Thursday, May 19, 2005

News of the Day (May 19)

Communist China cancels rights conference: Communist China cancelled a conference on human rights and democracy “just days before it was scheduled to convene” (New York Times via International Herald Tribune). While there was no reason given, the proximity of the Tiananmen massacre anniversary certainly had a role.

Communists lash out at European Union and United States: Efforts by the European Union to get Communist China to restrict its textile exports (fifth item) were rejected by Communist Commerce Minister Bo Xilai (BBC). Bo also ripped new U.S. restrictions (second item) on Communist exports (United Press International via Washington Times). Bo did not mention his regime’s deliberately devalued currency, which has hurt domestic manufacturers (especially in the U.S.) and other textile exporters around the world.

Tokyo Governor Ishihara to visit disputed islands: Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara (easily this quarter’s favorite Japanese politician – third item, ninth item, and twelfth item) is headed for the Okinotori Islands, a set of reefs in the Pacific Ocean also claimed by Communist China. He previously “funded expeditions there by fishermen and scientists” and “talked of building a lighthouse or power station” (BBC) on the islands.

Indonesia and Communist China to cooperate on missiles: Far less helpful is the government of Indonesia, which has agreed to help Communist China “develop short-range guided missiles” (Washington Times, last item). It should be noted that some Indonesian politicians have a more clear-eyed view of their neighbors (second item).

On Lien and Soong’s trips to Communist China: Xiu Wenli, one of the founders of the Chinese Democratic Party – for which he was sent to prison – and current head of the Overseas Exiles Branch, tells Xin Fei, Epoch Times, that the cadres hosted People First leader James Soong (second item) and Nationalist leader Lien Chan “to foster a false sense of cross strait unity and to draw attention away from its eroding power base.” Thankfully, the Taiwanese people didn’t fall for it (fourth item).

On trade with Communist China: Daniel Ikenson, of the Cato Institute, can’t seem to fathom why anyone would consider Communist China “unfriendly,” but he does have a halfway decent idea – a tariff to correct against Communist subsidies of exporters – in his Washington Times column. The editors of the Washington Post, however, have no such redeeming qualities in their horrid editorial on trade with the cadres.

Talks between SNK and South Korea end; U.S. acknowledges bilateral talks: Talks between dovish South Korea and Stalinist North Korea ended “without a breakthrough on Pyongyang's nuclear plans” (BBC). There will be more talks in June, and the South still agreed to give the Stalinists 200,000 tons fertilizer despite getting no pledge from SNK to re-enter the floundering six-party talks on its nuclear weapons programs. The U.S. also admitted to “working-level talks with the North Koreans last week in New York,” but insisted they were only “used to convey messages about US policy, not to negotiate.” Will they never learn?

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