Friday, December 02, 2005

News of the Day (December 2)

UPDATE: The link to today's Enlightened Comment of the Day has been fixed; apologies for the original error.

From the China Support Network: Demetrius Klitou, author of The Friends and Foes of Human Rights, pens a terrific column on why the United States, as imperfect as it is, is still infinitely preferable as a world power to Communist China.

UN envoy says Communist torture “widespread;” cadres interfered with probe: Manfred Nowak, the UN Human Rights Commission's special rapporteur on torture, announced the obvious yesterday, that torture in Communist China “is still widespread” (BBC). He detailed how the Communists interfered with his investigation: “Victims and family members were intimidated by security personnel during the visit, placed under surveillance, instructed not to meet with him [Mr. Nowak] or physically prevented from meeting with him. He also observed “a palpable level of fear and self-censorship.”

On the Falun Gong War: Zhang Mengye, a classmate of Communist leader Hu Jintao, lost his job as a professor and was sent to labor camps by the Communists. Yet, as he talked to Lin Haixin (Epoch Times), he still holds out hope his classmate will “end the persecution of Falun Gong and obey the will of heaven and withdraw from the CCP.” This quarter won’t raise its hopes: we still remember the Hanyuan County Massacre.

As resignations pass six million, retired cadres protest pension system: In what Hong Kong’s Ming Pao (via Epoch Times) called “the largest demonstration by retired cadre (sic) in Shenzhen's history,” almost 2,000 retired Communist Party members took to the streets in the city to protest a pension system that paid them one-third the level of retired state officials. The protest lasted five hours. One would expect that a number of the protestors will soon join the more than six million who have resigned from the Party.

Hong Kong democrats to meet cadres today and march in city on Sunday: Pro-democracy members of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council “are due to cross the border into mainland China for a rare face-to-face meeting with senior Beijing officials” (BBC) today. The meeting comes amid growing criticism of Communist-appointed Hong Kong Chief Donald Tsang’s faux political “reforms” (Agence France Presse via Channel News Agency). The democrats are also planning a protest march against the “reforms on Sunday (Agence France Presse via Channel News Agency).

Top Environment cadre quits in wake of benzene fiasco: Xie Zhenhua, director of head of Communist China’s environmental protection agency resigned today (BBC). The cadres insisted the move was “planned” (CNN) well in advance of the Petrochina plant explosion in Jilin and subsequent pollution fiasco (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, and fourth items), which may shut down water distribution in five more cities. Meanwhile, Professor Joshua Muldavin, from Sarah Lawrence College, pens the Enlightened Comment of the Day in the International Herald Tribune for highlighting how “companies (that) continue to rush to China to set up factories to avoid the environmental and occupational regulations elsewhere” helped contribute to the culture that led to this.

Ikea looking to expand in Communist China: One of the firms cited by Professor Muldavin was Ikea, which just happened to announce plans “to expand in China, building a regional distribution centre and doubling its outlets over the next 18 months” (BBC).

Commentary on Communist China: Lev Navrozov sounds another warning on Communist China’s lead in the nanotech arms race in Newsmax. Peter Gumbel, Time Asia, details how Communist China is hammering the Italian economy, while fellow Time Asia scribe Jeff Israely talks to Italian finance minister Giulio Tremonti, “the first senior European official to warn about the downside of unbridled free trade with China.”

On the Communists’ would be colony of Stalinist North Korea: The Stalinists claim the U.S. conducted “at least 200 hours” (Agence France Presse via Channel News Agency) of espionage flights last month. Washington had no response on that as of yet, but U.S. officials have fingered the Stalinist regime for having “produced more than $45 million in high-quality fake $100 bills since 1989” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times).

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