Gao Rongrong’s death overseen by Luo Gan: The case of Gao Rongrong – the Falun Gong practitioner who was tortured almost beyond recognition (thirteenth item), managed to escape (second item), and then was recaptured and murdered (twelfth item) – was and is currently under the watchful eye of Politburo Standing Committee member Luo Gan (Falun Dafa Information Center via Epoch Times). For those who don’t remember, Luo – the chief protégé of Tiananmen butcher Li Peng – was the cadre sent by Hu Jintao to oversee the Hanyuan County Massacre.
Ninth-grader beaten and expelled for having Nine Commentaries: Duan Xirong, a 15-year-old student, was slapped by her teacher and expelled from her school for bringing the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party to class. The expulsion came after she refused to “sign a repentance letter” (Epoch Times).
Sydney office of Epoch Times hit with white powder letter: In the first attack of its kind on an Australian newspaper, the Epoch Times was hit with an “envelope with an unknown white powder.” Australia’s anti-terrorist unit may take control of the investigation; the powder itself will be identified by tomorrow.
World Health Organization wants answers on bird flu drug misuse: The World Health Organization “asked Beijing for an explanation” (Cybercast News) about the Communists’ misuse of amantadine – a bird flu drug – in the 1990s (tenth item). The cadres’ action “explains the discovery by scientists last year that the virus known as H5N1 had developed a resistance to amantadine” and, according to the WHO, “could mark the start of an influenza pandemic.”
Pentagon cuts back arms for Israel in wake of sales to Communist China: The Pentagon “sharply curtailed weapons-technology transfers to Israel” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times) in response to the latter’s arm sales to Communist China (third item, eighth item). Meanwhile, “press reports in Israel (say) that the Bush administration has demanded the resignation of several Israeli officials involved in arms sales to China.”
Bolton filibustered again: John Bolton’s nomination for United Nations Ambassador was stymied again by a filibuster in the United States Senate. Although left unmentioned in all of the reports (CNN, Cybercast News, Fox News, and Washington Times), some of Bolton’s opponents have mentioned his willingness to speak the truth on Stalinist North Korea and his tough stand on Communist Chinese weapons proliferation (fifth item) as reasons to oppose him (naturally, this corner considers it his best qualification).
Haier makes bid for Maytag: The Communist-owned appliance firm confirmed earlier speculation (seventh item) by joining a bid to by Maytag for $1.28 billion, a good deal higher than the $1.13 billion offered by Ripplewood. Maytag “said it would consider both bids but favored Ripplewood's” (BBC).
Taiwan enters Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute: The argument between Japan and Communist China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (twenty-eighth, sixteenth, twenty-sixth, and twenty-fifth items) became a three-way issue when Taiwan sent a warship to the area “after Taiwanese fishermen complained of harassment by Japanese patrol boats” (BBC).
One country, one-and-a-half systems rolls on: Reminding everyone who really is in charge in Hong Kong (sixth item, seventh item), Communist China “appointed veteran civil servant Donald Tsang as Hong Kong's next leader” (Washington Post, last item).
Communists admit to too many cadres: One Communist is too many, but “70 million officials” is apparently too much even for the cadres themselves. At least it is for Zhou Tianyong, himself the associate director of the central committee for the Chinese Communist Party's Research Division (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times).
On Communist China and the United States: Arnaud de Borchgrave, in Newsmax, puts together a decent column on Africa, warning the U.S. to establish itself as a strong presence in the continent before Communist China does it first.
On Communist China and Canada: Conservative MP Peter MacKay – the Deputy Opposition Leader – continues to press the Liberal government on Communist espionage in Canada (Hansard). Ezra Levant, Calgary Sun, writes about Microsoft’s willingness to censor its own software, and rips the “total prostration” of the Canadian government towards the Communists. Meanwhile, the editors of the Toronto Star just can’t seem to get past their support of what it calls “a friendly and growing” relationship between Canada and Communist China, even when they’re trying to rip the cadres’ for espionage.
Kim Jong-il would give up missile program, but not nukes, for diplomatic relations: Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il “to end North Korea's missile programs in exchange for formal ties with the United States,” according to Chung Dong-young, Unification Minister under dovish South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun (Voice of America via Epoch Times). Of course, KJI made no mention of a willingness to end his nuclear weapons program. At least one analyst isn’t buying it – “Yuh Moonwan, with the private consulting firm the National Strategy Institute in Seoul, says Pyongyang's missile offer is a bluff” – but the South Korean doves “describe the meeting with Kim Jong Il as a success.” Will they never learn?