Tuesday, November 01, 2005

News of the Day (November 1)

Hu Jintao insists Communist China’s rise is “peaceful,” all evidence to the contrary: In an address to the Vietnamese rubber-stamp Parliament, Communist Chinese leader Hu Jintao claimed that his regime’s appetite for greater geopolitical power “will only be conducive to world peace, stability and prosperity” (BBC). Michael Scroccaro, of Sterling Communication, debunked that myth rather quickly in the Epoch Times.

New Japanese Cabinet makes anti-Communists leading successor candidates: After Japan’s Cabinet reshuffle (fifth item), new chief cabinet secretary Shinzo Abe, “known for his hawkish views towards China and North Korea” (BBC) is the leading contender (as far as these things can be projected in Japan) to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is planning to step down next year. Abe’s most likely challenger, Foreign Minister Taro Aso, “is also considered hawkish on security issues.” Japanese media was divided on the new Cabinet, with Yomiuri Shimbun being the most supportive (BBC).

Are the Communists going after Exxon/Mobil? That’s the question being pondered as the Texas-headquartered oil firm recevied – and quickly rejected – “a proposed bid to buy it from a little known Chinese firm for $450bn” (BBC). BOSC analyst Jon Cartwright noted that a cadre-driven bid for Exxon “is not out of the realm of possibility.”

Next in the Communist “investment” scheme – railraods: Communist China has decided to put its rail network up for internation investment “to finance a development and reconstruction program” (BBC). Lest anyone consider this a breakthrough: “the plan would see the rail network split up into corporations, the best of which would be earmarked for listing,” i.e., even what is open for investment would be only partially so.

Hu may have met Kim Jong-il’s son: During Hu Jintao’s visit to the northern Korean colony last week (sixth item), Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il may have introduced his son and heir – ahem, successor – Kim Jong-Chol (Central News Agency via Epoch Times).

Congressional hearing focuses on getting information in SNK and refugees: A joint subcommittee hearing on Congress “focused on the importance of broadcasting to bring accurate news and other information to the people of North Korea” (Voice of America), as well as the harrowing plight of SNK refugees forced to hide in Communist China.

SNK and South Korea to send one team to Beijing Olympics: Meanwhile, the dovish South Korean government agreed to join the Stalinists in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and “compete as a single team” (BBC). If the southern doves and the northern Stalinists want to politicize the Beijing Games, then so can we, by staying home.

From One Free Korea: The Friendly Blog has a review of three Korea analysts who take completely different views of the same peninsule. OFK also examines South Korea’s attempts to soothe American anger, the disturbing Arirang specatcle, and the Stalinists’ decision to put Swiss watches ahead of feeding the people of northern Korea.

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