Thursday, May 05, 2005

News of the Day (May 5)

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, the China e-Lobby brings back reports of the damage Communist China is inflicting on Mexico’s economy (eighth item, seventeenth item).

James Soong visits Communist China while panda offer sparks debate: James Soong, running mate of defeated Taiwanese presidential candidate and new Communist friend Lien Chan, began his won trip to Communist China (Voice of America News). However, while Soong’s People First Party is an ally of Lien’s Nationalists, he is basing his upcoming talks with Hu Jintao on “a 10-point agreement on cross-strait ties” (BBC) he signed with Taiwan’s elected President, Chen Shui-bian (next to last item) – meaning this trip will likely not be frowned upon nearly as much by Chen and his Democratic Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Communist China’s offer of two pandas to Taiwan is stirring up trouble in the island democracy: in part due to the obvious fact that, as a DPP spokeswoman put it, “They send you a gift, but they want something from you” (USA Today), and in part due to environmentalists who called the possible gift “an act of animal abuse on an endangered species” (BBC).

From the Falun Gong War (Hong Kong and Singapore): Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal – the city’s highest court – “quashed the convictions of eight members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement” (BBC). The eight practitioners had been arrested for “obstructing and assaulting police officers,” but “the Court of Final Appeal decided the Falun Gong members should not have been prosecuted for resisting what was in effect an illegal attempt by police to arrest and charge them.” Meanwhile, the practitioners who were jailed in Singapore for trying to spread the word about the Communist persecution of their faith (third item) are now free, but only because their families paid government-ordered fines without their knowledge – or approval (Epoch Times). For more detail on this case, see Zheng Yuqing’s piece, also in the Epoch Times.

Securities firm launched by Communist-owned banks shuts down: China Southern Securities, well-heeled stock-trading firm “initiated jointly by four state-owned commercial banks along with the Bank of Communications and the People's Insurance Co. of China in December 1992” (Epoch Times), was ordered to close its doors and be liquidated amid massive debt due to “mismanagement and lack of internal supervision.”

Commentary on Communist China: An unnamed activist with the appellants (citizens with grievances against cadres who bring their pleas to Beijing – and are almost unanimously ignored) talked to Feng Changle, Epoch Times, on a wide range of subjects. The editors of the Epoch Times review the comments of speakers at last month’s Washington forum on the Nine Commentaries. Tiananmen survivor Wang Dan praises Lien Chan’s trip to Communist China, and hears criticism from the China Support Network’s John Patrick over the state of the dissident movement. Nick Mackie’s BBC column in Chongqing city is a good example of the myopia on Communist China that afflicts much of the financial media. Last, but most, Ilan Berman, vice president for policy at the American Foreign Policy Council, details Communist China’s growing ties to Russia and its charm offensive with India in National Review Online.

South Korea losing hope in six-party talks: South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon admitted that “the chances of resuming multi-national arms talks” (VOA via Epoch Times) on Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear weapons were “not bright” – which, given the actual results to come from the talks, is actually good news. Ban hinted that his government “is reviewing measures with all possibilities in mind.” Given the dovishness of President Roh Moo-hyun, one “possibility” sure to be low on the list is liberation.

Say what? Former Secretary of State blames Iraq war for SNK nukes: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright claimed “that President Bush's decision to invade Iraq encouraged North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il to produce nuclear weapons” (Newsmax). Never mind the fact that the Stalinists first boasted of their nuclear weapons program five months before military action began.

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