Tuesday, April 05, 2005

News of the Day (April 5)

Five years ago today, an e-mail was sent out to a dozen people. It was the China e-Lobby’s first Update. In the sixty months since, we have grown to over 300 members across the nation and around the world, and been involved in several lobbying efforts. Thanks again for all of your continued support.

Could new Pope break off ties to Taiwan for Communist China? Hong Kong Bishop Joseph Zen – a leading advocate of freedom in the city (last item) – hinted that the Vatican “might be ready to cut ties with Taiwan in order to establish diplomatic relations with China” (BBC), if “Beijing was ‘willing to grant real freedom to the church in mainland China.’” Communist China has its own, cadre-run church; Catholics who wish to remain loyal to the Vatican must worship underground. In part because of this, the Vatican does not have diplomatic relations with Communist China, but with Taiwan.

Cadres block condolences to Pope, arrest more priests: Meanwhile, the Communists “blocked prayers, blessings and other comment on the death of Pope John Paul II from being posted on the Internet” (News 24) and expanded the arrests of priests in Hebei to include Bishop Yao Liang and Father Wang Jinling (Washington Post, third item).

Communist China accounts for nearly 90% of world’s executions: For years, Communist China has had more executions than the rest of the world combined. According to Amnesty International, the cadres took it to new heights – of the 3,800 recorded executions on the globe, the Communists committed “at least 3,400” (BBC).

As Day of Honoring the Dead approaches, the Communist crackdown tightens: Today is Qing Ming Day, a day the Chinese people use to honor those who have died. This is the first such day since the passing of Zhao Ziyang, the national Party boss who lost his post and his freedom for opposing the Tiananmen Square massacre. Naturally, the cadres have reacted with “another round of arrests” and “even tighter security over Internet users, especially students” (Epoch Times).

Woman fired from Commerce Ministry for pregnancy: A pregnant woman only known as Ms. Tang was told by cadres in the Ministry of Commerce, where she worked, that she had to “have an abortion or leave the Ministry” (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times). She refused the former, and was fired.

Surge in imports from Communist China leads to trade investigation: The Bush Administration reacted to the massive increase in textile imports from Communist China (third item) by bringing “trade cases against China to determine whether quotas should be re-imposed to protect textile and clothing manufacturers” (Newsmax). Local producers were thrilled. The cadres have benefited from an end to textile restrictions last January 1 (fifth item) and a deliberately devalued currency that makes all its exports cheaper.

Communist premier in Pakistan: Communist Premier Wen Jiabao “has arrived in Pakistan for a visit in which a string of accords are due to be signed” (BBC). Communist China has been an ally of Pakistan for over fifty years, which in part is why many in India, which has fought several wars with Pakistan, consider Communist China a threat.

Communist China kills plan to include Japan and India in Security Council: Meanwhile, the aspirations of India and Japan to be included in an expanded United Nations Security Council “is dead,” according to an Ambassador from a current Council member “speaking on the condition of anonymity because he did not want to offend China” (Washington Post). Communist China has been angry at Japan’s increasing willingness to project its power around the world, in large part because it gets in the Communists’ attempts to do the same (Cybercast News).

Communist China-Rover deal still up in the air: The desperate attempts of MG Rover to win a massive infusion of cash from the Communist-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (seventh item) continued despite concerns that the UK firm “was rapidly running out of money” (BBC). The British government has already offered Rover a bridge loan of £100 million to cinch the deal, which would give the Communists “secure rights to the firm's more advanced technology.” Rory Cellan-Jones examines the economics, and the politics, of all of this for the BBC.

On the resignations from the Chinese Communist Party: The number of resignations from the CCP passed 1% of all pre-November 2004 members. Yours truly comments on the significance of this in the Epoch Times.

On Communist China and trade: Irwin M. Stelzer, in the Daily Standard, takes note of the growing concern over trade deficit with Communist China – at $162 billion, it’s the largest such imbalance in history – from “geopolitical types” due to the “increasingly belligerent foreign policy of the Chinese regime.” Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop, United Press International (via Washington Times), notes the growing economic strength of Communist China and India, but says zilch about the security implications of either.

Whither the Nationalist Party? Kenneth Choy, Epoch Times, examines the battle for leadership of Taiwan’s largest opposition party, and the prospects for reforming its “mainland-centric image,” which has lead it to be far too cozy with the Communists and cost it the past two presidential elections on the island democracy.

Human rights in Stalinist North Korea “getting worse,” notes opposition presence: British Junior Foreign Minister Bill Rammell, at a press conference held “to highlight the suffering of two former North Korean political prisoners” (BBC) announced that the state of human rights in the Stalinist regime “has got worse.” Rammell, whose employer is the only western government that has diplomatic relations with the Stalinists, also noted the presence of opposition to Kim Jong-il within the Stalinist North – normally something believed not to exist due to the suffocating regime. He was silent on liberation.

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