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Dai Qing, Environmentalist, Writer, China (int’l edition)

(June 14, 1999) Dai Qing, 57, the adopted daughter of a famous revolutionary, could have capitalized on her connections to gain power and prestige. Instead, she maintained strong convictions, particularly her opposition to China’s massive Three Gorges Dam project. Now, with China’s leadership acknowledging problems with the dam, the environmental concerns she has long voiced are finally being recognized.

The looming ecowar: Environmentalists’ new tactics threaten to take a toll on Wall Street financings

Stretching a mile across a spectacular site on China’s Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Dam is the most ambitious hydroelectric project ever attempted. Estimated to cost more than $70 billion when completed, it will provideelectricity to China’s peasants, stop the disastrous flooding of the river and offer billions of dollars in foreign investment.

It pays to think big: history favors dictators who take billions, not millions

(May 24, 1999) President Suharto opened his 1989 autobiography with memories of his simple childhood bathing in muddy canals in Java. “My roots are in the village,” he wrote. From the start of his dictatorship in 1966, Suharto carefully cultivated an image not just of humble origins but of lifelong simplicity. He claimed to be a common farm boy with common values, who rose without ambition to a position of dominance over one of the largest countries in the world, and who ruled in the best interests of the nation.