Friday, April 29, 2005

News of the Day (April 29)

While there is quite a bit about Communist China today, we must begin with this.

SNK chemical weapons testing on political prisoner confirmed, again: Soon Ok Lee, a former political prisoner of Stalinist North Korea, further confirmed reports from last year that the regime performed “chemical testing on humans” (World Net Daily). The confirmation came as Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean, announced plans “to pursue action against the North Korean regime for possible crimes against humanity” including the use of gas chambers against political prisoners. One of the sources for this had been hiding in Communist China, but the cadres caught him and sent him back to the Stalinist North.

Defense Intelligence Agency chief says SNK can arm missiles with warheads: Vice Admiral Lowell E. Jacoby told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Stalinist North Korea “has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device” (Washington Post), a major advance for the regime, which is developing missiles that can hit the United States.

U.S. pushing Stalinists on human rights, says envoy: Joseph DeTrani, special envoy to the suspended six-party talks on SNK’s nuclear weapons, told Congress that the U.S. has presented “in both bilateral and multilateral fora, our concerns for the very serious human rights situation in North Korea” (Voice of America via Epoch Times).

Bush still supports six-party talks, but “all options, of course, are on the table”: In a press conference last night, President Bush insisted the suspended talks on the Stalinists’ nuclear weapons were the “best way to solve this problem diplomatically” (Cybercast News), but cryptically added “all options, of course, are on the table.” One of his reasons for pushing the fruitless talks was disturbing: “it’s particularly important to have China involved. China has got a lot of influence in North Korea.” Will they never learn?

Bill Press can’t handle the truth: In a World Net Daily column lsiting his objections to UN Ambassador-designate John Bolton, Bill Press insinuated that Bolton’s reference to Kim Jong-il as a “tyrannical dictator” was irrational. Does the truth hurt that much, Bill?

Now on to Communist China, where Lien Chan sold out Taiwan during his meeting with Communsit leader Hu Jintao. The Nationalist Party leader agreed to “promote the reaching of an agreement to end the hostile situation” (BBC) and, in a joint statement with Hu, called for a “peace accord,” more “periodic contacts between the two parties,” and – get this – “discussion on issues of participation in international activities, which concern the Taiwan public.” In effect, Lien called for a codification of his party’s cozying up to Communist China – something which led to his defeat to President Chen Shui-bian in last year’s elections – but even give the Communists a role in Taiwan’s foreign policy. For the Communists, who have been trying to ignore and isolate Chen and his pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, this was a propaganda bonanza.

Deputy Defense Secretary meets L.A.-threatening Communist general: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz held talks with Communist Lieutenant General Xiong Guangkai on the regime’s military modernization. Wolfowitz et al were “encouraged in the Chinese response to greater transparency in their military budget” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). Of course, transparency is nothing new for General Xiong, “known widely in U.S. defense circles for his remark in 1995 that contained a veiled threat by China to use nuclear weapons against Los Angeles, if the United States defended the Republic of China (Taiwan) in a conflict.”

U.S. to launch second probe of Communist exports: The Commerce Department announced a new inquiry into a surge in imports of “Chinese-made shirts, sweaters, dressing gowns and women's underwear” (BBC). The probe, the second to be launched in a month (sixth item), “covers all the areas requested by the American textile industry,” and comes in reaction to the end of worldwide textile trade restrictions this year (fifth item). Communist China’s deliberately devalued currency has not only damaged U.S. textile firms, but also other exporters to the U.S., including the very developing nations who pushed for the restrictions to be dropped.

More Catholic preists arrested in Hebei: As Bishop Jia Zhiguo’s interview with Philip Pan hit the Washington Post, it leaked out that Communist China “arrested seven underground priests who had traveled here to attend a religious retreat organized by Jia.”

“Model Worker” Yao Ming: Houston Rockets Center Yao Ming was given the “vanguard worker” award by Communist China. In accepting the award, Yao had the audacity to call himself a “migrant worker” (BBC), which may come as a surprise to the millions of actual migrant workers “who come by the millions to China's large cities to work long hours on construction sites for less than $5 a day” (Washington Post).

HK legal community protests Communist interference: Communist China’s decision to impose its judgment on Hong Kong regarding the tenure of acting Chief Executive Donald Tsang – and the city’s willingness to give up its autonomy – sparked a silent protest from “people associated with the law or law school students” (Epoch Times). Pro-democracy politicians in Hong Kong wanted the issue resolved by the city’s judiciary, rather than the cadres; one country, one-and-a-half systems rolls on.

On CNN’s “Eye on China” Column series: Among the better columns were Joe Havely’s pieces on the disastrous ecology and, oddly enough, occupied East Turkestan, even though he never talks to anyone from its government-in-exile. Geoff Hiscock’s piece on the Communist economy starts poorly but finishes well. Not quite so good are Kristie LuStout’s column on Communist China’s internet generation, Havely’s piece on the cadres’ global ambitions, and his column on their space program. The worst three are Grant Holloway’s Olympic piece (no mention of the fury this has raised in the human rights community), and Havely’s column on Shanghai (silent on the role its favorite son, Jiang Zemin, may have played in its rise).

On the resignations from the CCP: Among those who attended Saturday’s rally commemorating the one million resignations inspired by the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party from the Chinese Communist Party was Han Xiang, an exile whose family suffered horrendously in Communist China. He told an unnamed Epoch Times reporter of his family’s travails, and why he felt he needed to be there. Steve Ispas, a Romanian-born Californian, publicly declared in a letter to the Epoch Times his “renunciation” of his Ceaucescu-ordered membership in young Communist groups.

Other Commentary on Communist China: Tom Donnelly, Daily Standard, notes the cadres’ use of nationalism to promote their regime, and what it could mean for the U.S., Japan, and Taiwan. Victor Davis Hanson (National Review Online), listing America’s friend and enemies, notes Japan’s appreciation for the U.S., especially in light of Communist China. Meanwhile, Dennis Boyles, also in NRO (item five) examines France’s willingness to suck up to the Communists, and predicts more of the same.

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