Wednesday, July 13, 2005

News of the Day (July 13)

Communist China had $1.3 billion oil deal with Saddam Hussein: As part of its efforts to feed its voracious appetite for energy, Communist China had acquired access to “the Al-Ahdab field in central Iraq, under a $1.3 billion contract signed in 1997 by its largest state-owned firm, China National Petroleum Corp.” (Washington Post), which could have delivered “90,000 barrels a day” of oil. The regime was also “pursuing rights to a far bigger prize – the Halfayah field, which could produce 300,000 barrels a day.”

Leading Bush advisor’s law firm lobbying for CNOOC: James C. Langdon Jr., chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, “met last winter with investment bankers in China to help secure his law firm's role in lobbying for a state-run Chinese energy firm and its bid for the U.S. oil company Unocal” (Washington Post). The news comes as the bid by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to buy Unocal (second, third, third, third, fourth, seventh, and second items) continues to take heat from members of Congress (Fox News).

Saudis looking to help Communists refine oil: The Communist-owned Sinopec is in talks with Saudi Aramco for a joint venture “in China's refinery industry in the northern port city of Qingdao” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). Communist-owned firms will, of course, maintain majority control of the venture. The Saudis are “investing in China's refineries to help guarantee a market in the country by building capacity to process its heavier crude as well as opportunities to sign long-term supply agreements.”

Bolton may get recess appointment: UN Ambassador-designate John Bolton may end up with a recess appointment to his post “unless the administration and Senate Democrats can resolve differences that have held up the confirmation for four months” (Washington Post). A recess appointment would mean Bolton would remain at his post until the end of next year – unless the Senate filibuster blocking his confirmation ends. Some Bolton opponents have cited his willingness to speak the truth on Stalinist North Korea and his tough stand on Communist Chinese weapons proliferation (fifth item) as reasons why.

Unsafe dams in Communist China number in the tens of thousands: That is no typo: “It has been reported that around 30,000 dams have safety concerns, which threatens over 400 cities and 146 million people” (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times). Over the last half-decade, nearly 3,500 dams have collapsed.

Chen Yonglin speaks: At the press conference where former Communist political consul Chen Yonglin presented documents detailing Communist espionage in Australia (fourth item), he also discussed what led him to defect (Epoch Times). We repeat our call for the United States to grant Hao Fengjun asylum.

On Communist China and the United States: Yours truly has a column in the Epoch Times on Communist China and terrorism. Martin Sieff, UPI (via Washington Times), examines the cadres’ diplomatic gains in Central Asia (thanks to their Shanghai Cooperation Organization) in. Maryland Professor Peter Morici says Communist China should want to revalue its currency “if it wants foreign capital worth having” (Washington Times). Arnold Beichman, also in the Washington Times laments the racism in Communist China that came full force at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Meanwhile, on Stalinist North Korea . . .

Rice hopeful for nuclear deal, praises South Korea electricity offer: Speaking of Secretary of State Rice, she said she was “very optimistic that our joint efforts to improve the security situation on the Korean peninsula could indeed bear fruit” (Epoch Times). The “joint efforts” was a reference to the resurrected talks on SNK’s nuclear arsenal. The next round of talks begins in less than two weeks. Meanwhile, Rice had high praise for dovish South Korea’s offer (ninth item) to provide the Stalinists electricity, calling the idea “useful and creative” (BBC). The offer was made as the South Korean government signed a twelve-point economic agreement with SNK for “combining each other's economic factors – resources, capital and technology – for a balanced development of national economy,” to use the words of South Korean Unification Ministry spokeperson Kim Hong-jae (UPI via Washington Times). Will they never learn?

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