Administration tells SNK reactor demand is not consistent with deal (but it is): The Bush Administration’s response to Stalinist North Korea’s demand for a light-water nuclear reactor before it dismantled its nuclear arsenal was, sadly, laughable. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with her counterparts from Communist China and Russia, and all agreed that “the agreement was the binding text, including the question of light-water reactors” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). The implication, of course, is that the Stalinists were violating the vague deal on their nuclear arsenal (CNN). White House spokesman Scott McClellan made that explicit: “The agreement spells out the sequencing . . . North Korea first has to abandon its nuclear weapons and eliminate its nuclear programs in a verifiable way” (UPI via Washington Times). The only problem with McClellan’s statement and Rice’s subtle hints is that they’re both wrong: as part of the deal, “each party could offer its own interpretation of the sequencing” (Glenn Kessler, Washington Post). Meanwhile, U.S. lead negotiator Christopher Hill is getting the usual, and maddening, man-who-made-the-deal coverage (Kessler manages to fawn over Hill at the same time he discovered that gigantic loophole in the deal), and David Frum, assessing the deal on his National Review Online blog, pens the Enlightened Comment of the Day: “it certainly looks like an attempt to relabel ‘failure’ a ‘delayed success.’”
Stalinist-in-chief chooses his successor: Kim Jong-il “has decided to pass the mantle of leadership of one of the world’s most repressive regimes to his second son Kim Jong-chul” (Chosun Ilbo, South Korea). The elder Kim, who calls himself “Dear Leader,” has taken to calling Kim Jong-chuk “the Commander” in his propaganda.
Communist China also looking at Canadian uranium: In amplifying this quarter’s alarm about Communist China’s recent forays into Canadian resources (third, third, and fifth items), Friendly Blog Small Dead Animals pointed to another Communist-coveted resource in the Great White North: uranium (Globe and Mail via The Mining News).
More on Communist China and Canada: The Epoch Times was honored as a “strong defender of human rights and democratic values” in Toronto last week.
Communist manufacturers using fake labels to avoid “Made in China” restrictions: Textile manufacturers in Communist China “are resorting to illegal transshipment to get their goods into the US and Europe” (BBC). Transshipment means sending the garments to “a third country” and sewing in labels stating the clothes were made in that third country to get them into the U.S. (Europe has no label requirement). The move comes in response to a surge in textile imports from Communist China fueled by the January 1 end of worldwide textile trade curbs (fifth, fourth, and second items).
More on Communist China and the United States: Charles R. Smith, Newsmax, tracks the journey of a Boeing aircraft sold to a “civilian” airline in Communist China from American plane to “flying command post for the Chinese army.” A rally in support of the nearly four and a half million Communist Party members who have resigned in response to the Nine Commentaries was held In New York (Epoch Times). In the Boston suburb of Cambridge, an Orphan Rescue Benefit Concert was held as a fundraiser for children of Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in Communist China (Epoch Times).
Taiwan opposition block purchase of arms they requested when in power: As noted yesterday, Taiwan’s “pan-blue” opposition has held up Taiwan’s purchase of U.S.-offered arms for years (seventh item). According to American Enterprise Institute fellow Dan Blumenthal, the opposition “asked the U.S. for the very same items” (Cybercast News) when it was in power before Chen Shui-bian’s election in 2000. Meanwhile, the Congressional Taiwan Caucus is publicly calling on the opposition to agree to the sale.
Indonesian navy captured fishing crew from Communist China: An Indonesian naval vessel “opened fire on a Chinese fishing boat” (BBC) which was illegally operating in the Arafura Sea and “tried to escape” when the vessel tried to make contact. The fishing boat was seized, and the crew was “taken to a naval base in Merauke.”
Communist China admits to income inequality in impoverished rural interior: Communist China, via the cadre-run Study Times, admitted that the “gap between rich and poor in China has reached dangerous levels” (BBC). The paper even went further and admitted many of Communist China’s wealthiest citizens “consisted of those who gained wealth through collusion with officials in power-for-money deals, or because they happened to work in monopoly companies or through stealing state assets.” However, the agency behind the report – the Ministry of Labor and Social Security – made no mention of fighting corruption to help alleviate the income gap.
On Taishi village and Communist “elections”: Boxun has a first-hand account of the Taishi village crackdown (fifth item). Among the interesting things here is that Taishi is one of the villages that has the overhyped “village elections,” which includes a recall option “if certain % of villagers wants to do so.” The villagers easily acquired the signatures of “enough people to make the changing leadership valid.” The cadres responded with the aforementioned water cannons.
On Hu Jintao: Wang Yifeng, Epoch Times, examines the rise of the Communist leader who authored the Hanyuan County Massacre.