From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Member One Free Korea seizes another opportunity to point the rhetorical double-barrel at South Korea's dovish ruling party, which even now is in "reconciliation" talks with Stalinist North Korea (United Press Int'l via Washington Times). He also comments on a shooting incident near the Yalu River.
Communist dreams for non-U.S. "East Asian Community" flops: The inaugural East Asian Summit was held today, a first step in Communist China's plan "to begin a gradual realignment between Asian nations, particularly China, and the overwhelming military and political role played by the United States in Asia since World War II" (Washington Post). Only problem is, everyone else in the group have been trying to expand it to include "democratic and US-friendly" (BBC) nations, and succeeded with Australia and India. The prevailing wisdom is that this grouping has devolved into "a talking shop."
India, pushing democracy in Nepal, becomes wary of Communist influence there: India is starting to get more worried about Nepal's absolute ruler, King Gyanendra, "going around an arms embargo imposed by New Delhi and others (by) buying weapons from China" (UPI via Washington Times). Sadly, India’s response is to take a page from the Robert Zoellick school (eighth item), saying "it wanted China to play a key role in brining about the restoration of democracy in Nepal."
More on Communist China and India: Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, wonders in the Enlightened Comment of the Day why Communist China "misses no opportunity to bash Japan over the head with the history card" (International Herald Tribune) while refusing to acknowledge its own history of aggression, like its invasion of India in 1962.
State specialist close to Taiwanese official pleads guilty to document removal: Donald Keyser, a State Department Asian specialist arrested for meeting with Taiwanese officials last year (eighth item), pled guilty to "removing top secret and other classified government documents" (Cybercast News) and "making false statements."
Communists clam up on Shanwei Massacre: Communist China tried a new tack to deflect the growing outrage over the Shanwei massacre: say nothing (Washington Post). Of course, no one else can talk, either; the news blackout of the massacre continues, which Reporters Without Borders (via Boxun) ripped. William J. Dobson, managing editor of Foreign Policy, weighed in on the subject in The New Republic.
Communists raze "appeals village," force petitioners into the streets: Communist China continued its appalling abuse of petitioners – citizens coming to Beijing for relief against local cadres back home (fifth and fourth items) – by razing an "appeals village" in the capital. In the process, the Communists forced out thousands of petitioners, many of whom may "freeze to death in the street" (Epoch Times).
Gao Zhisheng joins the ex-Communist Party: Human-rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, who has been told by the Communists to close his law practice, or else (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, and twelfth items), renounced his Communst Party membership (Epoch Times). He joins nearly 6⅓ million fellow ex-Communists (Epoch Times).
Cyber-dissident harassed by Guangzhou Communists: Police in Guangzhou City have told cyber-dissident Wu Wei "that they will force him out of Guangzhou City in a few days" (Boxun). The Communists are also trying to get Wu's wife fired.
Was Wang Wei the fall guy in a Jilin-Harbin cover-up? That is what many are asking in Communist China after Jilin Vice Mayor Wang Wei died in the wake of the Jilin-Harbin-benzene fiasco (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, and seventh items). One unnamed cadre told Newsweek: "The Jilin provincial government came to the conclusion that Wang Wei should be held entirely responsible . . . He decided to commit suicide to prove he was innocent." It should be noted, however, that Wang "was due to be questioned and could have incriminated other colleagues," i.e., plenty of cadres had reason to see the vice-mayor dead.
Ex-Cabinet minister on trial for taking bribes: Tian Fengshan, Communist China’s former Minister for Land and Resources, is on trial for "accepting more than 4m yuan ($500,000) in bribes" (BBC). While a corrupt cadre is nothing unusual, the trial’s timing, less than a week after the Shanwei massacre, should raise some eyebrows.