Tuesday, June 07, 2005

News of the Day (June 7)

Rice echoes Rumsfeld on military buildup, but generally makes nice: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Communist China’s military buildup “concerning” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times), but insisted the U.S. would “manage this relationship in a way that increases the chances that China will be a positive, not a negative, force in international politics.” While Rice’s comments were by and large standard State Department fare (Washington Times), it was a far cry from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s earlier comments on the Communist China’s military buildup and lack of freedom (third item). Meanwhile, Administration officials in Washington pointedly refuse to back away from Rumsfeld’s words (United Press Int’l via Washington Times), and Jay Nordlinger (National Review Online) was thrilled by the comments.

Chen Yongli details suppression of overseas media; second ex-cadre steps forward: Chen Yongli, the former political attaché in Communist China’s Sydney consulate who defected last week, accused the Communists of threatening “retaliations” (Epoch Times) against Chinese press overseas that did not toe the Party line on Falun Gong. Meanwhile, Hao Fengjun, also hiding in Australia, exposed to the Epoch Times the tactics of the brutal “610” offices – created exclusively for persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Hao would know; he was a 610 officer in Tianjin. He also confirmed Chen’s charges of Communist spying on overseas ethnic Chinese communities. Chen won high praise from the editors of the Epoch Times, but Australia’s incredibly callous treatment of him is still not very well-known (Michael Rubin, American Enterprise Institute, in National Review Online). Communist China is still in talks to import liquefied natural gas from Australia (UPI via Washington Times, fourth item).

Communist China on nuclear aid to Iran and SNK: Who, us? During an announcement of its plans for future nuclear power production, Communist China denied “any suggestion that they are supplying nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea” (Voice of America via Epoch Times). So what was behind that tributyl phosphate (second item) sale? Or the numerous examples of helping Iran become a nuclear power?

Two more arrests in Communist China: Fang Dan, a computer engineer from Shenzhen, is under arrest for downloading the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party (Epoch Times); Hu Jing “burned the Chinese Communist Party flag in Tiananmen Square on the afternoon of June 4th in support of the movement of withdrawing from the CCP” (Epoch Times). Naturally, he too is now in jail.

Toronto NTDTV office receives death threats: Four death threat letters were sent to Toronto’s office of New Tang Dynasty Television “within two months” (Epoch Times). The last of these, sent last Friday, was covered in a white powder believed to be boric acid. The first letter also contained a white powder that injured the director (tenth item).

Communist real estate bubble may pop: Communist China recently imposed new real estate taxes designed to “stabilize rising real estate prices” (Epoch Times). Instead, real estate prices began what could be a steep fall; that would “worsen the crisis for state-owned banks,” who have underwritten most of the cadre-blessed and corruption-fueled real estate boom (fourteenth item, ninth item, fifth item, and thirteenth item).

Taiwan news: Taiwan’s National Assembly, a body whose purpose is to ratify proposed constitutional amendments, “effectively voted for its own abolition” (BBC) by passing an amendment requiring referenda for all future amendments. Communist China “fears the new policy of referendums to decide the island's constitutional affairs could enable Taiwan's independence-minded President Chen Shui-bian to fast-track measures that Beijing does not like.” Then again, the cadres have never liked listening to the people. Meanwhile, the island democracy also “successfully test-fired a locally developed cruise missile capable of striking southeastern areas of mainland China” (Washington Times, last item). There are presently almost 800 Communist missiles pointed at Taiwan.

More on the Tiananmen massacre of 1989: Bin Wang, Epoch Times, remembers the June 4 massacre, while Zhang Hong, who was a nurse in Beijing hospital that night, recounts the horror to Radio Free Asia (via Epoch Times).

On piracy in Communist China: Anne Stevenson-Yang, U.S. Information Technology Office, laments the mass counterfeiting in Communist China, and lays the blame at the feet of the Communists themselves, before expressing her willingness to capitulate to it – rather than hold the cadres accountable – in Time Asia.

SNK tells U.S. it wants more, but won’t say when, just before dovish Roh visits: Stalinist North Korea held talks with the U.S. at the regime’s UN offices in New York to say “the reclusive nation is committed to returning to stalled negotiations on its nuclear ambitions” (Washington Post). Given the way the talks had been going before they were halted, that should come as no surprise. However, SNK refused to say when it would return to the talks – which included itself, the U.S., South Korea, Communist China, Russia, and Japan – and one unnamed official felt “the session may have been timed to lessen any sense of crisis before President Bush meets later this week with South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun.” Roh is easily the most dovish leader in democratic South Korea’s history, and he now has every reason to follow his worst instincts in the talks. Does anyone really think that’s a coincidence? Also reporting: BBC, CNN

Rumsfeld calls report on possible appeal to UN on SNK “mischievous”: After Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refuted comments by a “senior defense official” that the U.S. would consider going to the United Nations regarding Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear weapons (last item), Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld himself “found a need to dismiss his aide's pronouncement, calling it ‘incorrect and mischievous’” (Washington Times). Of course, Communist China’s veto power on the Security Council made the United Nations idea a non-starter anyway, but the deeper message – i.e., options outside of talking with the Stalinists remain off-limits – is more than a little troubling.

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