From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth takes note of the meaning of this year's calendar in Communist China, while One Free Korea comments on the latest in South Korean politics.
Canada file: Remember PetroKazakhstan, the Kazakhstan-based, Canadian owned firm that was sold to Communist China last year (third, fourth, and third items)? Well, now the Kazakhs are reduced to hoping the Communists will agree to let them buy a stake in PetroKaz (United Press International via Washington Times).
Looking for the Communists to push Kim Jong-il on his nukes? Don't hold your breath: That's the verdict from analysts interviewed by the Washington Times regarding the Stalinist-in-chief's visit to Communist China. How good does that Agreed Framework redux debacle look now?
Communist oil stake in Nigerian almost went to India: The Indian government almost bought the 45% stake in a Nigerian oil field project, but backed away "due to risk perceptions" (UPI via Washington Times). The stake is now in Communist hands, and has become another part of the cadres' growing clout in Africa (ninth item), as detailed by Jane Macartney, of the Times of London.
Dalai Lama speaks to Tibetan diaspora: Tibet's spiritual leader once again called for "genuine autonomy for Tibet" (UPI via Washington Times) during teachings held for "more than 100,000 Tibetans who have traveled from Tibet and from exile communities worldwide." Communist China has always insisted that the Dalai Lama supports independence, which he does not (although this quarter certainly does).
Thailand still holding Falun Gong prisoners: Despite intensive talks with United Nations officials, Thailand is still keeping five Falun Gong practitioners in prison (Epoch Times). Their only crime was protesting Communist China's brutal treatment of their faith at the Communist Embassy in Thailand, but it was enough to get the cadres' to pressure Thailand into arresting them (third, fourth, fifth, and sixth items).
New Zealand issues CCP resignation stamp: New Zealand's stamps now include a new stamp honoring those who have resigned from the Chinese Communist Party in disgust (Epoch Times).
Bird flu coverup - ongoing in Jiangsu - worries WHO: The World Health Organization and many others still have "concerns about the reliability of official information on the extent of bird flu among China's 1.3 billion residents" (Washington Post). Their fears were quickly confirmed by reports of a bird flu outbreak - and coverup - in Jiangsu Province (Boxun).
Enlightened Comment of the Day: Today's winner is Frank Gaffney, author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World. In an interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review Online, he gives a terrific answer to the question: "Should we be freaked out about China?"
On Communist China and the Internet: Reporters Without Borders asks for support for their proposals to keep American technology companies out of the repression business (Boxun); they also have an on-line petition campaign (yours truly has signed). Meanwhile, the Committee to Protect Journalists rips both Communist China and Microsoft for their treatment of dissident blogger Zhao Jing (Boxun).
More Commentary on Communist China: Sarah Schafer, Newsweek International, is the latest to notice Communist China's lack of concern over intellectual property rights. Edward Cody, Washington Post via MSNBC, gives more background on the Hunan cadmium spill (eighth item).