Wednesday, February 02, 2005

News of the Day (February 2)

EU plans to lift arms embargo are “the wrong signal”: That’s how Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice characterized the efforts by the UK, France, Germany, et al to end the EU arms embargo (second item, fifth item), which was imposed after the Tiananmen Square massacre (BBC). She was joined in that criticism by Ellen Bork, Deputy Director of the Project for the New American Century, who was far more eloquent in her remarks to the American Enterprise Institute.

U.S. and Communist military hold “official policy dialogue”: The subjects at hand were “counterterrorism, regional security, and rising tensions in the Taiwan Strait” (Voice of America via Epoch Times). For the Communists, naturally, the last issue was most important. Yours truly doesn’t like talks between the two militaries at all, but if they must exist, we could have done a lot worse than “official policy dialogue.”

Congressmen ask State to stop delaying arms sale to Taiwan: Seven Members of Congress and one Delegate (from Guam) called upon the State Department to “deliver the necessary congressional notification” (Washington Post) to move forward the $18 billion arms sale to Taiwan first approved by the Bush Administration four years ago. To be fair, Taiwan’s Parliament has been unwilling to approve the deal lately, but additional, artificial roadblocks are hardly necessary.

Communist China worming itself into the new Yukos: The BBC is reporting that Communist bank lent Roseneft $6 billion to buy the firm that swallowed up Yukos. Meanwhile, Communist-owned China National Petroleum Company signed “a long-term oil supply deal” with Roseneft, and paid up front – you guessed it – $6 billion.

Pro-government MP says old regime sold missiles to Communist China: Hrihory Omelchenko, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament allied to incoming Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, accused the government of outgoing President Leonid Kuchma of selling six Ukranian nuclear-capable missiles to Communist China (Newsmax).

Friends of Falun Gong rips Associated Press for account of “self-immolation”: The international group of supporters of the persecuted community of faith cited the evidence that the entire event was staged by the Communists, who still claim five Falun Gong practitioners burned themselves in 2001 (one to death). Falun Gong has insisted none of the five were practitioners, and has presented evidence to back up the claim.

Communist Party’s grip on Chinese economy to increase: Anybody still foolish enough to think Communist China has a free-market economy should take note of this report from VOA via Epoch Times: “Chinese leaders recently emphasized strengthening the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to play a leading role on industrial and commercial enterprises on a large scale,” moving away from the supposed “private” enterprises – which were really controlled by former cadres, relatives of cadres, and friends of cadres – pushed by Hu’s predecessor, Jiang Zemin.

Canadian Prime Minister upbraided by MP who paid respects to Zhao: Canadian MP Jason Kenney (Conservative – Alberta) used Parliamentary Question Hour to demand why Prime Minister Paul Martin did not pay his respects to the late Zhao Ziyang – the former Chinese Communist Party leader deposed and placed under house arrest for over fifteen years because he refused to support the Tiananmen Square massacre. The beleaguered PM hit upon an odd response: accusing Kenney – who did visit Zhao’s home to pay his respects (sixth and seventh items) – of skipping a meeting with members of the rubber-stamp National People’s Congress “where he could have made his point” about human rights (Canadian Press). Why Kenney should be criticized for avoiding this waste of time with cadres certain to turn a deaf ear is a complete mystery to this quarter.

Kenney also struck a nerve by noting the possible role of “the narrow corporate interests of Canada Steamship Lines and (Martin’s) very close friends and business partners at Power Corp. (in Montreal)” in the PM’s geopolitical decision-making. Canada Steamship Lines is under control of the Martin’s sons. Kenney’s concerns were echoed (somewhat) by Edmonton Sun columnist Mindelle Jacobs – although she neglected to mention Zhao’s resistance to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

More On the late Zhao Ziyang: The death of Zhao Ziyang is still reverberating (the Epoch Times reprinted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s remarks from Saturday’s Washington memorial). The editors of the Washington Times conclude that the Communist reaction to Zhao’s death “means that Communist China remains a fundamentally flawed state destined to join its brethren on the ash heap of history,” an assessment seconded by dissident Zhang Lin (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, Epoch Times columnist Yang Tianshui had high praise for Zhao’s refusal to support the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Zhao himself blasted CCP before he died: Xiong Yuanjian, one of the leaders behind the American commemorations to Zhao, told the Epoch Times “that Zhao Ziyang, in an interview with a friend before he died, said that there is ‘no cure’ for the CCP.”

Three Gorges Corp chooses to pay fines rather than shut down: The enterprise building the Xiluodu dam and the power plants tied with the Three Gorges Dam “is refusing to obey a government order to stop construction of one of its giant dams” (BBC). Of course, the firm – which also built the disastrous Three Gorges Dam itself (Other Mainland News) – insists it is acting “in accordance with the law.”

U.S. says Stalinist North Korea gave uranium to Libya: This is actually eight months old, but it’s news to the Washington Post via MSNBC and the New York Times (BBC), and it’s still a compelling reason to liberate northern Korea, so we’ll say it again: the uranium hexafluoride Libya handed over the United States in 2003 likely came from Stalinist North Korea. Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online, presented this as evidence the liberation of Iraq was justified (on the assumption of Gadhafi could get his hands on this stuff, Saddam Hussein certainly could), not once, but twice.

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