Tuesday, January 11, 2005

News of the Day (January 11)

U.S. slaps more sanctions on Communist firms for arms sales to Iran: Three Communist firms “linked to advanced missile and weapons sales to Iran” were hit with U.S. sanctions that will last two years. Charles Smith of Newsmax details some of the previous arms sales from the firms - China Aero-Technology Import Export Corporation (CATIC), and China Great Wall Industry, and Norinco – to terrorists. However, Smith inexplicably forgot both Norinco’s role in selling missile parts to Iran and its missile deals with Saddam Hussein, who paid in oil-for-food vouchers.

One county, one-and-a-half systems: Hong Kong freezes out Taipei Mayor. Hong Kong rejected a visa request by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, who recently “denounced China's plans to enact anti-secession legislation” largely aimed at scaring – or creating a legal fig leaf to invade – the island democracy. That the Communists would decide Ma is not welcome is no surprise. That the “autonomous” Hong Kong government (run by their de facto appointee Tung Chee-hwa) would be strong-armed into line is also no surprise, unless one actually believed “one country, two systems” was anything but a bald-faced lie. Report: Washington Post

Communist Chinese exports surge, as regime pulls over 100,000 jobs a year from U.S. Communist China’s exports in 2004 rose by over a third (the BBC title is erroneous), and while detailed accounts were not made available, “The US's overall trade deficit (with the Communists) is expected to rise to about $150bn for 2004.” The effects of such an imbalance became clear in the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (cited by BBC): “almost 1.5 million posts disappeared between 1989 and 2003,” a rate of 100,000 per year on average. The present rate is probably higher: “The pace accelerated in the final three years of the period . . . moving out of labour-intensive (UK sp) industries and into more hi-tech sectors.”

A major cause for this huge imbalance is the Communist currency, still pegged at roughly 12 cents when it should be as high as 16. Economists at an American Enterprise Institute noted that it is not even in the best interest of the Communist Chinese economy to keep that peg, although neither they nor the United Press International (which published the piece via the Washington Times) took the next step of recognizing that in Communist China, economics are trumped by geopolitics.

Zhao Ziyang in the hospital, but still alive: Zhao Ziyang, the last real reformer within the Chinese Communist Party – and under house arrest ever since the Tiananmen Square massacre – is in the hospital, but the Communists insists he is in stable condition. Zhao held the top Party post, General Secretary, during the 1989 protests, but the man with the real power at the time, Central Military Commission Chair Deng Xiaoping, overrode his refusal to send in the troops. Zhao’s unwillingness to meet the protestors with bullets has made him a hero, and made the Communists wary about the anger that could be unleashed when Zhao dies. Report: BBC

Media cadre claims “freedom of the press” in response to Falun Gong suit: Try not to laugh, but Zhao Zhizhen, founder of a virulently anti-Falun Gong television station and website in Communist China, is defending himself in a lawsuit filed by practitioners in Connecticut, by claiming “freedom of the press should protect him” because “he is an ‘independent and objective journalist,’ comparing his programs to ‘60 Minutes,’ and ‘20/20.’” As the Epoch Times made clear in its report on the case, when it comes to being a journalist in Communist China, “independent and objective” is not in the job description.

Columnist warns Canadian Prime Minister on Communist China: Peter Worthington, longtime supporter of Tibet and Toronto Sun columnist, tells Prime Minister Paul Martin to be sure “the message and symbolism of what Tibet and the Dalai Lama represent aren't forgotten or ignored” during his (Martin’s) upcoming visit to Communist China.

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