Wednesday, January 18, 2006

News of the Day (January 18)

From the China Support Network: The "parent org" has an excellent piece by Demetrius Klitou on the dangers of Communist-stoked nationalism.

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: One Free Korea comments on Kim Jong-il's visit to Communist China (the silence of the colonizers was ripped by Reporters Without Borders and noted by the BBC), his now probable successor, the continuing minuet between the United States and dovish South Korea, and the internal squabbles among said doves.

Canada file: One year ago yesterday was the death of the last Communist reformer - former party boss, Tiananmen massacre opponent, and longtime political prisoner Zhao Ziyang. Li Jinping, despite being under arrest (second item) is still hosting a memorial to Zhao (Epoch Times). Last year, only one Western official came to Zhao's home to pay his respects: Canadian Conservative MP Jason Kenney.

Communist China "to become Iran's primary trade partner": The quote was a summary of comments by Leo Jen Tung, Communist China's Ambassador to Iran, as reported by the mullah's propaganda arm, a.k.a. the Islamic Republic News Agency. The comments came as Communist China is feeling the diplomatic squeeze on its ally, energy source, and nuclear beneficiary (BBC). Skepticism abounds; the most informed comes from Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post): "The Chinese in particular have secured in Iran a source of oil and gas outside the American sphere to feed their growing economy and are quite happy geopolitically to support a rogue power that - like North Korea - threatens, distracts and diminishes the power of China's chief global rival, the United States."

Car attempts to run over Gao Zhisheng , and nearly succeeds: Human-rights attorney Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, eighth, fourth, fourth, last, and fourth items), was nearly in a car accident yesterday (Epoch Times); when he got out of his own car tried to see the other car's license plate, the other driver nearly ran over him. Exile dissident Guo Guoting ripped the assassination attempt of his fellow lawyer in a statement sent to the Epoch Times.

Another journalist is charged in Communist China: This time it is Li Changqing, who was vice-director of interviewing department of Fuzhou Daily, and a contributor to Boxun.

Independent public broadcasting system in Hong Kong comes under scrutiny: The Hong Kong regime is about to "conduct a review of public service broadcasting" (BBC) in the city. Anywhere else, this would not be news. However, Hong Kong's public broadcasting is the only service of its kind in Communist China "editorially independent from its political masters." Many now fear this will change, as "supporters of Beijing have said the station should do more to promote the policies of the government funding it."

Libya to host President Chen: Muammar Qaddafi may be more serious about opening up to the West than this quarter thought; the Libyan strongman invited Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan's elected President, to visit (BBC). Meanwhile, Qaddafi and Taiwan will "open trade offices in their capitals." One wrinkle: "no date was announced for President Chen's visit, so it might yet be taken off the table at the bidding of Beijing." We'll be watching this one closely.

Doug Paal out next week: Meanwhile, Doug Paal, America's de facto Ambassador to the island democracy, will be leaving his post "next Wednesday" (Washington Times). While Paal's history gave many reason to worry (second item), his tenure didn't seem to rankle his hosts.

Saudi King to visit Communist China next week: King Abdullah, whose regime is already the brunt of much criticism in the U.S., will "discuss cooperation in oil and energy security" (Washington Times) with his Communist hosts.

Li Ka-shing enters India's cell phone market: Li's Hutchison Whampoa conglomerate, better known for controlling two container ports in the Panama Canal, acquired BPL Mobile Cellular (United Press Int'l via Washington Times). The move gives the Communist-sympathizing tycoon "a firmer foothold in the booming India market."

Enlightened Comment of the Day: Nudging out Charles Krauthammer (see above) is Tim Luard, BBC, for his near-perfect analysis of Guangdong Province: home of Taishi, Shanwei, Sanshan (fifth item), and Sanjiao (third item), or as Luard himself puts it, "the grim embodiment of all that is going wrong with China's unique blend of capitalism and communism."

On Communist China and the rest of the world: Donna Borak (UPI via Washington Times) weighs in on Communist China's increasing influence in Africa (see also ninth and fourth items).

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