Thursday, June 23, 2005

News of the Day (June 23)

Chen Yonglin – Communist China “believes that Australia can be bought”: During his dramatic press conference yesterday, defector Chen Yonglin gave the basis for his fear that the cadres and Australia already have a deal to send him back to Communist China: “The Chinese Government believes that Australia can be bought” (Epoch Times, story also examines the accounts of espionage in Canada). Chen also gave more details of how the Communists kidnapped the son of a former deputy mayor – to force the ex-official to face corruption charges at home. According to Chen, “kidnapping cases like this happen once a year in Australia. They are all done by the Chinese Communist Party’s spies and secret agents in Australia” (Epoch Times). Still, Australia has not even granted Chen a protection visa – all the more reason the U.S. must grant him, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum now. Meanwhile, Bai Zhi (Epoch Times) and Nick Squires (South China Morning Post via Monsters and Critics) examine Communist espionage abroad.

Communists shut down web sites: Supervision of Public Opinions in China and Democracy and Freedom were the latest sites to be put in the cadres’ crosshairs. The reasons for the latter’s shutdown – the 44th in the site’s history – are obvious; the former was well-known for its reports on corrupt Communists (Epoch Times).

Communists going after Unocal; cadre-run bank scores huge IPO: As Bank of Communications – whose largest stockholder is the Communist Finance Ministry – saw its stock price go up 14% in its opening day of trading on Hong Kong’s stock market (BBC), the Communist owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) “bid $18.5bn (£9.8bn) in cash for Unocal” (BBC). The hostile takeover bid – coming after Unocal’s planned merger with Chevron won U.S. government approval – would give the Communists a major stake in American oil, but – surprise! – CNOOC “will have to take on billions of dollars in debt to finance it.”

Former imprisoned Buddhist nun calls for more help for Tibet: Ngawang Sangdrol, a Buddhist nun who managed to start two pro-Tibetan demonstrations in the prison where the Communists were holding her before she was exiled (last item), told the BBC “that the human rights situation in Tibet was getting worse,” and called on Great Britain “to use its upcoming EU presidency to get a special EU rapporteur for Tibet appointed” and do more in general for the people of that nation, which has suffered under Communist occupation for over half a century.

Commentary: Friendly Blog Small Dead Animals (Canada) sounds off on Communist threats against – and investment in – the Great White North. Robert Bate, Daily Standard, has another installment from Communist China’s favorite African tyrant (third item, sixth item): Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.

U.S. offers food to SNK, citing WFP controls: The United States “has promised impoverished North Korea 50,000 tons of food aid” (BBC) through the UN World Food Program due to improved “monitoring on the part of the WFP.” Previously, the U.S. had concerns of the Stalinists stealing the food from their own people to feed themselves and their military (fifth item, ninth item). How much the “significant improvements” (CNN) claimed by the WFP would change that remains to be seen.

Activist says aid to SNK should be tied to human rights improvements: Meanwhile, Michael Horowitz, a leading force behind last year’s North Korea Human Rights Act, “told South Korean opposition lawmakers in Seoul that the North should be required to permit religious freedom; allow families split by the Korean War to reunite; adopt a need-based food distribution system; practice the rule of law; and give international monitors access to its prison camps” (Cybercast News) before it receives any non-food aid. The “opposition” refers to the Grand National Party, whose outlook on Stalinist North Korea is far more realistic than that of dovish President Roh Moo-hyun’s Uri Party.

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