Thursday, April 07, 2005

News of the Day (April 7)

Cardinal was in Zhongnanhai during Pope’s last days: Cardinal Godfried Daneels, a possible successor to the late John Paul II (The New Republic), was in Zhongnanhai a mere two days before the Pope’s death. The cardinal’s trip “is evidence of the Vatican's desire to build bridges with the mainland,” according to the Financial Times (UK). The Vatican currently has diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but could switch to the Communists if some kind of accommodation is reached on the selection of bishops.

Communists furious at Chen’s Vatican appearance: Meanwhile, Communist China ripped Italy for letting Chen attend the Pope’s funeral (Italy controls access to the Vatican from the air). Among the critics was a cadre in the Communist-run “Catholic Patriotic” church, who said it “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, including five million Catholics” (BBC). Naturally, the cadre said nothing about the 10-15 million “underground” Catholics who are loyal to the Vatican, rather than the Communists.

Defense official sounds “alert” on Communist influence in Latin America: Roger Pardo-Mauer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere affairs, told the House International Relations subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere that Communist China is moving into Latin America to exploit opportunities in “intelligence, communications and cyber-warfare” (Washington Times). Of particular concern were the Communists’ close ties with Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

Twenty-nine escapees from Communist China found in Los Angeles: A group of twenty-nine escapees is now in custody after being founded at the Port of Los Angeles. It is assumed each of the twenty-nine paid tens of thousands to “snakehead” smugglers for the trip – those who make it here usually are stuck with indentured servitude or, if they go to the police, a forced return trip to Communist China. Report: Daily Breeze

French Foreign Minister rips EU arms embargo; U.S. and EP still support it: French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier took some verbal shots at the U.S. for insisting the European Union keep its arms embargo against Communist China, calling the arms ban “anachronistic” (Financial Times and United Press International via Washington Times). Perhaps he should talk to the leader of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who met U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick. As Zoellick threatened a reduction in trans-Atlantic cooperation, Chairman Elmar Brok “said that the Parliament would next week pass a second resolution calling on European governments to retain the ban on weapons sales” (International Herald Tribune).

EU could start its own probe on Communist textiles: On the heels of an American launch of an investigation into a surge of Communist textile exports (sixth item) , EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson announced he would “start an investigation if China exceeds permitted increases of between 10% and 100% for various categories of textile imports this year” (BBC). While Mandelson was in fact throwing cold water on calls for an immediate probe, the mere possibility of one infuriated Communist China.

UN Human Rights Commission examines Communist persecution of children: The United Nations Human Rights Commission heard from an exiled Christian and a delegate from the Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners on how the Communist crackdowns against religion has hurt children (Epoch Times).

Communist China’s anti-Japan push comes under rare internal criticism: In a surprise move, Wu Jianmin, Dean of Communist China’s Foreign Affairs College, “warned against the effects of irrational nationalism” (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times), particularly in reference to the latest Communist anti-Japan push, which exiled political analyst Lin Baohua said was really a tried-and-true plot by the cadres “to alleviate internal distress” (CNA via Epoch Times). Wu, naturally, said nothing about that, but his call for caution will almost certainly get him in hot water. Stay tuned.

Resignations zoom past 700,000: Several former members spoke of their journey to the truth about the Chinese Communist Party in a Boston event reported by the Epoch Times.

Communist China plans for 40 nuclear reactors by 2020: Communist China announced plans for “40 new nuclear reactors within the next 15 years” (BBC). The Communist plans for the reactors have caught the attention of several foreign firms and nations – including, sadly, both Australia and the United States.

Damn the corruption, partial sale ahead: Communist China has no intention of postponing “selling off part of one of its biggest banks in the face of allegations of corruption” (BBC). The Communist-owned Bank of China, which has been buffeted by embezzlement charges (seventh item), is still moving forward with the partial sale.

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