Monday, March 07, 2005

News of the Day (March 7)

Communist China’s saber-rattling on Taiwan gets louder: Beginning with a blast from Communist Premier Wen Jiabao (BBC), the cadres assembled at the rubber-stamp National People’s Congress are moving forward with plans for an “anti-secession” law which would bar Taiwan from declaring formal independence (Cybercast News). Given that the Communists have never set foot on Taiwan, the only way they could enforce such a “law” would be an invasion, which many in the island democracy believe is the real objective of the Communists (Times of London, UK). Taiwan’s press almost unanimously ripped the cadres (BBC). Meanwhile, Communist Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing fired warnings at the United States and Japan, ripping their recent decision to make Taiwan’s future a joint issue of concern. The cadre called the move “an encroachment on China's sovereignty and interference into China's internal affairs” (Cybercast News, BBC). Again, the Communists have never set foot on Taiwan.

Currency, mining, and the crushing protests examined at NPC: The Communist legislature made other news this weekend. Guo Shuqing, the cadre in charge of foreign currency exchange, insisted the Communist currency would remain deflated indefinitely – ensuring American manufacturers and other Asian exporters would continue to take it on the chin (CNN). Mining safety – a massive problem in Communist China – won another $362 million in funds from Premier Wen (BBC). Finally, new efforts are being considered regarding protests throughout the impoverished rural interior – mainly new police power “to increase fines, seize property, close down businesses, and hold under house arrest anyone who ‘violates public-security management’” (Time Asia) cloaked with soft words about a “harmonious society.” How “harmonious” is Hanyuan County?

Protestors arrested; reporter beaten; Tiananmen letter sent: Speaking of protests, about 20 demonstrators in Beijing “were forced into police vans and taken away after handing out leaflets” (BBC). A reporter who earlier tried to take pictures of the NPC building “was beaten to the ground by plain-clothed Chinese officials at the street entrance” (Epoch Times). Given that, one can expect bad things to come for the authors of a letter to the NPC calling for a re-evaluation of the Tiananmen Square massacre. However, 125 victims and relatives of victims of that day – led by Tiananmen Mothers founder Ding Zilin – sent the open letter anyway (Epoch Times).

FBI considers countering Communist espionage “our main priority”: The exact words were used by Tim Bereznay, a senior FBI counterintelligence official, in an interview with Bill Gertz, Washington Times. Bereznay’s motive was deeply personal: “he fears his 4-year-old grandson might one day have to go to war in the Taiwan Strait against a Chinese military armed with stolen U.S. weapons technology.”

Worldwide opinion favorable to Communist China: A BBC poll in 22 nations gauging opinion on Communist China revealed the uphill climb we have: by a 48-30 margin, Communist China’s influence was consider “mainly positive.” The exceptions to the rule were South Korea, the U.S., and – by the widest margin – Germany. The latter is a welcome surprise given the foolhardy policies of its leader Gerhardt Schroeder.

Shooter of Chen Shui-bian committed suicide: Taiwan police named their lead suspect in the pre-election shooting of President Chen Shui-bian – Chen Yi-hsiung, “whose wife says he confessed to the shooting” (BBC). The would-be assassin was upset at the President for his economic policies. He shot him one day before the election, and then – after the President was re-elected – drowned himself.

On the departure of Tung Chee-hwa: Stephen Vines, Time Asia, bids good riddance to Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, but notes that the Communists who appointed him have “long forgotten the promise of a ‘high degree of autonomy’ for its new colony.” The editors of the Washington Times noted that Tung’s resignation gives the Communists two more years to continue “subtly thumbing its nose at the one-country, two-system principle” without consequence. Also weighing in is Time Asia’s Zoher Abdoolcarim.

More commentary on Communist China: Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun, has an even-handed column on Taiwan. Orville Schell, of UC Berkeley, calls on the Communists to come to terms with their bloody past in Time Asia. Stephen Gregory, Epoch Times, talks about the significance of the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party.

Communists take Stalinist North Korea’s side on talks; won’t buy U.S. intelligence: Communist China is still refusing to believe that Stalinist North Korea has the nuclear weapons it already claims it has (New York Times via International Herald Tribune), while cadre Yang Xiyu took echoed an old Stalinist demand for bilateral U.S.-SNK talks (Washington Times, fifth item). Anyone surprised by this should read these columns.

On the plight of the refugees: Edward Cody, Washington Post, interviews Lee Shanyu, a refugee from Stalinist North Korea forced to be a concubine in Communist China and a prisoner in her homeland because she chose to escape starvation and oppression.

Commentary on Stalinist North Korea: Former South Korean politician C.S. Koo and Georgetown Professor William Taylor combine to write a spectacularly awful column in the Washington Times. Alan Caruba, who has a blog he calls the National Anxiety Center, recognizes Communist China’s true objectives regarding its Stalinist ally, but outside of that his Cybercast News piece is not much better.

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