Monday, February 14, 2005

News of the Day (February 14)

Happy Valentine’s Day: David Frum, National Review Online and American Enterprise Institute, offers this advice for Valentine’s Day: “if you want to do a good deed, give a thought to the many lonely people around you: the divorced, the widowed, the unlucky.” Yeong Ching Foo is neither divorced nor widowed, but the fiancée of U.S. citizen and jailed Falun Gong practitioner Charles Lee (Epoch Times) certainly meets Frum’s criteria. On this day, “give a thought” to this suffering couple. Meanwhile, Curry Kenworthy, China Support Network, has his own Valentine’s Day wishes.

The North Korea Conundrum, Part III: Although yours truly wrote this before Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear boast, its points are even more valid now (Epoch Times).

U.S. and Russia want Stalinist North Korea back at the talks: After the Kim Jong-il regime announced it had nuclear weapons and was out of the six-party talks on its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. still focused on pushing the regime “to return to multi-party talks” (BBC), and rejected the Stalinists’ demand for bilateral talks (Epoch Times, Washington Times). Russia also ripped the Stalinists for the move (BBC), although that may be because it would really like to be in the room for any talks.

Communist China, South Korea, and UN are far less forceful: Communist China refused to publicly criticize its Stalinist ally, and left it to its Xinhua mouthpiece to announce its pledge to “push North Korea to return to six-party talks” (CNN). South Korea’s dovish government had high praise for the Communists’ weak statement (BBC), and followed it with a pledge not to take any action against the Stalinists (Cybercast News). This enraged the opposition Grand National Party, which has repeatedly called for a more sober policy toward the Stalinists. Then again, the folks supporting dovish President Roh Moo-hyun seem more interested in lampooning past anti-Communists (Washington Post) than worrying about Kim Jong-il.

Meanwhile, the United Nations envoy to the Korean Peninsula, Maurice Strong (Canadian members, call your offices!), uttered idiotic platitudes about how this could all be settled if the Stalinists’ “necessary security requirements are met, and some of the restrictions against their full participation in the international economy be lifted” (United Press International via Washington Times).

Reaction all over the map: The Stalinists’ boast to having nuclear weapons led to analyses from several angles. South Korea’s press was not happy (BBC), but offered little in terms of solutions (to be fair, they weren’t alone). The Washington Post editors were similarly lacking in decisiveness: “Maybe there is no way to neutralize this threat,” as was Time Asia’s Bill Powell. Jasper Becker, author of Rogue State: The Continuing Threat of North Korea, has a much better view of things in his Time Asia column, although his call for “persuading China, Russia and especially South Korea to help North Koreans end the worst tyranny of our time” is quite naïve about the Communists. James Hackett, whose call fro regime change says nothing about convincing Communist China of anything, is better still in the Washington Times.

Speaking of Communist China, William C. Triplett II, author of Rogue State: How a Nuclear North Korea Threatens America, has an excellent analysis of the Stalinists’ ally’s reaction to all of this in the Washington Times. Eric Baculinao, NBC via MSNBC, parrots the conventional wisdom (i.e., wrong) point of view.

Meanwhile, in case anyone wonders what Communist China meant when it said it treats refugee from SNK in a “most humanitarian” manner, check out this report from the Washington Times (last item): “As many as 70 North Korean defectors were executed in public last month after being forced back home from China.”

One sign of hope from SNK: Donald MacIntyre, Time Asia, finds hope in what he calls “entrepreneurialism in flower” in Stalinist North Korea – because the Stalinists have nothing to do with it (this makes the piece far batter than it initially appears).

FBI tracking 3,000 Communist front companies: Communist China’s espionage network in the U.S. is “staggering,” as Time Asia put it. The FBI is currently “keeping tabs on more than 3,000 companies in the U.S. suspected of collecting information for China” (Hmmm, where did I see that number before?). Naturally, Silicon Valley is “a hotbed of activity.” The counterintelligence effort is growing apace: “We have almost more assets than we can deal with,” said one FBI agent.

Communist China shut down over 12,500 internet cafes in three months: This number (12,575 to be exact) came directly from Communist China itself, which claimed “most of the net cafes were closed down because they were operating illegally” (BBC). In Communist China “operating illegally” usually means letting users access information the Communists don’t want their own people to see.

Pro-Communist Parties link up in Hong Kong: The deliberately misnamed Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong “is to merge with the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance” (BBC), the party of elite Communist sympathizers, in order to “bolster the pro-China vote against a strong pro-democracy opposition.” The pro-democracy forces won 60% of the last free vote for the city’s Legislative Council, but Communist China only let half the seats be directly elected, and thus twisted the overwhelming majority of votes into a minority of seats.

Communist power companies defying order to shut down dams: After a lot of positive publicity about the Communists’ effort to shut down the construction of thirty dams for environmental concerns (sixth item), the truth is seeping out: the dam builders – guided by Tiananmen butcher Li Peng – aren’t listening (Epoch Times).

Falun Gong practitioners protest Associated Press story: Falun Gong practitioners continued a vigil that has lasted for days at the AP headquarters in New York (Epoch Times). The news agency ran a story on the “self-immolation protest” of January 2001 which ignored the mounting evidence that the event was a Communist hoax (sixth item).

Zhao Ziyang’s Daughter Speaks: Wang Yannan, daughter of Zhao Ziyang, spoke to the Voice of America (via Epoch Times) about the life her father lived while in house arrest for fifteen years for his refusal to support the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989. According to his daughter, the deposed party chief refused to accept many visitors for fear the meeting “that visiting him would negatively affect their futures,” enjoyed listening to VOA, and never regretted his decision to “to be responsible to history.”

Stratfor predicts Communist China decline, Japan rise: The intelligence consulting firm Stratfor “released a 10-year geopolitical forecast” (Cybercast News) which predicted Communist China would suffer major capital flight and “‘social upheavals’ because of the gulf between rich and poor.” This will lead to Japan becoming “the principal Asian power” and Taiwan growing closer to it. Let’s hope Stratfor is right!

On Communist China and the democratic world: Dr. Frank Tian Xie, a professor at Drexel University, reveals why the Communist must lie and kill to preserve power and predicts a dire future for the Party at a Nine Commentaries seminar (Epoch Times).

On Australia and Communist China: David Broder, Washington Post, finds Australia worried about a “flare-up of tension between the United States and China,” the latter now a major Australian trading partner. Broder says a conflict between Communist China and the U.S. and “would test the U.S.-Australian ties like nothing else in modern history.”

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