State Department and CPJ criticize Communist crackdown in Taishi: The U.S. State Department “expressed its concern about the news that civil rights activist Lü Banglie was beaten and a British journalist threatened in Taishi village” (Epoch Times). The Committee to Protect Journalists (via Boxun) also sounded the alarm about the “series of violent attacks on journalists trying to cover the ongoing tensions” between villagers trying to legally recall corrupt cadres from office and the Communist regime – including said cadres themselves (fifth, tenth, sixth, lead, third, third, lead, and lead items).
Imprisoned cyberdissident ends hunger strike: Zhang Lin, an internet essayist serving a five-year prison term for “writing articles ‘contrary to the Constitution’” (Reporters Without Borders via Boxun) in Communist China, ended a month-long hunger strike.
Lien Chan makes another visit to Communist China: The leader of the Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang Party “made a private trip to mainland China Friday” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). Lien’s party was voted out of power in 2000, and it has been cozying up to the Communists ever since. Ironically, the trip comes as the Communists announced they would begin to “mark the anniversary of the island's return to Chinese rule” after World War II – when the then-Kuomintang led government actually won Taiwan back from Japan (Washington Times, second item).
Communist Chinese mole in CIA? At the end of a Washington Times column, John B. Roberts II cryptically makes note of “an agency-wide counterintelligence focus on a suspected Chinese penetration.” That might explain some of the CIA’s recent history.
Communist China says lack of textile deal is America’s fault: As one would expect, Communist China “said one-sided US proposals are to blame for the breakdown in the latest round of talks on a textile export row between the two countries” (BBC). Of course, the Communists’ deliberately devalued currency and lack of independent labor unions has nothing to do with the textile export surge.
Congressional-Executive Commission on China issues human rights report: The commission, as one would expect, found “no improvement overall in human rights conditions in China over the past year, and increased government restrictions on Chinese citizens who worship in state-controlled venues or write for state-controlled publications” (Commission report; Friendly Blog One Free Korea’s take).
More on Communist China and the United States: Bill Gertz, Washington Times, examines the “charm offensive aimed at reversing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's view that China could emerge as a threat” – Rumsfeld will visit Communist China next week. The BBC sees a “new space race” dawning between the U.S. and Communist China. Anne West, Epoch Times, reports on the Florida State University’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and its focus on the Falun Gong War.
On Hu Jintao: William R. Stimson (Boxun) calls for the Communists to release their iron grip on China: “a true leader, a man who will make China, not himself, happen.” He then ruefully admits that “the present leader is not that man.”
Meanwhile, in the northern Korean colony . . .
Cereal production up in SNK: It’s not clear if the United Nations World Food Program is repeating Stalinist propaganda, but here’s the claim: “Cereal production in North Korea this year is expected to be the highest in a decade” (Washington Times, second item). Even so, the WFP admits that “chronic food insecurity will likely remain widespread,” i.e., the Famine of 2006 Friendly Blog One Free Korea has predicted is still, sadly, likely.
Speaking of One Free Korea, the Friendly Blog turns its sights on the political views of southern Korea, and while he’s pleased at the falling support of dovish President Roh Moo-hyun, he’s worried about the continuing popularity of dictator Park Chung Hee (this quarter thinks it may be a defensive reaction to the dovish Uri Party’s anti-Park campaign and the prominent role of Park’s daughter in the opposition Grand National Party).