Communists say ROK MPs owe them an apology: The arrogance of Communist China was in full force in the immediate aftermath of its raid on a press conference by four members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea (a.k.a. the “South” Korean parliament) calling for the Communists to be more lenient toward refugees from Stalinist-controlled northern Korea. Upon hearing the demand for an apology by the assaulted MPs, Communist mouthpiece Kong Quan had the audacity to say “I think it is they who should apologize to China . . . These people are like traitors” (Voice of America via Epoch Times). As for the issue of the refugees themselves, Kong actually described Communist policy toward them – which is to send back any SCNK refugee they can find, and thus force the refugees to live as nonpersons or risk Stalinist imprisonment, torture, and/or murder – as “most humanitarian” (Washington Post).
The opposition Grand National Party – of which all four MPs involved are members – demanded the dovish ROK government take a tougher stand against the Communists, and one GNP spokesperson added that the regime “should not be able to host the Olympic Games” as a result of this outrage (United Press Intl./Washington Times). Also reporting: Chosun Ilbo, ROK
Communist China beefs up Beijing security over fears of Zhao Ziyang’s death: Mindful of the illness of deposed Communist reformist leader Zhao Ziyang (fourth item), and how the death of an earlier reform-minded Communist led to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 which made Zhao a prisoner and a hero, Communist China is now sending a thousand extra policemen to the Tiananmen Square every morning “to prevent any dawn protests on the square” (BBC).
Uighur activist jailed after interview in occupied East Turkestan: In the fall of 1949, the Communists invaded the independent nation of East Turkestan, and have brutally persecuted its native Uighur people – arguably the most pro-American Muslims on Earth – ever since. PBS had a segment on Dilkex Tilivaldi, an anti-Communist Uighur activist imprisoned by the Communists as he was finishing an interview with the network. Also reporting: China Support Network
UK presents false benefits in exchange for EU embargo lift: Great Britain is trying to convince the rest of the world that its push to lift the European Union arms embargo against Communist China has some benefit: “adjustments to the European Union's code of conduct on arms sales to repressive regimes” (UPI/Washington Times) that would tighten them up for said regimes. However, given that UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw has already insisted Communist China is not such a regime (second item), what’s the point?
Communist China slaps BAT again: If the Brits thought the Communists would express their gratitude about the arms embargo with a more welcoming attitude on UK investment, they were in for a rude shock. Communist China flatly announced that its domestic monopoly on cigarettes would continue. This came as a surprise to British American Tobacco (BAT), which thought it had a deal to enter the Communist market “from ‘the highest levels of government’” (BBC).
Two Toronto Sun columnists comment on upcoming PM trip to Communist China: Peter Worthington repeats his earlier call (last item) for Prime Minister Martin to focus on Tibet’s plight – and adds a helpful reminder that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche’s execution, while delayed, has not been cancelled. Bob MacDonald focuses on Communist China’s damage to the Canadian economy, and joins this quarter in marveling at Martin’s earlier, foolish comments (fourth item).
Speaking of economic damage, the 2004 U.S. trade deficit with Communist China now stands at $147 billion, and that’s with the December numbers still unreported (Washington Times).
Taiwan: The press reacts to Communist China’s “offer” for temporary direct flights, and the BBC talks to the much-reviled (and rightly so) leader of the Chinese Communist Party in Taiwan.
Stalinist-controlled northern Korea puts on its happy face: Kim Jong-il’s regime announced it was ready to call the United States “a friend unless the latter slanders the former's system and interferes in its internal affairs” (BBC), and was willing to restart talks on its nuclear weapons program (fifth item) once the president’s new foreign policy team was in place (that wouldn’t have anything to do with the imminent departure of longtime anti-Stalinist John Bolton (third item), would it?). The news came just after Representative Curt Weldon (R-Pennsylvania), who has publicly called for a deal with the regime (Other Nuclear News), held talks with high-ranking Stalinists (VOA via Epoch Times) that he called “outstanding and positive” (CNN). How nice.