Monday, February 07, 2005

News of the Day (February 5)

Communist China and Iraq: I doubt there is any issue out there more capable of splitting the membership (and the anti-Communist movement in general) like a ripe melon than the Iraq war. For that reason, I have held my tongue on Iraq, except to make note of the Communists’ ties to Saddam Hussein (here, here, and here). Well, my silence is now broken, thanks in part to the Epoch Times, which ran my column on how Iraq’s future is, in my opinion, tied to the Second Cold War (Communist China versus the U.S. – for the new visitors here). The China e-Lobby as an organization has not had, does not have, and will not have an official position on the Iraq war. Support for the American military operation in Iraq has never been and never will be an anti-Communist “litmus test” to this quarter. However, I did feel strongly enough about this to write the piece, and have it run. All I ask of my friends and allies who do not support that war is to read the column with an open mind. Now, we move on to the other news (which is plentiful).

Communist missiles aimed at Taiwan tops 700: Chen Shui-bian, elected President of Taiwan, announced last week that Communist China now has 706 missiles pointed at the island democracy. Yours truly took the opportunity to remind President Bush to “re-issue his 2001 pledge to defend Taiwan, and back it up with a greater military presence in East Asia. Anything less will be taken by the Communists as, at best, a delayed green light to conquer and destroy the island democracy” (China Support Network).

Keep a wary eye on Koizumi: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is suffering a decline in popularity, in part due to his refusal “to take a stronger stand against North Korea, despite the rogue state's nuclear ambitions and its refusal to discuss the fate of Japanese citizens abducted in the 1970s and '80s” (Time Asia). Analyst Takao Toshikawa says the beleaguered PM will probably try “another diplomatic surprise” to rescue himself: “this one may involve mending relations with China.” Uh oh.

The editors of the Washington Times notice the geopolitical ambitions behind Communist China’s forays into international trade: Better late than never, but somebody needs to brief London Mayor “Red Ken” Livingstone (BBC).

Communist China sets the tone on human rights? The much-maligned (and deservedly so) United Nations Human Rights Commission has placed Communist China on its agenda-setting subcommittee. The five member committee, called the Working Group on Situations, includes two of its abusive allies – Communist Cuba and Zimbabwe. At this point, words fail me. Report: Cybercast News

Communist China releases prisoner info: Speaking of the UNHRC, just as the Bush Administration “weighing whether to sponsor a resolution criticizing China's human rights record at a U.N. meeting next month” (Washington Post via MSNBC), the Communists suddenly handed over “a list of 51 political prisoners who have been granted sentence reductions or are being considered for early release.” While the list includes names of previously undisclosed prisoner, it should be noted that none on the list have actually been released early at present.

The Falun Gong War – death toll zooms up; phones get Communist propaganda: Meanwhile, Communist China continued its bloody and wide-ranging crackdown against Falun Gong, killing over 200 practitioners in just the last three months, and calling cell phones around the world (Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S.) with pre-recorded hateful propaganda against the community of faith (both links from the Epoch Times).

Communist China’s poverty line “far below” global line: Communist China’s supposed success against domestic poverty suffers from more than mere phony statistics. According to the Asia Times (via Epoch Times), the cadre’s definition of poverty line income “is approximately one-thirteenth the standard set by the World Bank.”

On the State of the Workers in the Workers’ State: Dong Xin wanted a union for himself and his fellow Beijing cab drivers. What he got was the Communist-run sham “union,” which promptly fell in line with his cadre-owned taxi firm and crushed his vision for a real union. Report: Washington Post

On Zhao Ziyang: The Communists’ shabby treatment of the late party leader who defied his fellow cadres and opposed the Tiananmen Square massacre continues to reflect badly on the Chinese Communist Party. Yours truly called it the Tenth Commentary. Li Tu commented on how Zhao’s death spread the cause of anti-Communism around the world. Zhang Guanghua, Voice of America, spoke to some attendees at the Communist “funeral.” Chen Yizi, a former advisor to Zhao, relays his former boss’s comments on how the Party is “doomed to decaying and corruption.” Finally Guan Cha (nom de cyber) details the reaction of ordinary Chinese (linked columns from the Epoch Times).

“Intelligence, honesty, and CCP membership cannot occur together.” Zhang Tianliang, Epoch Times, says it all with this opening (which he admits he borrowed).

Bad advice on Stalinist North Korea: Brookings Institute Fellow Kongdan Oh (Time Asia) and University of Tokyo Professor Young C. Kim (Washington Times) naïvely believe talks with the Stalinists can be successful, past failures notwithstanding.

Stalinists rip Bush speech, but South Korea likes soft SNK words: President Bush’s State of the Union address, in particular his “absence of saber rattling” (United Press International via Washington Times) gave hope to the dovish South Korean government, which was “expecting a positive response from North Korea.” The Stalinists didn’t take long to disappoint: “Bush trumpeted that ‘fire of freedom will reach dark corners of the word . . . This is nothing but a plot to . . . rule it by imposing a freedom based on power” (BBC). The President’s lack of hostility in the State of the Union won nary a mention.

U.S. would send 690,000 troops to protect South Korea: According to a South Korean Defense Ministry White Paper: “About 690,000 U.S. troops along with 2,000 military aircraft and 160 warships would be mobilized to defend South Korea in the event of a war on the Korean peninsula” (Korea Times).

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