Lien declares “consensus” with Communist China, which rejects Chen’s talks offer: Fresh from his “journey of peace” to Communist China, Taiwan Nationalist Party Lien Chan declared a “fundamental consensus” (Washington Post) between himself and Communist leader Hu Jintao “to end hostilities that have enveloped the Taiwan Strait for more than half a century.” As Lien was throwing around silly rhetoric (“Isn’t this the time for dialogue?”) his “consensus” partner again rejected an offer for talks from President Chen Shui-bian, who the Taiwanese elected people over Lien in last year’s election, unless he “acknowledged that the island is part of China.” Translated from cadre-speak, Communist China wants Chen to accept its claim to sovereignty over the island democracy, despite having never set foot there. The Communists also shot down Chen’s invitation to Hu to visit Taiwan and see “what the 23 million people of Taiwan think” (Cybercast News). Also reporting: Voice of America via Epoch Times, BBC
France nabs Communist spy, wants to block textile imports, but arms sales OK: French authorities arrested Li Li and charged her with industrial espionage, in particular “data theft, illegal entry into a computer data system and breach of trust” (United Press International via Washington Times). Meanwhile, Paris joined several other European nations, including Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium, in demanding an upcoming European Union probe on Communist China’s textile imports (fifth item) be skipped in favor of “emergency measures” (Epoch Times) against the imports right now. Despite all of this, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier is still calling the EU arms ban against Communist China an “anachronism” (Washington Post) that must be lifted.
Commentary on Communist China: William R. Hawkins, of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, has another terrific column on Communist China’s geopolitical ambitions, its economic policies, and how the U.S. should react, in the Washington Times. Far worse is William P. Kucewicz, National Review Online, who also ignores national security, and as such misses the boat completely. Robert Samuelson, Washington Post, makes the same error of omission on the security front, but finds some economic justification for threatening a currency-corrective tariff against the cadres, making column equivalent to his assessment of the idea: “it's better than nothing.” David Frum, also from NRO, expresses concern that Communist China could divide Australia from the U.S. – “The more fearsome China becomes, the more voices we will hear urging China's appeasement.” Louisa Lim, BBC, succumbs somewhat to the conventional wisdom on the anti-Japan riots, but does note the cadres’ role in stoking them.
U.S. sees evidence of possible SNK nuclear test, South Korea does not: U.S. satellites have captured images that “point to preparations for a possible underground nuclear test,” according to an unnamed U.S. official cited by South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo (via Washington Times). South Korea’s dovish government downplayed the news.
C’mon, Pat, say it just once – liberation: Sadly, Pat Buchanan avoids the L-word in his World Net Daily column, insisting the U.S. should tell Asia “that Kim Jong Il is, in the last analysis, their demented dictator to deal with, not ours.” Will he never learn?