The Canada file: Friendly Blog Between Heaven and Earth (Vancouver, BC) ends 2005 with an excellent piec by Catherine Armitage (Weekend Australian) on why the death penalty is a disastrous outrage in Communist China. BHaE then begins 2006 with the UN report on Communist torture. Meanwhile, Judi McLeod and Brian McAdam, of Canada Free Press, comments on the recent news of closer ties between Communist China and Communist Cuba (seventh, twenty-second, and third items).
Taiwan President warns of Communist threats; Hao Fengjun provides an example: Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan's elected President, began 2006 with warnings about "economic and military threats from China" (BBC). Chen specifically cited the nearly 800 Communist missiles pointed at the island. As for threats from the economy, Australian defector Hao Fengjun presented details about how Communist China forced over 2000 businessmen from the island democracy to spy on their homeland for the Communists (Epoch Times).
Activist beaten by Communist-hired thugs had role in Taishi: Zhao Xin, the political activist beaten up in Sichuan last November (fifth item) "probably never will know (who beat him), he acknowledged, but he has three theories, all involving one layer or another of the government" (Washington Post). Zhao's role in Taishi is behind one of his theories as to who orchestrated the beating.
Gao Zhisheng reports on persecution of Christians in occupied East Turkestan: Human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, despite being hounded himself by the Communists (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, and eighth items), was able to produce a detailed report on the cadres' persecution of Christians in occupied East Turkestan, i.e., "Xinjiang" (China Aid Association via Epoch Times). Gao also presented a more personal report on how the Communists continue to tail and bother him (Epoch Times).
The latest on the Falun Gong War, inside Communist China: Liu Ruping, an attorney in Shandong Province, "published an article entitled 'Immediately Stop Brainwashing Falun Gong Practitioners' on a website based outside of China" (Epoch Times); the Communists responded by putting him in a labor camp. In Inner Mongolia, Communist police beat practitioner Yan Li to death for carrying a copy of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, which the cadres called "subversion of the state" (Epoch Times). A funeral for another practitoner killed by Communist police was marked by a hearse carrying banners demanding justice for the victim (Epoch Times). Horrific actions such as these led Zhang Mengye, a former classmate of Communist leader Hu Jintao, to go public with his suffering during the crackdown (third and third items). He's still at it (Taipei Times via Between Heaven and Earth). Even American citizens aren't safe, as Amy Rooker, Epoch Times, reminds everyone with the first of her three-part series on Charles Li (sixth and fourth items).
The latest on the Falun Gong War, outside Communist China: Five of the eight Falun Gong practitioners arrested in Thailand, largely because the Communist Embassy wanted them arrested (third, fourth, and fifth items), are still in jail, and some may be actually sent back to Communist China (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, Atlanta opens its arms to the spiritual movement during the city's Peach Bowl Parade (Epoch Times), in marked contrast to the recent controversy in San Francisco (fourteenth item).
Starbucks wins copyright case: Give credit where it's due, a Communist court in Shanghai "concluded that Chinese firm Xingbake had infringed the US firm's trademark by using a Chinese name and logo similar to Starbucks" (BBC). That said, the penalty, just over $60,000, looks a lot like a slap on the wrist.
On Communist China and the rest of the world: Hawaii Pacific University Professor Robert Sharp does an excellent job detailing Communist China's internal problems. However, his odd dismissiveness of the Communists' geopolitical ambitions, and threat to the U.S., have forced the quarter to label his Honolulu Star-Bulletin column the first Ignorant Comment of the Day of 2006. Meanwhile, C. Raja Mohan, Indian Express, comments on the "radioactive race" between Communist China and India for uranium, and Japan's rage at the Communists' attempt to turn a Japanese diplomat into a compromised spy (the diplomat instead chose to commit suicide).
On Stalinist North Korea: China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea links to the Dicsovery Channel's "Children of the Secret State" documentary on Communist China's would-be colony. T. A. Frank, in The New Republic, dubs Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il "Despot of the Year" for 2005: "It hardly seems fair since, with Kim in the running, no one else will ever have a chance." Finally, Chung Dong-young has stepped down as South Korea's maddening Unification Minister. Here comes the bad news: "Mr Chung is considered one of the most likely candidates to take over from Mr Roh as president in the 2007 elections" (BBC). Ugh!