SNK nuclear talks take another break: The latest round of talks on Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear weapons went into recess “with involved nations saying they are ready to move forward” (CNN). The BBC was a bit more skeptical in its report, noting “no real signs of progress.” Of course, all parties at the talks (SNK, Communist China, South Korea, the U.S., Japan, and Russia) paid homage to the September debacle.
UN official acknowledged political persecution as leading cause of SNK refugees: On a mich brighter note, Vitit Muntarbhorn, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, “said yesterday that it was political persecution, not hunger, that made people flee the Stalinist state” (Washington Times). He also called on the Stalinists to “invite U.N. groups into the country – including himself” (I’m not holding my breath).
More on the Communist Chinese would-be colony: Congressman Curt Weldon, who has long preached a soft line on Stalinist North Korea (third item), takes issue with the claim that a visiting Stalinist diplomat threatened an exiled dissident (Washington Times). However, Congressman Henry Hyde believed it, to the point of sending a letter to said diplomat (courtesy China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea). Meanwhile, “a top adviser to President Roh Moo-hyun” (Washington Times, second item) insists that anti-Americanism is not growing in South Korea (OFK, call your office!).
Woe Canada! Communist channel caught in U.S. spy ring may get license up north: Phoenix Television “is now applying for broadcasting rights in Canada” (Epoch Times). That would be the same Phoenix whose broadcast director in the United States was just arrested by the FBI for his role in a Communist military espionage operation. On the bright side, Toronto First Radio, “hosted a call-in show about the control the CCP exerts over affairs in Canada, including the content of Chinese-language media . . . because of record listener response the station has planned two more shows on the same topic.”
More on Communist espionage: Jeremy Kohler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, examines the FBI’s efforts to stop Communist spying in the U.S. Richard Norton-Taylor and Nils Pratley, The Guardian (UK), examines similar efforts by MI-5 in Great Britain.
Communist China looking to Czech leftists to get around EU arms embargo: Despite the continuing European Union arms embargo against Communist China, the cadres are still looking to get European arms. Sadly, according to China Brief, they are being warmly received by left-wing parties in the Czech Republic.
Fujian cadre who railed against corruption now in prison for life: Huang Jingao, the cadre from Fujian who wrote an open letter to the press blasting the corruption of his fellow Communists (seventeenth and eighteenth items), was sentenced to life in prison “for allegedly accepting about $715,000 in bribes between 1993 and 2004” (Washington Post). Said charges conveniently popped up after he wrote his letter.
Text messages coming under Communist scrutiny: Communist China handed down new restrictions on cell phone text messages. In particular, messages having “massive influence” (World Tribune), i.e., saying something the cadres don’t like, are now illegal.
More arrests of Catholic priests: Communist China arrested three Catholic priests, including Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo (BBC). These arrests and earlier ones in Zhejiang (third item) are part of the Communists’ continuing battle against Catholics who refuse to abandon Pope Benedict XVI in favor of the cadre-run “Patriotic” Catholic Church.
Schwarzenegger on Communist China trade trip; Hillary Clinton rips “one child”: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is headed to Communist China Monday for talks on “trade, and promoting California tourism, agriculture, and raising the profile of intellectual property rights” (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, U.S. Senator and Democratic Presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton “came out swinging Thursday against Red China for its forced abortion policies” (Newsmax).
Communist think tank hints at another currency rise: The State Information Center, called an “influential (Communist) government think-tank” by the BBC, has hinted that Communist China may “gradually increase the value of the yuan next year.” Communist China’s currency, despite a recent minimal increase, is deliberately undervalued, hurting not only American manufacturing but also the export industries of our Asian allies.
IOC gives Beijing high praise for 2008 preparation: An International Olympic Committee delegation “said it was pleased with ‘the excellent efforts’ the Chinese have made ahead of the 2008 Games” (Washington Times, sign the Olympic Boycott petition).
Communist Chinese tourist official gets tongue tied on Taiwan’s democracy: Shao Qiwei, head of the Chinese National Tourism Administration, ended his visit to Taiwan with stony silence in response to a reporter’s question about the viability of Taiwan’s democracy on the Communist-controlled mainland (Epoch Times).
From Down Under – one cadre sued, one practitioner appeals to avoid deportation: Guangdong Province Party Secretary Zhang Dejiang, i.e., the province’s real boss, attended a conference in Australia despite the efforts of Falun Gong practitioners to keep him away (eighth item). However, he was sued for persecuting practitioners, in particular former prisoner and current exile Yan Xie (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, practitioner Li Yishi is trying to convince the Australian government not to deport him back to Communist China (Epoch Times).
Commentary: The latest on Gao Zhisheng, the human rights attorney whose office was shut down by the Communists, comes from Gao Ling, Epoch Times. The Asian-Pacific Post (Cdn.) examines the resistance to the Tibetan railroad “hailed as an architectural marvel and an ethical disaster at the same time.” China Brief has two pieces on Communist China’s energy quandary: Wenran Jiang examines the nuclear angle, while Stephen Blank looks at the Communists’ quest for Central Asian oil and natural gas.