Wednesday, April 20, 2005

News of the Day (April 20)

Taiwan’s top opposition politician to meet Hu Jintao: Lien Chan, leader of Taiwan’s Nationalist Party, “will hold historic talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing next week” (BBC). The only trouble is, the person chosen by the Taiwanese people to speak for them is President Chen Shui-bian, who defeated Lien in last year’s presidential election precisely because of the Nationalists’ recent tilt toward the Chinese Communist Party (sixth item) – including this trip – which has driven millions of anti-Communist Taiwanese to Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party and its ally, former President and former Nationalist Lee Teng-hui’s Taiwan Solidarity Union.

Communist China tells Benedict XVI to cut ties with Taiwan: Communist China congratulated Pope Benedict XVI on his election, but called on him “to break the Holy See's ties to Taiwan, recognize Beijing's claim to the island, and ‘not interfere in internal Chinese affairs’” (Cybercast News). These are the oft-repeated conditions Communist China sights in exchange for diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Communist China maintains its own “patriotic” Catholic Church; 10 to 12 million Catholics remain loyal to the Vatican and worship “underground.”

Pentagon joined push to save NTDTV, but is now getting extorted: The efforts to keep New Tang Dynasty Television on the air in Communist China – so far temporarily successful – were joined by the Pentagon, which “quietly pressured Eutelsat last year to keep NTDTV on the air” (Accuracy in Media via Epoch Times). Sadly, Eutelsat is now using the NTDTV situation to demand the U.S. government buy more bandwith.

Communist China building Henan AIDS prison – errrr, hospital: Communist China claims it is building “a hospital to house AIDS patients” in Henan province, where an unhygienic Communist-run blood-donation scheme infected one million people with AIDS (sixth item). As it turns out, the Communists are actually building a prison for “AIDS patients who are alleged to have violated law and discipline” (Epoch Times), i.e., those who tried to tell the world they were infected by Communist incompetence.

Military petitioners angry about pensions, among other things: The Epoch Times discovered one of the grievances that brought roughly one thousand Communist military veterans to Beijing to petition the regime (third item) – their pensions.

There are protests, and there are protests: Michael Ledeen, National Review Online, takes note of the real forces behind the anti-Japan riots (namely the surge of anti-Communist protests throughout Communist China) and calls for the United States to provide “a steady flow of the truth from outside their borders, guidance for those who undertake the struggle against the tyrants, and constant reminders — backed up with modest action — that we are with them.” Max Dobson, the Epoch Times, joins Ledeen with this critical point about all protests “there can be basically two scenarios, either they are squashed or supported for the political gain of the Chinese Communist Government.”

Resignations from Chinese Communist Party approach 1 million: Xin Fei, Epoch Times, spoke to democracy activist Zeng Ning about the significance of the resignations.

Communist counterfeiting reaches New York, damages businesses: The widespread counterfeiting in Communist China has whacked major firms such as Christian Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. More ominously, it has also expanded beyond Communist China to New York, where the Epoch Times “located a counterfeit Chinese baby formula available in shops.” Fake baby milk killed over 50 infants in Communist China last year (twenty-fifth item).

Economy in Communist China surges despite cadre slow-down efforts: Communist China reported economic growth of 9.5%, “well ahead of the official target of 8%” (BBC). While the Communists have a history of fudging growth numbers (fifteenth item), the fact that “Massive investment by China's industries, up 23% over the year, has led the growth” is also a sign that the cadres’ efforts to slow down growth are still being subverted (twenty-ninth item, twenty-eighth item).

Commentary on the Japan-Communist China dispute: Jefferson Morley, Washington Post, foolishly takes the Communists at their word when they claim the anti-Japan riots (third item, second item, lead item) are outside the Party’s control. His colleague David Ignatius does not make that mistake; neither does fellow Post writer Edward Cody (via MSNBC). The Washington Times demeaned itself by running a column by Allan Topol, who reveals his stunning ignorance of the danger facing Taiwan by wondering why the U.S. and Japan issue a joint statement expressing concern for the island democracy and claiming the Communists’ “anti-secession” law was a response to this statement.

More commentary on Communist China: Larry Kudlow, National Review Online, makes the case that Communist China’s currency, while pegged, may not be devalued, but there is still no mention of the national security danger the Communists pose to the U.S. The editors of The New Republic make a similar error, rather surprising given their recent anti-Communist history. George Wythe College Professor Steve Farrell, in Newsmax, offers the badly needed complete picture. Maureen Zebian, Epoch Times, looks back at the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

Japan upset over Stalinist reactor shutdown: Days after reports that Stalinist North Korea had shut down its Yongbyon reactor – and thus may be kicking its plutonium weaponization into high gear – hit the airwaves (next to last item), Japan “added its voice to growing concerns” (BBC) over the news.

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