Monday, April 25, 2005

News of the Day (April 25)

One million resignations commemorated amid Nine Commentaries crackdown: Communist China decided ignoring the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party – and the one million Party resignations it spawned – was not working, and have moved to crackdown on the seminal dissident publication: “anyone found with a copy of the ‘Nine Commentaries’ would be sentenced to a four-year jail term.” The cadres also deemed Falun Gong a “reactionary political organization,” on the assumption practitioners “participated in the publication and distribution” of the Commentaries. Falun Gong has already suffered a nearly six-year-long persecution by the Communists. As this news hit the wires, a rally in New York City in honor of the one million resignations was held, with several dissidents from inside Communist China offering their support (all links, save the Commentaries, via Epoch Times, which also included an explanation as to how the resignations were collected and counted).

Surprise! Hu Jintao is a hard-liner: Phillip Pan, Washington Post (via MSNBC), has an excellent column on the repressive regime of Hu Jintao. The man “engagement” supporters foolishly called a “reformer” is so tyrannical that one economist actually said this: “Looking back at the policies of Jiang Zemin now, it wasn't so bad (emphasis added). . . We survived for 10 years under Jiang, but with Hu Jintao the authorities are trying to shut us down.” Say it with me: once a Communist, always a Communist.

Koizumi meets Hu and gets a lecture: Speaking of Hu Jintao, he met with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for talks on the textbook-riots dispute. Koizumi was hoping to ease tensions (Cybercast News); instead, Hu chose to demand Japan “seriously reflect” (MSNBC) on its past and “never do anything again that would hurt the feelings of the Chinese people” (BBC) – such words from Hu compel yours truly to remind the good readership of the Hanyuan County Massacre. Japan, meanwhile, is turning the tables on the Communists with plans to “scrutinize Chinese textbooks for anti-Japanese passages” (Washington Post) and other “extreme” airbrushes of Communist history.

Commentary on the dispute: The Asian press largely placed the blame on Japan for the brouhaha (BBC, note the Taiwanese paper cited, China Post, leans to the Communist-friendly “pan-blue” opposition), while Time Asia has two less-than-stellar pieces. Jim Frederick has an informative but biased piece on the rising anti-Communism in Japan. Anne Wu’s column is far worse; she calls for Zhongnanhai and Tokyo to look past their differences and “break the deadlock” on Stalinist North Korea. Will they never learn?

European Union wants Communist China to curtail textile exports: European Union Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson is now in Hong Kong in “efforts to get China to limit textile exports” (BBC). Mandelson also “launched an EU probe into nine categories of Chinese textile exports” (BBC). All of this comes amid concern about Communist China’s textile exports to the EU from officials in Luxembourg and, get this, France.

More commentary on Communist China: The Washington Post scored another hit on Communist China, this time from its editorial page, in which Hu Jintao’s notion of his regime’s “peaceful rise” in the world is ripped as a dishonest cover for “dangerous and irresponsible” moves on the world scene – although the notion that the cadres will ever recognize and learn from a string of mistakes” was a sour note. The Post’s editors also show their geopolitical acumen while criticizing the Bush Administration for slapping tariffs on India shrimpers, “complicating the Bush team's efforts to get India's help in handling a rising China.” Also on that “rise,” Eric Baculinao, whose MSNBC pieces usually rankle, does pretty well in documenting Communist China’s alarming influence in Africa and Latin America, and even reports one admission from a Beijing professor: “Of course one goal of Chinese diplomacy is to raise China’s international influence and prestige and in the process check the excessive influence of the United States.” Henry Blodget, Newsweek (via MSNBC), sounds the alarm on Communist China’s money holes – ahem, stock markets. Jorn Madslien, BBC, examines the state and plans of a major Communist-run automaker: the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation.

Stalinists may conduct nuclear test as U.S. ponders UN (in-)action: According to American officials anonymously cited by Bill Gertz (Washington Times), Stalinist North Korea “may be preparing to conduct its first nuclear test in the near future.” In response, South Korea “warned North Korea not to conduct a nuclear test” (BBC), while the U.S. is trying to coax Communist China into moving SNK away from then idea (Will they never learn?). The Stalinists, for their part, repeated their assertion that they would “bolster” (International Herald Tribune) their nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile, the U.S. is “debating a plan to seek a United Nations resolution empowering all nations to intercept shipments in or out of” SNK (New York Times). The naïveté behind this idea is breathtaking: “the main purpose would be to give China political cover to police its border with North Korea . . . now largely open for shipments of arms, drugs and counterfeit currencies, North Korea's main source of hard currency.” Will they never learn?

Japanese take to the streets to denounce Stalinist abductions: Roughly 6,000 Japanese demonstrated for “sanctions against North Korea over its abduction of Japanese people more than 20 years ago” (BBC). SNK admitted to thirteen abductions between 1978 and 1983; five of the victims are now home. The Stalinists insist the eight others are dead, despite a lack of evidence and many facts pointing to the contrary.

Talks between South Korea and SNK back on: A bilateral dialogues between Stalinist North Korea and democratic South Korea is back on after talks between South Korean Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan and Kim Yong-nam, head of the Stalinist “parliament.” Progress on actual issues was absent. Report: BBC

Pro-Stalinist “community group” can keep tax breaks in Kumamoto: The General Association of Korean Residents in Japan will not lose tax breaks given by the city of Kumamoto despite its “pro-Pyongyang” stand (Washington Times, third item). Relatives of the aforementioned abduction victims wanted the tax breaks pulled. Cities with more clear-eyed politicians, such as Governor Shintaro Ishihara of Tokyo, have chosen not extend such tax breaks to Stalinist organizations in Japan (eleventh item).

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