Thursday, August 25, 2005

News of the Day (August 25)

The slow-motion Roman Catholic surrender continues: Among the throngs at Pope Benedict XVI’s World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany were “a group from China -- a mixed party consisting of members of the ‘underground’ Catholic Church, which the Beijing government refuses to recognize, and others belonging to the ‘patriotic’ church that is not in union with Rome . . . traveling together with government approval” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). The apparent reconciliation would eventually include diplomatic ties, to which Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Vatican’s de facto Foreign Minister, saw “no insurmountable problems.” Every time I see a story like this, the (badly lapsed) Catholic in me remembers the tens of millions of Protestant Christians who face arrest and torture for refusing to attend the Communist-controlled “patriotic” Protestant church (and the island democracy on Taiwan the Vatican appears ready to throw under the bus) – and cringes.

Communist hackers striking at systems across U.S. government: Several government agencies, including the Departments of Defense, State, Energy, and Homeland Security, have been targeted and penetrated by Communist Chinese hackers. In one case, the hackers “”used a Trojan horse – a program containing malicious code in an e-mail or adware – to obtain data on a future Army command and control system” (Federal Computer Week). The hack attacks go back several years. Although several from outside Communist China could be using compromised machines, the Communist military has been examining “viruses to attack enemy computer systems and networks” (Washington Post via MSNBC), and other “offensive operations” in cyberwarfare.

New Communist computer chip has technology stolen from MIPS: Meanwhile, the latest Communist domestic computer chip, the Godson-2, “is an unauthorized variation of the US-developed MIPS architecture” (Epoch Times), and as such it would “breach intellectual property laws if ever released outside China.” Of course, the Communists would never do that, right?

Russia-Communist China exercises wind down: The joint Russia-Communist China military exercises ended today with both still insisting the war games were “based on a scenario in which the two countries, acting under U.N. authority, aim to stabilize a country in the midst of ethnic strife” (Cybercast News). Russian media wasn’t buying it, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, called it an anti-American “World War III” drill, while Izvestia hinted at something less dramatic, but just as disturbing: “China and Russia could be practicing a mission to invade North Korea, should Kim Jong-il's leadership collapse.” A more open secret was Russia’s desire to showcase high-tech weaponry for future sales to Communist China (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). Meanwhile, Ariel Cohen, of the Heritage Foundation, has a very good analysis of the “historic rapprochement” (Washington Times) between Moscow and Zhongnanhai, and how to confront it.

Talks on Stalinist North Korea’s nukes to start on September 2, or not: Communist Chinese envoy Wu Dawei told Japan’s Social Democratic Party – of all people – that the six-party talks on Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear weapons program “may resume on 2 September” (BBC). However, Wu “later admitted the date was still not confirmed,” and that the date was just his “personal idea” (UPI via Washington Times).

Australian business worried about possible free trade deal with Communist China: Businesses in Australia “have raised serious concerns about the obstacles in the areas of regulations and restrictions they have to overcome before they can benefit from a free trade agreement with China” (Epoch Times). Among their worries were “the policing of intellectual property piracy” and “the way provincial Chinese Communist governments make their own interpretations of rulings made by Beijing.”

Cadres made quick buck off currency change: Communist China’s infinitesimal change in its currency rates did little to stop its effect on U.S. manufacturing and other Asian export sectors. However, cadres who knew of the move before it became public managed to exchange enough dollars to score “a profit of 3.78 billion Yuan in only 90 minutes” (Epoch Times). Wen Jiabao supposedly hit the roof upon hearing this.

Communists tweak tax rates to help impoverished interior: Communist China has recently acknowledged massive poverty in its rural interior, to the point where major revolts could occur in five years (fourth item). Have they decided to pay promised pensions and salaries while going after the corrupt and greedy cadres? Nah, much easier to announce “a plan to raise the income tax threshold for low- and middle-earners, while at the same time strengthen the tax collection from high earners” (BBC).

Ignorant Comment of the Day: Today’s winner is Pete Engardio (BusinessWeek via MSNBC), whose piece on the rise of Communist China and India not only completely ignores the slew of problems within the Communist regime, but includes nothing about the security threat the Communist regime poses to the U.S. – or India, for that matter.

Other Commentary on Communist China: Let’s give credit where it’s due, an unnamed BusinessWeek analysis on Communist China and India ends thusly: “As the global economic balance shifts toward Asia in the decades ahead, China and India may well cooperate in many spheres. Energy, clearly, will not be among them (emphasis added).” Meanwhile, Professor Ching-hsi Chang, Epoch Times, takes note of the myriad problems in Communist China’s economy: the mass protests (fifth item), the fudged statistics (sixth and last items), etc., while Charles R. Smith of Newsmax has his usual terrific piece on Communist China, its ties to anti-American regimes, and the maddening, mindless appeasement of the cadres by so many in the U.S. business community.


Shralp said...

The Vatican is one of very few governments world-wide that has diplomatic ties to the ROC and not the PRC. I'm sure you know this, so it seems unfair to criticize them for what you THINK they might do in the future.

Further, labelling the process as a slow surrender is off base. The Vatican has stood strong for the Roman Catholic Church in China, demanding accounting for the believers and clergy who are harassed and imprisoned there and lodging formal protests. I suspect you also know that the situation with the Chinese Catholic Church and the true Church are more complicated than bad/official versus good/underground.

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