Nation: XUAN THUY: Abrasive Advocate

HAD he been born in the U.S. instead of in Ha Dong province, on the outskirts of Hanoi, Xuan Thuy, 55, most probably would have become a corporate executive—if never a board chairman. As a youthful agitator and underground journalist and later as a diplomat, jowly Xuan Thuy (pronounced Swan Twee) earned the trust of Viet Nam's Communist chieftains. Even during a three-year eclipse from public view before last month when he was named minister without portfolio to head Hanoi's negotiating team, Thuy retained a resonant string of official titles, notably as a...