Wednesday, January 26, 2005

News of the Day (January 26)

Congressmen express concern over IBM-Lenovo deal: Three influential voices were added to the chorus against the sale of IBM’s personal computer unit to Communist-owned Lenovo: House Small Business Committee Chair Donald Manzullo, International Relations Committee Chair Henry J. Hyde, and Armed Services Committee Chair Duncan Hunter (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). The chorus includes the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security (and us).

Tibetan monk’s sentence commuted from death to life: Communist China has formally commuted Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche's death sentence to life imprisonment (BBC). While this was welcome news, it doesn’t obscure the fact the Tibetan monk should not be in prison at all – he was convicted for a bombing in Sichuan province during a trial roundly derided as staged. Fellow Tibetan defendant Lobsang Dhondup was executed two years ago, while Tashi Phuntsog, another monk who worked with Tenzin Deleg Rinpoche, was released after three years in prison during which time he was beaten so badly he “can no longer walk or speak clearly” (BBC 2).

Communist Party still skittish on Zhao funeral: The Chinese Communist Party is still holding off on a funeral for Zhao Ziyang, as his family continues to refuse any service which allows the regime to slander Zhao for his opposition to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 (MSNBC, Taiwan Central News Agency via Epoch Times). One of the major headaches for the regime is that “there are plenty of Zhao sympathizers within the CCP” (Epoch Times 1). Although all of the high-profile once are retired cadres with little real power left, their prestige is still considerable enough to give current Communist leader Hu Jintao pause. Meanwhile, one more exile added his name to the list of those asking the Party to “restore his reputation” (Epoch Times 2). According to Sound of Hope Radio, Zhao’s family will maintain as much of an open door as it can to those who wish to pay their respects at his home until the regime accept their funeral arrangement terms.

More mourners beaten (and killed), reporters arrested: One thing the Communists are not skittish on is the brutal treatment of would-be mourners, and those who wish to bring their story to the outside world. At least one mourner was killed in a hit-and-run that “seemed to be an intentional murder, rather than a mere accident” (Epoch Times 1) – one reason for this assumption: “The man wore a white flower, which clearly identified him as a mourner.” Another visitor to Zhao’s home was beaten “so severely that his eyeball was knocked from its socket” (Epoch Times 2). Meanwhile, the number of Zhao mourners never to be seen again jumped to eight or nine hundred (Epoch Times 3). Journalists were not immune: reporters from Hong Kong’s Ming Pao were held for questioning before making hasty departure from Beijing (CNA via Epoch Times).

Outgoing Ambassador gives Japan some bad advice: As Communist China “overtook the US to become Japan's biggest trading partner in 2004” (BBC), Howard Baker, outgoing Ambassador to Japan, told his hosts to “face the reality that China ‘is growing in economic and political interest’” (Washington Times) quietly. Is Baker suggesting this (International News) be forgotten?

Mexico hosts Zeng Qinghong: Communist China’s Vice President visited Mexico to sign trade deals already ripped as “too little, too late” (United Press Intl./Washington Times). Communist imports have wrecked Mexico’s economy in recent years (International News here and here).

Russian bombers for Communist China: Charles Smith, Newsmax, weighs in on the possible high-tech air sale (fourth item).

Ex-hostages now back in Communist China: One of the eight former captives said he was happy to be home (BBC), which may or may not be true, given that they had escaped Communist China with outside help in order to get to Iraq in the first place (second item).

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