Wednesday, November 16, 2005

News of the Day (November 16)

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Member One Free Korea rips South Korea’s dovish government for refusing to support the anti-Stalinist resolution at the United Nations, applauds Australia and the U.S. for refusing (for now) to give the Stalinists “development aid”, and comments on the status of Christianity in Stalinist North Korea.

Bush calls on Communist China to be more like Taiwan: In what is easily the highest praise he has given Taiwan in several years, President Bush “pressed China to grant its 1.3 billion people more freedom” (Washington Times) and cited the island democracy as a model for having “delivered prosperity to its people and created a free and democratic Chinese society” (Cybercast News). While Bush did not move off the ridiculous “one China” policy, the Communists were still furious (BBC). Meanwhile, Jefferson Morely, Washington Post, noted the ongoing diplomatic battle between Japan and Communist China, and Jonathan Marcus’ analysis of the President’s current Asia trip (BBC) was so shot through with conventional wisdom it nearly won Ignorant Comment of the Day.

Three held in major military high-tech espionage case indicted: A federal grand jury handed down indictments against three of the four arrested by the FBI for their role in a military high-tech espionage ring. The three, which included a broadcast/engineering director for the Communist-backed Phoenix television channel (second item), were charged with “acting as agents of China” (BBC). Also reporting: Newsmax

Internet safe from UN control, for now: The attempt by Communist China and others to put the internet under some form of international control was thwarted at a recent conference on the subject in Tunisia. There was an agreement to create an international “forum” on the internet, but “it would not have any policy-making power” (Washington Times). Some members of Congress, including California Republican Representative John Doolittle, are still worried: “Whether they call it a 'board' or a 'forum,' it's clear that the ultimate goal of the U.N. is still to wrest control of the Internet.” Claudia Rosette, Wall Street Journal, notes the support for a United Nations-controlled internet from the dictators of the world, while Helle Dale, Washington Times, highlights the dangers.

India growing more wary of Huawei and ZTE: Huawei Technologies and ZTE, best known as the Communist-run firms that helped Saddam Hussein integrate his air defense network, are running into major resistance to their plans in India. The Indian government “stalled on granting permission to Huawei Technologies of China to set up a $60 million telecom equipment-manufacturing unit” (Asia Times) due to espionage concerns. ZTE “also says that it has been waiting for government clearance for two years to start manufacturing in India, but issues raised by Indian security agencies ‘are posing as hindrances’ to its India plans.” Good to see Communist China’s longtime rival is seeing past economic matters to the geopolitical risks involved.

Communists finally admit to human bird flu may have killed Hunan girl: Well, it took long enough, but the cadres have finally acknowledged that bird flu has infected the brother of twelve-year-old He Yin (BBC). Of course, regarding the girl herself, “there is no word so far on whether she had the virus.” Don’t expect any word to come down soon – the Communists, during their SARS-redux phase, cremated her body (eighth item).

Fixed asset investment spiraling out of control: Communist China unable to slow down wasteful “fixed asset spending” (BBC), i.e., investment in industrial plants that risk flooding the domestic market with excess goods (last item). Of course, part of this problem stems from provincial cadres who re-label industrial projects as “agricultural” in order to get the loans needed to build (twenty-ninth and thirtieth items).

Ignorant Comment of the Day: Today’s prize, courtesy of Losing the New China author Ethan Guttman (Member since 2004), comes from Tom Plate, Seattle Times, who almost seems to revel in the rise of Communist China, and definitely revels in President Bush’s willingness to follow his predecessor and his father’s foolish “engagement” of the cadres.

Other Commentary on Communist China: Steve Maich, Macleans (Canada), does a nice job explaining how the business community will react when faced with Communist China’s antics combined with the appalling lack of concern about them from elected officials back home. Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, examines from where Stalinist North Korea is reaping “a series of economic and diplomatic rewards” recently, and finds the answers are: Communist China and dovish South Korea. Finally, Andrew Nagorski, Town and Country (via MSNBC) establishes himself as another near-miss for Ignorant Comment of the Day with his puff piece on Shanghai.

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