Communist-backed Mob attacks Guardian reporter and Hubei official in Taishi: Benjamin Joffe-Walt, a reporter for Britain’s Guardian newspaper visited Taishi to report on the clash between the people and the cadres in that village. A cadre from Hubei province, Lu Banglie, came with him. Before they could reach the village, “they were stopped by a group of more than 50 men – including people in police and army uniforms” (BBC). What happened next is typical Communist vioience: “The uniformed men left and then the rest of the group set upon Mr Lu, dragging him out of the car and kicking him unconscious.” Joffe-Walt himself was later beaten (Boxun, Epoch Times). The beatings were the latest outrages by Communists in Taishi who illegally pocketed money in a land deal and arrested locals who tried to recall them out of office under village “election” law (fifth, tenth, sixth, lead, third, third, and lead items). Tim Luard, BBC, and Friendly Blog One Free Korea take note of how the vast difference between what the Communists tell the rest of the world about their village “elections,” and the painful reality of what they always were – dictatorship by another name.
Fired steel workers in Chongqing protest lack of promised severance pay: The Chongqing Special Steel Plant shut down last summer, leaving at least 2,000 workers without jobs and without severance pay promised to them. The workers “barricaded one of the main city streets, bringing traffic to a standstill, to demand severance wages” (AsiaNews). The Communists reacted by arrest eight of the protest leaders, while their fellows in the factory management are refusing to even discuss the subject.
Communist clamped down on natural disaster coverage: After Typhoon Longwang hit Fuzhou city last week, “an alarming number of armed policemen were sent to all areas of Fuzhou city to block relevant news; residents and media were forbidden to contact victims” (Epoch Times). Then, the Communist news agency Xinhua claimed only three deaths. The Bush Administration could only wish it could have tried this in Louisiana.
Resignations pass 4.8 million: The Epoch Times presents some more of the former Communists, and hears from several overseas Chinese students on the CCP.
U.S. officials whisper to pare back arms buy; President Chen hit by party scandal: Unnamed “senior officers of the U.S. Pacific Command” (Washington Times) are telling their military counterparts in Taiwan “to forgo purchases of some high-tech weapons with offensive capabilities in favor of those arms that would improve the island's defenses without threatening mainland China.” The whisper campaign has been rejected by President Chen Shui-bian, who has been stymied by an opposition-controlled legislature in his bid for a major arms purchased offered by the U.S. in 2001 (seventh, seventh, and third items). Meanwhile, Chen and his Democratic Progressive Party have been hit by a brewing scandal in Kaohsiung, long a DDP stronghold whose former Mayor Frank Hsieh is now prime minister in the island democracy (Newsmax).
Banks expect another Communist currency rise: As Treasury Secretary John Snow prepares to visit Communist China “to make the case for a further relaxation in the yuan's exchange rate” (BBC), foreign banks began gobbling up the yuan (a.k.a. renminbi) in the hope the Communists will listen to Snow and bump up its deliberately devalued currency.
Scottish leader calls for more investment in Communist China: Jack McConnell “told businesses that they would not regret any decision to capitalise on the opportunities available in China” (BBC). McConnell may want to talk to Professor Zhang Qingxi and Dr. Gao Weibang (twelfth item) before making any more silly statements.
On Communist China and the United States: Ariel Cohen, of the Heritage Foundation, examines the “Great Game” between Communist China and the U.S. in the Washington Times. Xiang Ling, Epoch Times, rips foreign technology firms – especially American (fourteenth, fifth, lead, third, eighth, seventh, and third items) – for cowtwoing to the cadres. Another “National Day” protest was held in San Diego (Epoch Times).
On Communist China and the rest of the world: Vincent Duclos, Epoch Times, interviews Zimbabwean dissident Gabriel Shumba on the tyranny of the Robert Mugabe regime, heavily backed by Communist China (third, sixth, sixth, seventh, sixth, ninth, and second items). Jim Frederick, Time Asia, examines Japan’s attempt to catch up to Communist China’s space program.
Other Commentary on Communist China: Lee Cheuk-yan, Hong Kong trade union leader and member of the city’s Legislative Council, tells AsiaNews that the CCP “has betrayed the working class and has sacrificed the rights and interests of the workers.”
Kim Jong-il meets Wu Yi as anniversary of Workers’ Party is marked: The Stalinist-in-chief hosted the Communist Vice Premier for four-day talks “likely to focus on Pyongyang's nuclear program” (BBC). Wu was also present for another dark milestone – the 60th anniversary of SNK’s “Workers’ Party” (BBC). What was missing (at least for now) was a possible heir, ahem, successor to Kim (One Free Korea speculates on that).
World Food Program says return of SNK rations means things are “improving”: The United Nations food distribution arms noted the Stalinists’ plans to resume food rationing (sixteenth item) and called it “a sign the situation in the communist nation is improving” (Washington Post, third item). Funny, the rest of us thought it meant the Stalinists’ “reform” effort had throughly bombed (eighth item). Meanwhile, One Free Korea sounds the alarm again on the SNK’s upcoming surge starvation.
Other commntary on Stalinist North Korea: Friendly Blog One Free Korea comments on Christopher Hill’s latest attempt to distract from the surrender in Beijing. T. A. Frank, of The New Republic, has another addition of “Today in Despotism” (SNK is at the end). Ricahrd Spencer (London Telegraph via Washington Times) finds a woman and an unnamed “Christian refugee-support group” helping SNK refugee adapt to South Korea.