CHINA: Tough Taipan

Not all of Shanghai's plutocratic big bosses, the taipans, do their drinking at the Shanghai Club, or their business in air-conditioned offices along The Bund. Back of the skyscraper skyline along the Whangpoo River, where the Occident meshes with China, is the biggest, toughest, richest big-city badlands in the world. Kidnappings, bombings, murders are the small change of its life, and a holdup man can rent a gun from a policeman for $2.50. This Shanghai has its own polyglot dynasty of gangsters, gamblers, pimps, racketeers.

Last week, as it does with most mugs,...

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