Rumsfeld visits Communist China, but not before questioning its military spending: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “began his first visit as defense secretary to China” (Cybercast News). Before he left, Rumsfeld “questioned China's motives in underreporting its defense spending” (Newsmax). It wasn’t the first time he had asked the question (third item). After Communist China, Rumsfeld is headed to South Korea (One Free Korea). Also reporting: United Press Int’l via Washington Times, BBC
Communist China meddles in Taiwan elections, rails at Lee Teng-hui U.S. visit: Communist China is using its economic muscle to draw businessmen and farmers away from President Chen Shui-bian’s “pan-green” alliance (Liberty Times via Epoch Times). Among other things, businessmen looking to invest in Communist China “were advised to ‘act with restraint’ when making political donations to pan-green alliance candidates.” Meanwhile, one of Chen’s leading “pan-green” allies, former President Lee Teng-hui “arrived yesterday in Washington on his first visit to the U.S. capital, amid fierce criticism of the trip by China” (Washington Times).
New Zealand’s new Foreign Minister opposes trade with Communist China: As part of Helen Clark’s coalition government in New Zealand, Winston Peters, head of the New Zealand First Party and a leading opponent of trade with Communist China (Scoop, NZ) is the new Foreign Minister (BBC). This should make Kiwi-land interesting to watch.
Communist China wiping out Burmese forests: Global Witness has accused “Chinese timber companies” (BBC) of “devastating large stretches of Burma's forests” through illegal logging. The deforestation “is going on with the knowledge of the Burmese and Chinese authorities.” Communist China is one of the Burmese military junta’s few allies.
Art world under “economic invasion” by Communist military: The art community has found a new and insidious competitor in the quest for valuable works of art: the People’s Liberation Army (Bloomberg). How are the cadres funding their “economic invasion of the global art market?” They’re using arms sales to among others, Iran.
Communist China plans to go back into space in 2007: Fresh off its second space flight in two years (sixth item), Communist China “said the next mission would take place in 2007, and would include a space walk” (BBC).
Commentary: Minxin Pei, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, puts the Chinese Communist Party on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of “endangered species in our midst” (Epoch Times). Michael Scroccaro, Epoch Times, reviews the Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents from Reporters Without Borders. Human rights lawyer Ye Ning talks to Xin Fei, Epoch Times, about the five million resignations from the CCP (seventh item). Daniel Williams, Washington Post, recaps the recent, and disturbing, détente between the Communists and the Roman Catholic Church. Finally, Sony CEO Howard Stringer, drinks the Kool-aid on Communist China (Newsmax); he obviously didn’t talk to Professor Zhang Qingxi and Dr. Gao Weibang (twelfth item).
Now on to the northern Korean colony . . .
Richardson in SNK for talks: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson “arrived in Pyongyang yesterday for talks with senior North Korean officials . . . at the invitation of the North Korean government” (Washington Times, second item). The former Clinton-era United Nations Ambassador had this to say of the current Administration: “I am not an official envoy, but I am supportive of the administration's new initiative to engage the North Koreans in dialogue through diplomacy.” Thanks for the reminder, Governor.
Professor’s support for Stalinist causing controversy: Dongguk University Professor Kang Jeong-koo “allegedly glorified North Korea's 1950 invasion of the South” (UPI via Washington Times), which would violate South Korean law. Dovish Justice Minister Chun Jung-bae banned the prosecution from jailing Kang. In reaction, “Prosecutor General Kim Jong-bin resigned in protest” and the hawkish opposition Grand National Party is furious. Meanwhile, Friendly Blog One Free Korea would just like the focus to be on why the Stalinists should be hated, instead of whether or not Kang should be in jail.
More from One Free Korea: The Friendly Blog comments on a public relations battle between the South Korean doves and the late General Douglas MacArthur.
Ignorant Comment of the Day: The dubious prize goes to Carol Rueckert, an American “tourist” in Stalinist North Korea (BBC).