- The Washington Times - Friday, August 17, 2001

Textbook authors see 'plot' in rejections
TOKYO — The authors of a controversial Japanese history textbook yesterday blamed left-wing intimidation for the overwhelming nationwide rejection of its use in schools.
They also demanded "in the name of freedom and democratic society" that the government order education boards to review their decisions not to use the book, which has provoked strong protests in China and South Korea.
The Society for History Textbook Reform, an avowedly nationalist group of historians who wrote the textbook, said it was rejected after "one-sided mass media reports and secret maneuvers by anti-establishment activists numbering in the hundreds."

4 Chinese families host German students
HAMBURG, Germany — Four German students were en route to China yesterday to spend a year living with Chinese families, the first time Beijing has allowed its citizens to host foreign students, an exchange group said.
On arrival in Beijing, the German teen-agers are to be taken to their host families in four different cities, where they will study in Chinese schools for one year, said the German branch of American Field Service (AFS), an organization that arranges cultural exchanges.

Taiwan and China revive drilling plan
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's decision to ease its controls on mainland-bound investments has revived prospects for a project to jointly exploit a gas reserve, according to a report yesterday.
"If everything goes smoothly, a contract of joint exploration would be forged before the year's end," an official from Taiwan's state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp. (CPC) was quoted by the China Times as saying. The official said two oil wells could be struck by next year.
The area for drilling, covering more than 9,000 square miles, straddles the Taiwan Strait off China's Guangdong province.

Weekly notes
Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has summoned the military brass to a two-day meeting starting today to address hostage crises and other security problems plaguing the Philippines, her spokesman Rigoberto Tiglao told reporters. Muslim Abu Sayyaf gunmen have weathered a 2-month-old military operation and continue to hold two U.S. and 16 Filipino hostages on the southern island of Basilan; last week they beheaded 10 other Filipino hostages. South Korea's financial watchdog warned yesterday of new delays in its attempt to sell bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co. to General Motors Corp. Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Lee Keun-Young said the government should work out emergency plans for the possible breakdown of negotiations. The announcement came amid news that Daewoo Motor is now $13 billion in debt. Hanoi calls a U.S. Postal Service plan to remove the Vietnamese flag from a pamphlet an insult. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh said the government agency should have resisted pressure from a group of Vietnamese emigres because Vietnam and the U.S. have diplomatic relations.

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