Wednesday, July 20, 2005

News of the Day (July 20)

Pentagon report on Communist military finally released: Well, it took long enough – and the fact that it happened just as everyone was paying attentiont to the new Supreme Court nominee is disturbing, but the Defense Department’s report (here in pdf) on Communist China’s military is finally out. Among other things, the report notes that the cadres have over “between 650 and 730 short-range ballistic missiles in position opposite Taiwan, with 100 more being deployed every year” (BBC). Meanwhile, the conquest of the island democracy – rather than an end in itself, is “would enable the [People's Liberation Army's] Navy to move its maritime defensive perimeter further seaward and improve Beijing's ability to influence regional sea lines of communication” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). The report also “warns of ‘serious and numerous’ consequences if the European Union lifts the arms embargo it has had in place against China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times), something Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld repeated in a press conference yesterday (Cybercast News). The plans to lift the emabrgo are largely dead (third item). Jonathan Marcus, BBC, examines what this report says about U.S. views on Communist China.

U.S. agrees to open up nuclear technology and advanced weapons to India: So much for the Communists’ charm offensive (third item), the Communists never came close to what President Bush did: “give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and conventional weapons systems” (Washington Post) as part of his plan “help position India . . . as a regional counterweight to China”. The deal must be approved by Congress, due to India’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act, the same treaty that has been so effective in stopping Communist China from aiding Iran and Stalinist North Korea’s (second item) nuclear ambitions. In an address to Congress, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh emphasized his nation’s “solid non-proliferation track record” (UPI via Washington Times), insisting India – a possessor of nuclear weapons since 1998 – has “never been and will never be a source of proliferation of sensitive technologies . . . even though we have witnessed unchecked nuclear proliferation in our own neighborhood which has directly affected our security interests” (Cybercast News). Did you hear that Communist China? Meanwhile, Singh also reiterated his full support for the War on Terror, and went further in isnisting “We cannot be selective in this area” (UPI via Washington Times) – a pointed reference to Communist ally Pakistan’s history of backing terrorists in Kashmir (seventh and lead items). Naturally, India was ecstatic (UPI via Washington Times), but the editors of the Washington Post expressed unease.

Chen Yonglin to testify before Congress: A Congressional subcomittee invited former Communist political consul Chen Yonglin to testify on “about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), how the CCP rules the Chinese people, and what has happened in China” (Epoch Times). We repeat our call for the U.S. to grant Hao Fengjun asylum.

The Maytag repairman can send the Mao suit back: Communist-owned Haier (seventh item) “dropped out of the battle for Maytag” (BBC).

Australian ban of Falun Gong protest goes to court: Practitioners in the Australian Capital Territory have sued Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to lift the ban on “holding banners or signs outside the Chinese Embassy” (Epoch Times).

Communist China insist economy is still white-hot: The cadres announced that “the economy grew 9.5% from a year earlier in the first half” (BBC). The Communists have a history of fudging numbers (tenth and fifteenth items), but what made this remarkable was that it came on the heels of a report that oil consumpiton in Communist China had fallen (fourth item) – a sure sign things are not as rosy as the cadres say they are.

Another Zhejiang plant polluting: Residents of Xinchang, home of the badly polluting Jingxin Pharmaceutical Company, have taken to the streets to shut the factory down after an explosion that “protesters allege . . . contaminated a local river” (BBC). Roughly 15,000 people “clashed with police” to keep it shut. Xinchang is in Zhejiang province, home of another polluting factory that saw a similar battle in April (next to last item).

Commentary On Communist China and the United States: Patrick Devenny, of the Center for Security Policy, exmaines the Central Asian theatre of the cold war between the U.S. and Communist China in Front Page Magazine. William R. Hawkins, of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, details how the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), could actaully damage Central America due to the voracious competition from Commuinst China in the Washington Times. Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, rips American hig-tech firms for their complicity in Communist China’s internet crackdown.

On Stalinist North Korea: As UN fired its special North Korea adviser Maurice Strong (CTV), Heda Bayron (Voice of America via Epoch Times) and Jong-Heon Lee (UPI via Washington Times) analyze the prospects for a deal in the nuclear talks that resume Tuesday. Meanwhile, dovish South Korea’s Ambassador to the U.S. insisted “that our alliance remains vital and comprehensive” (Washington Times, second item), while its Air Force chief of staff met with Communist Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan (UPI via Washington Times, third item).

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