Raffarin OK with “anti-secession” law: Fresh off his insistence that France would continue to try to lift the European Union arms embargo on Communist China, French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin “said France had no objection to China's anti-secession law” (BBC) aimed at Taiwan. He also ripped the embargo again.
Paal on his way out? Sources tell the Washington Times (last item) that Douglas Paal, the less than ideal de facto ambassador to Taiwan (second item), is on his way out, to be replaced by Stephen Young, currently the ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.
Koizumi apologizes for war atrocities, wants to meet Hu Jintao: Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed “deep remorse” (BBC) for the “tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations” (Cybercast News) caused by Japan during World War II. He also expressed hope that he would meet Communist leader Hu Jintao tomorrow, but the Communists have said nothing about the possible summit.
Communist China looking at building Rovers: After turning down a de facto buyout of MG Rover, the Communist-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, which now owns the right to make Rovers, “has approached suppliers about making Rover cars” (London Telegraph). Meanwhile, no one has bothered to ask Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the middle of election campaign no less, why he pinned his hopes on Communist China to save Rover now that it is moving in to wholly replace it.
Yao Ming nominated for Communist Party award: Yao Ming, center for the Houston Rockets, “has been nominated for a special Communist Party award” (BBC) for being what Shanghai cadres called “a perfect image ambassador for China in the eyes of the world,” i.e., he has said nothing about the cruelty of the Chinese Communist Party.
Resignations pass one million: Over one million people have resigned from the Chinese Communist Party in wake of the Nine Commentaries. Among the ex-cadres now include 63 medical professionals who quit in a joint statement and Cao Bingyan, a Communist military veteran and Party member for 50 years. The Epoch Times, which ran the above links, talked to pro-democracy activist Wang Juntao about the future of the CCP.
Petitioners crash gates to cadres: The Letters and Calls Bureau of the General Office of the State Council and the Letters and Calls Office of the National People's Congress are in the same building, guarded by the same gate. That gate came crashing down under the weight of 10,000 appellants – citizens petitioning Beijing for grievances against lower-level cadres. The petitions are almost always ignored. Report: Epoch Times
On “harming relations with China”: In a piece on U.S.-Russia relations, Washington Times columnist Harlan Ullman asserts that “harming relations with China must be avoided.” Should we ignore the threats against Taiwan and aid for terrorists, Harlan?
On the Vatican, Communist China and Stalinist North Korea: Frank Ching, of the Jamestown Foundation (via Epoch Times) examines the possibilities of an agreement between the Vatican and Communist China, which would involve throwing Taiwan under the geopolitical bus. Meanwhile, Korean Catholics hope that Benedict XVI’s experience under the Nazis will lead to a greater focus on the horrors of SNK (Cybercast News).
On South Korea and the Stalinist North: Jong-Heon Lee, United Press International via Washington Times, examines the efforts of South Korea’s dovish government to restart the largely unsuccessful talks on Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear weapons.