Wednesday, May 18, 2005

News of the Day (May 18)

Communists to U.S. on currency change – buzz off: Communist China “rejected U.S. criticism that its currency policy has turned China into a ‘manipulative trade partner’” (CNN). The U.S. Treasury Department warned the Communists that their deliberate currency devaluation “will be cited for violations” (Washington Times) of American trade laws. Communist China has pegged its currency to roughly 12 U.S. cents; most believe it is actually worth 15 or 16 cents. The peg has led to a flood of imports from Communist China at the expense of other Asian exporters, including many U.S. allies, and American manufacturing. The U.S. Senate is at most two months away from a vote on a currency-corrective tariff (second item). Also reporting: BBC

Australian anti-dumping provisions expanded to Communist China: Meanwhile, Australia’s government “has changed its anti-dumping regulations to include countries that have been granted ‘market economy’ status” (Epoch Times). This means goods from Communist China, recently minted a “market economy” by Australia, can once again be subject to restrictions and tariffs due to the cadres’ “influence on costs and prices.”

Activist under house arrest: Qi Zhiyong, a democracy activist disabled in the Tiananmen Square massacre, spent “Handicapped People-Aid Day” under house arrest. He colorfully called the Communist regime “a thug dressed in a suit” (Epoch Times).

As resignations reach 1.6 million, paper vows to keep publishing: Among the new members of the ex-Communist Party are a lawyer from Liaoning and his wife (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, the Epoch Times – which published the document that began the exodus, the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, vowed to “continue to publish no matter kind of setbacks it may encounter” (e.g., this).

Donald Tsang has two challengers for HK top job: The Communist choice to fill out Tung Chee-hwa’s term as Chief Executive of the city – acting Chief Donald Tsang – has two publicly declared opponents – Democratic Party city legislator Lee Wing-tat and “maverick stockbroker Chim Pui-chung” (BBC). Most expect Tsang to be “elected” by the 800-strong panel largely appointed by Communist China itself.

Communist China opposes expansion of Security Council: Remember when Communist China insisted it supported India, Brazil, and Germany’s bids to the United Nations Security Council? Well, the cadres are now saying the expansion “could ‘undermine’ the broader effort to reform the world body” (Cybercast News). The Communists, in fact, effectively killed the expansion last month (eighth item), but now their double-cross is out in the open for everyone to see.

Jiang Zemin “friendship trees” cut down in Japan: Two “friendship trees” planted in the Japanese cities of Sendai and Kofu were cut down “by locals upset by recent anti-Japanese protests in Mainland China” (Epoch Times). For more on those riots, look here.

On Zhang Chunqiao: Thomas Olivier, Epoch Times, examines the life and times of the late vicious Cultural Revolutionary and “Gang of Four” member (ninth item).

Taiwan as U.S. territory? Taipei lawyer Richard Hartzell insists Taiwan is actually a U.S. territory, and as such is entitled to American protection, in the Taipei Times. While the legal evidence could be compelling, Hartzell should be cautious – far too many “engagement” supporters would see this as a chance to give Taiwan to the Communists!

Stalinist North Korea/South Korea talks extended: The talks between Stalinist North Korea and democratic, but dovish, South Korea (next to last item) “have been extended for an extra day” (BBC). The news comes amid reports of “a massive aid package” from South Korea if the Stalinist regime would return to the floundering six-party talks on its nuclear weapons programs. Will they never learn?

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