chinese still prefer to talk about the Gang of Four. But for the vast majority of people, the realterrorwas the GreatLeap Forward, not the Cultural Revolution."



remained loyal to Mao Zedong. I found this almost impossible to

Chinese history, possibly the worst famine of all time. Yet hardly anyone outside the country knew what was happening. Even today Chinese people

comprehend." During the eady Eighties, demographers in the W.est, poring over dis-

prefer to talk more about the horrors of the CulturalRevolution. Aboutthe great famine, they remain silent.

"It was like a strange psychosis gripped China," said Jasper Becker, the Beijing correspondent for the Soutlt Clcina Morníng Posf at a Club luncheon in eady August. "Or, you might call it a kind of mass suicide


Chinese population data, lrad announced that 30 million


people died of malnutrition in the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward, the programme of mass rural collec-

tivisation begun by Mao in 1958, that was supposed to carry China into a new millennium where hunger was banished forever.


At first Becker said he thought

People were starving, yet they

that the reports were a "tall story".

Like many others, he found it hard to square mass starvation with the

ascribing the famine entirely to Mao's misguided policies. Even ex-president Liu once said that the famine was probably 70 per cent man-made and 30 per cent natural causes.

But it seems incontestable that there would not have been clisaster on such a scale had it not been for Mao's overwhelming arrogance,

wishful thinking and clisregard for science. Jasper Becker's Hungry Gbosts is avallable from the Club office.


"' ' ,:Ì,.. . ,iHì :, '''r,',r "-l;'cG"



Tn tne earlv 1960s millions of I peopte clied in the worst l-amine in

One reason for this is that many important figures, including such

popular reformers as formet premier and party secretaly Zhao Ziyang or the late HuYaobang, were implicated in some of the excesses - or did nothing to stop them. One who did tq' to set things right was ex-president Liu Shaoqi, who was later mur-


translations of state documents and

na's famine had its genesis in Russia's

same mistakes in an attempt to beat Stalin at his own game and


truth of

Lrnravel the

histories of the famine thinly disguised as memoirs or no't'els. "I advertised in overseas Chinese

Indeed, Becker argues that Chi-


Beckerhas clrawn on awide range

of soulces to


: .r:




il:i:l¡, i'.:ì' 'llli ,rl,r .,¡;

principles of socialism - each according to his needs. Whatever its shortcomings,


'',,'l¡it: ii

'tl;:l i,i; 1rill

socialist governments at least ought to keep people reasonably well fed, he reasonecl. Gradually, he realised that a m^jor catastrophe had taken

place. He tells the story in a new book: Hungry Gbosts Çohn Murray, London, 544 pages, $24).

| ';Ì,inoj

flifJ] ro,r,

His original purpose, he says, was

to write a history of

collectivised agriculture. That led him to such seminal works as Robert Conquest's

could. stanrl on top oÍ


This picttu'e




tuas JAke






[J.S.A. in Wheot Producf i,;i,


tbe cbildren are stcnxdir'tg ott. a benclt

Cbina clctitned sbe ha.d outstríþþed euen Atnerica ín Lubeat þroduction.

September 1996 THE



probable, sex toys, and serious looking, young Japanese couples can be wandering down the aisles search-

andYietnam have all had an impact on

ing for something to spice up their honeymoons, which evidentþ are flall-

food prepared in a broadly Spanish-


ing short of expectations. Oh well, if sex lets you down there is always the food, and it is possible to


villagers and encouraged to liberally help ourselves from a tmly magni-ficent

favourites are here. Burgers and hot dogs abound. Furthermore, there is at least one festaufant to repfesent the national cuisine of every country with whichAmerica has fought a war. There

Chamorro smorgasbord. The Hyatt Regency laid on some-

The Japanese, of course, ate caas theywould expect inJapan, but for a lot less money. Most other tered for

Asian cuisines are also well represented,

reflecting a population that includes Koreans and Vietnamese,

agent. He has skills he can't possibly have learned in the span of a single terrestrial stretch. Back in about 1992, Terry and I were desultorily chatting about this and that at the bar when he said - or "You know, more probably, growled you really ought to go to Guam. It's interesting". Terry has a habit of saying "it's interesting" about many things which may or may not be, but this one intrigued me. The Micronesian Islands ar€ not exactly a staging post on the way to anywhere in particular and I

views with tedious executives I'was supposed to fit in, and seized the op portunity to re-negotiate the fee, cost-

I can't blame Terry, I suppose, for the fact that in Guam everybody drives on the wrong side of the road. This is,

afitet all, where America wakes up, and the place takes a steer from the US

Terr)¡ and I made gluttons of our-

is in ever¡hing but name, one of the United States, most of all the American

is even a Mexican restaurant managed by a Korean called Pepe.

The cüentwas absolutely delighted at the idea of me dropping five inter-

Paci-fic style.

selves at a village fiesta, at which, having turned up as uninvited guests, we were made generouslywelcome by the

eat remarkably well on Guam. Since

T n " previous tile I suppose Terry I Duckham must have been a travel

Local cooking is also very open to outside influences, andJapan, America





resident Japanese and an awful lot of Filipinos. Drawing attention to resemblances between Guam and the Philippines is

generally not thought to be tactful. Guamanians understandablyliketo feel that they have their own unique culture, but since there is a common heritage of unabashed Spanish colonialism and whatever euphemism it is the

thing similar at a pafiy to which we were invited, marking the end of the Islands' Fatr, and wer€ just as liberal

with the booze as with the food. We were accompanied for the evening by a Chamorro guide named John Bonaventura

"call meJohn B"

who turned out to be partial to -scotch and took discreet advantage of

the liquid hospitality. John B had been assigned to us by Terry's friend, Lou Agon, one of the key players in the island's tourismbusiness, to show us some Chamorro nightlife, and by the time we left the Hyatt, John B was thoroughly relaxed.

- oh, about the price of a business class ticket to Guam. Terry had managed to fix economy on Continental Micronesia. There is no such thing as a free trip ... No matter. There would be a nice hotel . I rather thought the Hyatt which has a beautiftrl, prime beachfront resort properry. Terry thought rather differentþ. The trip was timed to coincide with a Micronesian Islands' fair, at which various mini states would be

of A. I, however, have always driven on the left, and the wrong side of my brain was having ahatd time coping with intersections. Having picked up the hire car nobodyin Guamwalks anywhere and taxis cost a fortune - arrd struggled back to the hotel with it, I settled down to await Terry who was flying in

gear, andproceededto outline apacked,

beginning of each

them. There was also the consideration that, after a, certaln amount of time in Hong Kong, I am generallywilling to go just about to get out of the

displaying what they had to offer, in a field next to the equally pleasant Pacific Islands Club. He felt we should be there.

if somewhat bizarte, itinerary. The economy of Guam is domi-

floor is empty, and


theory, but since the hotelwas stuffed to the gills with guests who actually planned to pay for their rooms, we had a small "no room at the irin" problem. "That's fìne," said Terry, "just put us in the sta.ff quarters." People really shouldn' t make jokes like that. The general manager took him at his word, which is how I found myself, after a thirst-inducing walk of about 20 minutes from the hotel lobby, searching in vain for a mini-bar, before

hadn't previously thought of visiting

place . I said I might be prepared to

about it, and how about'Wednesday? Ter:ry swung into action and last May after the - only a mere forrr years the trip finally original conversation happened. His timing was perfect. I was due to go to New Zealand the following week, and was half way through one of those wretched corporate copy-

writing projects freelance hacks are occasionally obliged to undertake to counterbalance the rotten rates paid in this town for journalism.

ing me

This would have been fine in


number, the dance

within the first minute it fills up, mostlywirh highly capable dancers. At the end everybody goes and sits down

Americans use for their occupations of


other people's countries, the resemblances archard to miss. This is particularly true of Chamorro food. Fried chicken and Filipino-style lumpia are two of the favóurites, and much of the seafood is prepared in a similar way, but the Chamorro use of spices imparts a different identity to the cuisine.

the targets in one ofthe several shooting galleries set up for them to enact a

trying to call Hong Kong on a phone

with no IDD facility.

emporia purveying imaginative, if im-


the cha-cha. At the

nese tourists, dressed as cowboys and

native Americans, firing erratically at


mostly around a bizarre ritual of dancing

Various other diversions are also

aftemoon snapping a group of



nated by tourism, and its biggest market by far is Japan. The Japanese go there, in some cases to get maried it's a lot cheaper than throwing aparty in Toþo - and in others to lie on the beach or play golf.

'llild.West fantasy. It wasn't the only kind of fantasy catered for. Guam has a number of

TEE CoRRXSPoI|Df,NI September 1996

The Chamorro

He duly arived, accompanied with about four hundredweight of camera

on tap for them. 'We spent one amusing

Everybody on Guam seems to know

everybodyelse andJohnis cleadyabitof a character around town. He certainly seemed to know a lot of the prettier gids in the nightclubs we visited. idea ofagoodnight

from Manila.

police road block. Guam has the same drink-driving laws as the US and has recently started to enforce them. All occupants of the carwere most definitely over the US blood-alcohol limit, and since I had signed for the vehicle before he arived, Terr)' was not the designated driver.

again, changespartners should they feel so inclined, and the process is repeated. John B was on his fifth partner and probably his tenth scotch by the time Terr]' decided we should leave the last of these dimly lit dance halls, and politely suggested that it might be a good idea ú he took over the drMng. This tumed out to be a Good Idea as just around the next comef. we ran in to a

I was saying a quiet prayer that he

wouldn'twhen the gendarme signalled us over, and Terry began unsuccessfully trying to open the window. Giving it up as abad job, he opened the door

instead and launched in


arr amaz-

ingly complicated and relatively slurred spiel that impressed even me. ln answer to the question "have you been drinking this evening? " Terry explained, more or less without drawing breath, that he had imbibed modestþ as a guest of the government at an ofñcial function; that his apparentunfamiliarity with the vehicle was easily explained because itwas hired; thatwe were journalists and were leaving town in a few days anyway. In short, detaining us was likely to be a lot more trouble than it was worth. Had John still been driving, I suspect we would have spent the rest of the evening artanging bail. As it was, the forces of law and order decided that this was going to be altogether too much like hard work and settled, before waving us on, for handing orrer a

pamphlet containing details of the drinkdriving legislation. I put it in the glove compafiment, where I imagine it is still languishing. It was a good trip, and all over far too quickly. Ignoring the car hire company's repeated requests for the vehicle to be returned, Terry drove me to the airport before returning to the Paci,fic Islands Club, which, having shown

me out of the tradesman's entrance, had upgraded him to a suite. How the hell does he do where did I go wrong?

September 1996 TÃE



















I :


All change atthe BBC


byJames Nation


z l) ,a th


Nlzorld Senzice under threat






W/rr." the Director-General o[ W thessC,John Birt, announced in June that the BBC was to be restructured into four main directorates,

progríunme-making dire cto t ate, r ather

management would be tfansfeffed to

than producing their own. These proposals, to be put into effect from April 1 next, have united a

the new News and Cuffent Affairs directorate. The entire service may have to move out of Bush House in eight years, arrryayl because the corporation's lease of the building

o =


BBC and three former managing

expires then. Younger's emollient words have done little to abate the fury. The thought that the Wodd Service is just like any other radio service and can be run in the same way is what is getting

directors of BBC W.odd Service.

through to them. In many respects


combining radio (including the exter. nal serwices) and television, there was some bemusement at first, then a rising tide of fury. Supporters of BBC 'Wodd Service feared a dilution of the

Tutu respectively, politicians of all

purity of the service, described by

parties, musicians, actors, broadcasters

many as "the jewel in the crown of the BBC". Many have expressed a profound

and writers, former governors of the

sense of outrage, giving rise to widespread protests, including the lobbying ofparliament. Tbe Guardìan ran what amounted to a major campaign under the slogan Save the


Service, and has devoted many

column-inches to reporting and discussion of the matter, with

contributions from commentators and columnists. The public has weighed in with letters to the editorand on atleast two occasions the entire letters page has been devoted to this one topic. Mark Tully, long-time India-based BBC correspondent, andJohn Tusa, a former managing director, appear to be in the lead in the protest movement, although there does not seem to be yet. any formal organisation to it




At the heart of the ire is the decisionto transferthe líodd Seryice newsgathering operations from Bush House, which has long been the home of all

- the 42 vernacular seryices and the English-language service - to the BBC Television news operation, which now handles all broadcast news in the UKfrom the Television Centre in west London. Additionally, !Øodd Service's English-language programme makers will be required to purchase or commission their programmes from the new

legion of the gteat aled the good in noisyprotest. Theyinclude the former archbishops of Canterbury and Capetown, Lord Runcie and Desmond

Their concern is that, under


combined management,'W odd Service

this proposition is true , of course, and the protests of those who do not agree



l) a








o m











6) a








2 o



own perception of what the wodd

treatment - "we are not as others are and must be treated differently". It's been a famlJiar refrain from Biblical


needs to hear. Also, asTusahaspointed


will have its agenda defined for it by the requirements of the domestic services, rather than in response to its


to a plea for

out, there must be considerable

But BBC Wodd Service is quite

disquiet about the ability of producers

differentfromthe BBC's domestic radio

working in domestic radio services to

services, as anyone in Hong Kong who can listen to both BFBS and RTHK Radio Six will verify. They are talking

produce programmes thatwill suit the world audience since, by-andlarge, they know little or nothing about the wodd audience, neverhaving so much as visited most of it.

to different people - living on different planets, it seems at times.

It is unrealistic to expect editorial

This is not a criticism of the competence of those producers, so much as a comment on their lack of experience of the woild in the target areas to which BBC programmes are

staff, geared to supplying news to five domestic radio networks, to be able to

directed. You cannot make effective programmes for listeners in China or Chile if you know nothing about them

group among the.Wodd Serwice's many millions of English-language listeners. This is not cleady understood by large numbers of people in the UK, who regard BBC W.orld Service as the home radio service they can listen to when on holiday in the Costa del Sol,

or their country. But that is what is being proposed by Birt, according to some obseryers.

trtr8 woR ID

the external seryices


bittedy when they discoyer that it is full of foreign riews. take

some of the steam ollt of the protests,

the current MD,

Sam Younger,

announced that the'VØodd Service's news operation would remain at Bush

House "for at least 18 months", although editorial control and line

THE CORRDSPOilDEI{T September 1996

understand the news values and requirements of people in Indonesia, or Taiwan, or Mexico, or any other


gEs wonlD


But the Wodd Service is tasked to broadcast to English-speaking foreign nationals, not the Brits who happen to


nrintrtc tffi.r.rrsel{,


¡ ì'

( (


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F E-rrñrñFrl

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In an apparent attempt to

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be living, for the moment, outside the UK. That is why the å170-odd million to run it comes from the Foreign Office - a graît-in-aid, technicallY - afjid notfrom the licence fee that funds the domestic seryices. T l:rat gr anthas b een ste adily shrink-

Britain, paid for out of the Foreign Office's annual appropriation, but not

out to be a severe trial,


ing as the Conservative Government's sqlreeze on public spending continues. It is not, technically, the Govern-

to the mandarins of W-hitehall, as well as those in British embassies and consulates abroad,

degenerate into a slightlyforeignversion

ment that is putting the pressure on

whenever the BBC news reveals goings-on in various places.

the BBC, but the Foreign Office,


has to find the cash out of its own

coffers, and is itself being heavily squeezed. The effect is the same, who-


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This has quite frequentþ turned even



Despite the uproar, neither Birt nor the recently appointed chairman of the board of governors, Sir

record as having said that radio and television are the same - the onlY difference is in the delivery system.

Bland for what everyone hopes will have been "meaningful discussions". Padiamentary committees have also discussed the matter (and also called

If he believes that, PerhaPs he is also capable of believing that an editor

so it must be assumed that they intend to ride out the stofm, trusting that the

racket long.

will drop to a dull roar before

The Government's position is less clear. On the one hand, it wishes to be


to be taking note of such


impressive uproar, and to this end, the Defence Secretary called in Birt and

in Birt and some of the protesters), but


who can produce a bulletin for the

since Padiament is now

BBC Radio 2's news service one day is

recess for a couple of months or so, little may result.

able, using the same pool of Brazilian English-language listeners a few hours later, with equal facility. Most people doubt it.



The discussion is not informed much by some of the specious pieces



ChristopherBland, has shown any sign of budging from their stated position,



a lact that few foreigners

everis onthe end of theleverappþing the squeeze. The argument is not about money, however, so much as about the ability of broadcasters trained only in the naffowrequirements of domestic radio and television, to switch befween the needs of such disparate audiences. It is doubtful that even Bift believes that a competent pefson can do eithef at the drop of a hat, although he is on

information, to pfepafe another bulletin that will make sense to

Shriro (H.K) Ltd.

controlled by the Whitehall machine,

that vafious commentators


produced in the British press in the

couple of months since Birt's

announcement. It is obvious that few of them really understand what the Wodd Service is or what it is designed

to do. At its simplest - one might say at the English-language its most naive 'Síodd Service-is the official voice of


The Government, of course,

wishes to be seen to suppolt such a powerful and worthy organisation, but it does notwishto be seento be soft on public spending, no matt€r how worthy. Besides, the calculation may be that the Labour Parry is very likely to form the next government, nextyear, and it may as well pick up all the headachesthat

of the domestic news agendaandgives the audience something pretty close to what it has always had: a reasonably

accurate and unbiased news service, backedbycommentaries thathelp place the news in context, all from a British

At worst, the service will slowly

of the UK domestic news and will gradually become less useful to the foreign nationals who currently rely heavily on it for objective reporting. It may be a long, slow death.



It is doubtful whether any British government in the foreseeable future will raise a hand in defence of the service because there will be no votes

in it; the British public not


sufficiently interested to raise a loud enough bleat of protest. We may be witnessing the last exit of the British from the international stage. Protest now might help, however, and the place for that to originate is among the people for whom the service is provided: foreign nationals who

have enough English

to gain some

benefit from the service . The best way of conveying their views will be by writing to their nearest BBC regional office to make their views known. The

staff there, who may see their own futures in some peril, will certainly see that the protests end up in the right place in London.


are gomg.

The cynical may therefore deduce thatBBC'World Service isprob-

ably for the

high jump. At best, the most dedicated of




u¡{oea LAeouR./''




its news teams

will be able to

Britainfor anyonewho canunderstand spoken English. And for the other 43 vernacular services, in their languages, that are drawing from the same pool of


information. The official voice of

worst excesses

¿ ú

icetothewodd audience that avoids the



September 1996 TAE



lt IY ew s Wri,tíng

By Etr-yce l\{clnt.yre, Chinese lJnirzer:sity Press, 2OO P'ages,

numbers of local journalists for whom English is a second language' This is hardly news in Hong Kong, which supports tlvo English newspapers and innumerable eclitions of foreign publications.

This book covers the basics, from A-matter written in advance - a story of the news to wrap-Ltp, a stoq/ that pulls together separate news events into a single story. There are237 such terms within the book, something of a surprise that our profession has such an extensive vocabulary. The focus is almost entirely on writing for publication and cleliberately has little to sayaboutthe techniques ofnews gathering. Such tactics vary too much depending on the circumstances of dif-

Club member Bruce MclntYre,

ferent countries to be included, Mclnq'¡s

nglish is spoken by more than a billion people woddwicle; more than any other language except Chinese. Virtually every major city has an English-language newspaper, sometimes several, staffed in part by nativespeaking expatriates but also by large

lecturer in journalism and communicadons at the Chinese University, vrote Englistt Nettts Writing specifically for those cub reporters (1'oung, inexperi-


sounds like it would make a fi'uitful topic for another book. says, although

The advice is straightforward




But the allthor does not neglect othernaffative styles. He reprints some lengthy samples and then discusses their strLrcture in detail, paragraph by paragraph, of which, the most important by far is the first. "The most important impression on the reader is the first one. Make it goocl. Make it brilliant". There is a ftill chapter clevotecl to practical aclvice on interviewing tech-


go off-the-record, and other

experienced jottrnalists, an old-fashioned term that shows up from time to time) like the rest of us would find it

where the most important element comes in the fìrst pangraph and ther.l proceeds in descending order of im-

book. Good for newspaper reporters



enced reporters, an old-fashioned American term that shows uP from dme to time) for whom English is not a native tongue. But even hacks (old,

ì ü

Sattrrday, August 17 , at his home


Arlington, VA. Born and eclucated in Shanghai, Henry attended St. John's University. His career in journalism began

copy boy with Reuters, but ^ escalated when he joined quickly as

the United States Infomation Seryice, helping to cover the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, ancl later the coLrntry's Communist takeover. Fotced out by the communists, he left China and joined Associated

Press's Mantla bureau lît 1952. For 27 years, he covered news for AP, from bureau desks in Toþo, Frankfurt, Manila and Honolulu. Henry and his familywere based in Hong Kong from1977 to 1979, during which time he was an active member of the Club, serving on the Board and several committees. On leaving AP, he became a con-

sultantin'Washingtonuntil 1982, when he beganworking forVoice of America. He helped this service expancl its radio

programrning and marketing efforts to 23 countries throughottt Europe.

A memorial seryice was helcl on

Following tireless discussions, broin typhoons, diplomotic intrigue, severol coups ond flops, thrilling discoveries ond, obove oll, o sufficient omount of pleosure it hoi been ochieved qfter I 07 cups of coffee qnd under clouds of Gitqnes smoke.

to the Elub's histarg and its spirits!

THE coRR.EspomxNT september 1996

idnight of June 30, I9971, the FCC Book will be the moior source for gossip, rumour

qbout Kwon Mohothfr-is..ogoinst the hocks; whot Tony rns ond outs; whol whot fhrlrp Philip sqys soys qbouï Kwon Yew; Yew; why Mohofnr-rs.g You wtll to know the ins will need fo FCC's Clifton hos to tell the editoriol suits; Peter Arnett's view on himself; Emily's on the Gov'; Borry


Pet forefothers; forefothers; Peter Chorlesworth vqlues the picture editors,.De¡ek Dqvies reviews LeCorré; Pe Hocker hits on Victorio's besl; Sondro Burton is lyricolon lmeldci;'stusrtWolfendole bows Hollingworth wos ot WW ll. And there is Lu Ping's messqge to qll of us...


Arthur Clore

A feast for gour eAes is also guardnteed:

gardinguse of anonymous sources, but that, as th.e author might put it, is a

The editors seorched historicql orchives ond the files of top photogrophers, omong others Werner Bischoff, Robert Copo,


Bob Dovis, Greg Dovis, Richqrd Dobson, Terry Duckhom, Hugh von Es, Aloin Evrqrd, John Gionnini, Greg Girord, Gerhqrd Jören, Kees, Leong Koìoi, Ron McMillon, Robin Moyer, Bqsil Pqo, Stephen Shover, Dovid Thurston, Michoel Wolf.

Overall, this is an excellent hand-

working in their second language. Good

The FEE-anthologA

for anyone.

of articles, analgsis and photo-journalism


943 (when the Club wos founded)- gives on insight into the medio, the politics qnd the personolities of Hong Kong ond Asio - qn invqluoble guide to the issues moking news in the run-up'Io 1997.


The very first since ì

l] îs a chronícle of the díÍfícul¡, dangerous and sometímes híloríous líves of Hong Kong based iournalísls - caught belween ]anks, edítors, dísaslers ond deadlines. Møíl your order now to The FCC, 2 Íox ìì to +852-2868 4092

Lower Albert Rood, Hong Kong or

Up to 1997 ond Beyond

I will tqke the opportunity ond order discounl of 2O %

copy/copies of The FCC Book with o

240 x300 mm,224 poges (full colour ond duotone),

Pleose chorge the omount of HKD

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong

August 17 in the National Press Club, W'ashington, D.C. Among those attending were old friencls from AP and UPI, including Don Becker, Pe-

l J

Eyewitness On Asio

ter Arnett, Sam Summerlin, Max

hordcover (linnen bound)

Desfor, Gene Kramer, Arnold Zeithn, Don Shannon, Al Kaff, Bobbie Roth (Mrs TonyYated) and Harold Bauer. Henry Hartzenbusch is sutwived by his wife of 36 years, Nancy, and daughters Nanine, a photographer

+ + + +

in AP's Philadelphia bureau, Lara, who is based in Hong Kong as an assistant producer with CNBC, and Rima, a Washington attomey.



E MosterCord

1294.00 per copy until Oct.



I 99 6)

lo my

Dote of expiry:

Subscríbe nowlo reserye your own piece of history ond sove 20% off the retoil price!

tr | will

Buy os mony copies os you wont for HKD 294.00 eoch until October 31 ,1996 (dote of postoge of order).


E Viso cord -


The price per copy is HKD 3ó8.00.

After this dqte the purchose


tr Membership occount no

The Book will come out on November I 5, 1996 ond will be qvqilqble through the FCC only.




ond chitchot oround the Moin Bor.

Henry HarAzenbusch correspondent of Associated Press, died of a heart affack, aged 73, on

editorial taam feels relieved:

For the com ing months (ot leost until

OBITUARY Henry Hafizenbtlsch, veteran


Tune in

niques, inclucling the pros ancl cons of using a tape recorder in most reportfulg situations - generally the negatives outweigh the benefits, Mclntyre says. The book might have been improved by enlarging on the subject of when to

strive for a sentence length of 1 7 words orless" - and summarised in Mclntyre's "42 Rules ofThumb forGood !Ør'iting." A great deal ofattention is devoted to writing the 'invertecl Pyramid' sto4', "


collect The Book{s) ot the FCC


Pleose send to (pocking ond moiling: HKD occ. lo posloge rotes)


be Signoture

45.00 for one copy, odditionol copies

New tactic: stumble happily around the city until I run into something delicious of interesting. This worked perfectly. Allowing myself to become engulfed by such details as the poppingveins imprisoned in David's right forearm, I wallowed in the unimportance of keeping track of time. These transporting moments during myintravenous cultural feeding frenzy often led to random, floating thoughts. A, Stør Trek: Tbe Next Generøtion episodewas one of them: WiIl Reicher goes on shore leaye to Risa III where he becomes addicted to a game which mainlines the brain's

After receiving

catch a breath or two of fresh mountain air, so took tçvo diversions outside the


and took only cash. Thanks,

The Hong Kong dollar isn't even on the currency exchange list in Firenze. The only benefit of staying at the Oliviera Pensione was that one evening I hadto

tear through deserted cobblestone streets in a horse-drawn cariage so as to avoid the dreaded Pumpkin-at-Midnight

by some years, so in plotting my recent escapade, I made a mission out of becoming friendly with the

grapes I hadn't known before. In keeping with the timing of the trip - during the Olympics I felt vast pressure to 'go for the -gusto', and

'perform'well at every'event' be it wine sampling, exploring the cify

or simply eating lunch. I

this now dog-eared manual,

I arrivedwith aweapon: the Febru-

ary, 1995 special Florentine issue of Tbe Wine Sþectøtor. Who needs a map when you've got the bible on where to drink, stay, eat, shop and sightsee? Using



louslydevised mystfategy of attack: frst investigate opening days and times of recommended restaurants and museums, then, accord-

Inspite ofpesþdetails such as cash and a restrictive place to sleep, I was able to duly contiriue myreveþ 'round

the countryside was to the

marinated artichoke hearts, Florentine

ancient, towered town of

salami, Sardinian cheese, bakery

San Gimignano located

'bolsa' and abottle oflusciousAntinori 1990 Chianti, I ambled up the Boboli Gardens to find a suitably quiet perch

with a commanding view. While vigorously enjoying my repast and solitude, a Chinese couple came to sit next to me. How did they know? I suppose I could have been wearing my " I survived Beijing" T-shirt ... Another East-meets-W'est dining experience happened when I went for a quick bite near my pensione at a small restaurant on t}re Piazza San Maria Novella. Steaming

to the Pitti Palace's Boboli Gardens for a deca-

up by the Chinese ownerwho

dentpicnic, Ihad

drinking possible in four and a hdf days.

On the first day,

I found my-

self getting 'kidnapped' by won-


Ihe Seruìti

1f,8 cORRDSPOlfllENT September 1996


rny non-borne antayfrom borue

Renaissance and medieval architecture, delis, wìne bars and the Duomo, therefore had no choice but to quickly abandon my structured strategy in favour of plan B.

side, everyoneof us couldhave fits

in the Uffizi. The Caravaggio Room was closed, but being able to drool over Botticelli's 'Birth of Venus' and other masterpieces pacifi.ed me for a respectable whìle.

about hallway from to Siena. This fortified example of Florence

storybook quaintness was the backdrop for the opera

Etruscan arclses

Tosca. All three hours of it were brilliantþ presented to te ary<yed opera buffs under the stars in the main church Medíeual


The chilly hilltop eYening air,



¿attøcbed to

however, made me glad I had fuelled up on Tuscan white bean soup, wild

buildings a.ll oaer

boar with porcini mushrooms and



andwhen, planarr itinerary allowing the maximum seeing, eating and

the privilege to queue up for an hour with some of the six million yearþ tourismos so that once in-

active I ventured up to the top of the town to visit archaeological excavation,

Quatro Siglioni-Four Seasons pizza (thin-crusted, lightly



rines, statues and att

city. The first foray into

Armed with fresh, lightly

topped with tomato sauce a¡d mozzarella, smothered in proscuitto, artichokes, olives


rewarded. My perpetual 100-yard dash in pursuit of Florentine sensory oyedoad turned up gold medals at virtually each destination.


Another mini-expedition much


my endorphins.


E"r' passionate art, lbod and wine I louers, 25 years is a long time to go without aFirenze fix. Back then, T missed the wine tastjng experie nce

closerto Florence, Fiesole, is a2Grninute public bus ride away in the opposite direction. Etruscan ruins - complete with a Roman theatre get top billing. The attached museum is full of relics excavated from the surrounding area which date from the Protohistoric period to medieval times. Having sufficiently gorged myself on arches, figu-

ample infusion of churches, I needed to

forced me to look for a one-star familyrun pensione down by River Arno that closed like a girl's dormitory at l2'.OO


amaretto ice cream. And then there were the churches. San Maria Noyella and San Croce get

pleasure centre . Florence was the game and I was to become a willing victim of

dei Serviti hotel, a delightful 16th century former monastery I was supposed to stay in took my - and room reservation with him. Franco

cbeck out tlJose...ueíns

for the endurance.

Michelangelo was a sign painter.

temporarily beaming me back up to reality. He quit his job at Loggiato


some local Chianti prior to settling in

swordfish arranged with herbs and greens melted on the tongue like

high marks on the Richter scale of beauty and interest. I didn't know that most paintings on walls and ceilings of 15th and 16th century churches were actually advertisements, religious prcpaganda for the illiterate masses and political campaign posters. Phew. It's mind-boggling to realise that

I have Franco to thank for


Thin slices of gently marinated

and mushrooms) was served

had emigrated to ltaly 3o years ago. No corn or pineapple on his menu. What a relief. Just good Italian home cooking.

For culinary and other adventures, Florence is a treasure hunt delivered on a plattet. Although I neYer got around to trying the famed 'steak Florentine', I did indulge in another lesser known delicacy at the Osteria No. 1 restauralìt on Via del Moro: swordfish carpaccio. September 1996 TÃE CoRRf,SPoilllDNT


the church and museum of

open road as den-mother for a fleet of newly-licensed Beijing ddvers. Crash helmets included. As we drove off caravan-styl€ to


Francesco, and enjoy a_ great view of the Florentine valley. Stuffed away in this unlikely place

are documents brought back from

Tuscan colurtryside, I promised not to let anorher 25years pass before returning to have my palate and visual tastebuds ticlded in the city of sensory pleasures.

sample the cypress-lined by-ways of the

China by Italian missionaries hundreds


of years ago. I wonder if the folks in Fiesole know about Frances'Wood's book "Did Marco Polo Go To China?"? I'm sure they'd enjoy a cosy debate. Before heading downhill toward Florence - and the work I had come here to do in the fust place, I coulcln't resist trying to find the ultimate yersion of Quatro Sigliori pizza. Success ! In the no frills Cappello di Paglia restaurant right at the main bus stop in town, I found the best rendition around. The quatet of generously sprinkled goodies were washed down with you guessed it the local plonk. - All too soon, Iwas backin Florence, greeting my press group from Beijing

The FCC is splashing out in October. Guam Visitors Bureau and the Pacific Islands Club are sending chef Ronnie Guillermo to tantalize our taste buds, and the Island Fantasy Show dancers to do the same to our senses. The Island Fantasy Show dancers will perform at a special show and dinner party, hosted by Guam Visitors Bureau, on Thursda¡ October 3, to launch a month long island food fiesta in the main dining room.

As well as exotic food and entertainment there will be the chance to win a trip for two, flying Continental Micronesia, to Guam staying at the Pacific Islands Club, with the option of a golf, fishing or diving tour, Other prizes will also be ôffered including T-shîrts, books and illustrations.

who had come to test drive the new Mercedes SLK roadster. After test driving many of Firenze's finest sights and eateries, I was ready to tackle the

Tbirsty físLt in Boboli Gardens

So let your hair down and experience a little island living. Book now and don't miss out on what promises to be one of the Club's very special nights!





Guam is the gateway to the exotic islands of Micronesia four hours from Hong Kong. An ideal, easily accessible location to escape Hong Kong's daily and just

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Re-opening of the Main Bツ。ar The Club's main barre-opened

after several weeks (months?) of turmoil. To appease irate members

(drinkers?), alcoholic beverages were offered on atwo-for-one basis for


few hours, inevitably attract-

ing a vast crowd of hitherto restrained and almost teetotal suppofters. E ditor's Note: The photographs were taken relatively eady in the



cORRESPOilllDNT Septemtrer 1996

September 1996 Tテウ


Bill Barker's ßarewell Europealr Branch The French Chapter of the FCC's "Red Lips Brigade" met in Le Bugue, South-West France Recentþ,

to celebrate the "Cinqnificant" birthday of one of its members. Rumours of a French letter for this publication are unfounded.

Kad Wilsort's Farewell






Club stalwart, Bill Barker, celebrated harmonica player extraordinary, recently held his farewell bash on Lamma island. Musical accompaniment was in abundance to see Bill off.

Dateliû€: Hong Kong "Red Lips" at the bar Frorn left to right: Laurel'West, Jo Mayfield,

Mary Connell,



Joan Howley, Marilyn Hood, Margaret Sullivan,

Dorothy Ryan Tf,E GORRESP0ilDENT September 1p!6

September 1996 THE




Tobacco Instiûrte funds neur table Club member, Robert Fletcher, is also chairman of the Tobacco Institute of Hong Kong. The Institute has generously agreed to sponsor a new snooker table for the Pool Bar'

in Britain, the table is endorsed by former wodd number one, Steve Davis. At 1O feet by five, the table is regarded as being three-quarter size in the 'Westbury style. It has an Italian slate bed on a mahogany frame with mahogany legs.

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A similar style table has been successfullyused atthe Crucible theatre in Sheffteldforwodd cham-

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'ì il

snooker and billiards.

Pictured are Bob Fletcher (left) and FCC snooker coÍtmittee chairman, Tony Craig. Photograph by Hugh van


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I t used to be a Mçrcedes-B errz, Þ When catalytic converters from our old cars are recycled, two

sort them out and send them on to the appropriate recycling process. Þ Even the polypropylene used

recirculated back to the engine. Þ Wherever we can, we will always reflect your concern for the

Platinum and rhodium.

for our boot linings can be completely

Rhodium has many uses.


environment, as well as the earth's precious natural resources.

valuable metals are recovered.

Tipping the nibs of fountain pens is just one.

) In fact, these days upwards of


of a

Mercedes-Benz can be

successfully recycled.

Every single plastic part used in our cars weighing more than 100 grams is specially marked.


it's easier and faster to

While our batteries can be safely disposed of without any lead polluting the environment. And the best thing is, the environment benefits while our cars

Because, without putting too

fine a point on it, lve do believe in reincarnation. At least, for our cars.

are still on the road. Our air-conditioning systems use chlorine-free refrigerants.

Even our exhaust gases are

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The Correspondent, September 1996  
The Correspondent, September 1996