Underground Catholic Church mourns Pope John Paul II: The millions of Catholics who remain loyal to the Vatican – at risk of arrest for spurning the Communist-controlled “church” – mourned Pope John Paul II, who was remembered as a pontiff who “loved the underground Church in China from the very beginning” (Cybercast News).
India sought as counterweight to Communist China: A seemingly innocuous question of membership in a new East Asian group of nations is taking on Cold War II tones, as Communist China is trying to avoid including India in the group. Japan is pushing hard to have India included, and have the U.S. invited as an observer (“Walker’s World”: United Press International via Washington Times). While the Communists are still hoping to turn India away from its instinctive suspicions of them (Time Asia), Brahma Chellaney gives an excellent list of reasons why those suspicions are justified (note: the Washington Times headline for this column is comically inappropriate).
Communist textiles exports to U.S. zoom upward: Imports of cotton textiles from Communist China “rose 259 percent in the first quarter from the first three months of 2004” (Washington Post). The import surge is largely due to the end of the year expiration of American restrictions on textile imports (fifth item).
Resignations approach one percent of Communist Party membership: The number of resignations from the Chinese Communist Party following the Nine Commentaries zoomed past 600,000 and is just shy of 660,000 – or one percent of the November 2004 membership numbers – as of 10AM. The Nine Commentaries themselves were broadcast on Jinan television (Shandong province), despite Communist attempts to block it. Meanwhile, resignations popped up on newspaper boards in Jilin, kiosks in Dalian, and a press conference in San Diego (all links via Epoch Times).
Forum exposes more Communist crimes: A Nine Commentaries forum heard several examples of Communist abuses from, among others, international human rights attorney Clive M. Ansley, Religious Freedom Coalition head William Murray, and Harvard University Professor Erping Zhang (Epoch Times).
Eutelstat wins right to shut down NTDTV signal: A French court “declined to issue an emergency injunction ordering the satellite provider Eutelsat to continue carrying the signal of New Tang Dynasty T.V. (NTDTV) on its W5 satellite” (Epoch Times). The move gives the firm the green light to keep NTDTV off the air in Communist China. NTDTV is the first worldwide Chinese-language television station outside the cadres’ control. Eutelstat all but admitted Communist pressure was behind the move, saying “the standards of one region may come into contradiction with the standards of another.”
Talks between Communist car company and Rover in trouble: The de facto buyout of British car maker Rover by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp may fall apart due to the fact the UK firm “was on the brink of insolvency” according to the Independent (cited by the BBC). The UK government – up for election next month – is “ready to offer MG Rover a bridging loan to keep it afloat long enough to clinch investment from SAIC.”
Attorney thanks Falun Gong practitioners for keeping her alive in prison: Beijing attorney Ni Yulan was sent to prison and brutally tortured for helping residents forced from their homes in a cadre-inspired real estate scam. She is alive today because Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned with her “took turns caring for me” (Epoch Times).
Speaking of torture: Gu Deping, Epoch Times, details the Communist China’s practice of torture against those of whom it disapproves. Nora Boustany, Washington Post, hears a personal tale of Communist torture from Uighur exile Rebiya Kadeer (fifth item).
Speaking of real estate: Meanwhile, the editors of the Epoch Times examine the cadres’ practice of inflating real estate prices to line their pockets and fill the regime’s coffers.
Could the Law of the Sea Treaty block America from defending Taiwan? That’s what Oliver North, Washington Times, believes, and it’s why he wants the treaty junked.
Stalinists now want Japan out of talks: After declaring that the six-party talks on its nuclear weapons should include American nukes the don’t exist (last item), Stalinist North Korea is now trying to kick Japan out of the talks for being supposedly “cunning and vulgar” (Washington Times, fifth item), i.e., the only participant not calling on the United States to add to the concessions already given to the Kim Jong-il regime.
Ex-Ambassador rips Bush Administration on SNK: Among those joining the call for the Bush Administration to throw more concessions at the regime is Donald Gregg, a former Ambassador to democratic South Korea, although as Newsmax notes, Gregg “may have a slight conflict of interest” as head of “a nonprofit agency arranging business and cultural contacts between the United States and both North and South Korea.”
Commentary on SNK: Ashton B. Carter, co-director of the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project, rips the Bush Administration for having no real policy toward the Stalinists, but refuses to actually offer a policy himself in his Washington Post column. The editors of the Washington Times are more willing to defend the Administration, but like Carter (and Gregg, for that matter) they are silent on liberation.