From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth reprints a Guardian (UK) interview with Gao Zhisheng (see also Epoch Times, sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, eighth, fourth, fourth, last, fourth, fifth, twelfth, fifth, and second items) on the horrendous record of the Chinese Communist Party. One Free Korea notes with approval a U.S. move toward punishing Stalinist North Korea for its mass counterfeiting (there is a lot more on this from the Winston Salem Journal, the Washington Times, the Taipei Times, and Time Asia), rips dovish South Korea for its terrible treatment of SNK refugees, and wonders about an arrest of a prominent Stalinist by the colonial masters.
New Friendly Blog Gathering Opponents of Google's surrender to Communists: The new, highly recommended blog is, simply, Open Letter to Google; be sure to check out the new Friendly Site Friends of Falun Gong, which provided the heads-up on the aforementioned blog.
More on Google's surrender: The reaction to Google just doesn't seem to stop (nor should it). As the firm's CEO tried to excuse the move with a ridiculous reference to an "evil scale" (Macworld), it also took down it's "we don't censor" boast (Say Anything, hat-tip Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online's Corner). Meanwhile, Evan Coyne Maloney (Brain Terminal author), Jay Ambrose (Washington Times), and Stephen Gregory (Epoch Times) lambasted Google. As for Google's defenders (yes, sadly, there are some) Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post, is at least intelligent enough to notice that it is dangerous "to pretend that all China engagement is positive." This keeps him clear of the Ignorant Comment of the Day, which goes narrowly (over another dubious competitor below) to Bill Thompson (BBC).
More on human rights and repression in Communist China: Freedom House (via Boxun) lamented, among other things, the end of Freezing Point (seventh, third, and sixth items). Meanwhile, whatever one thinks of Brokeback Mountain (and my guess is the membership would split like a ripe melon on the film), a ban is a ban, which is what the Communists have imposed on the film (BBC).
More on the satellite states: Stalinist North Korea's plutonium is catching the eye of the Iranian mullahcracy (Times of London, World Net Daily). Meanwhile, Robert Kagan (Washington Post) runs away with the Enlightened Comment of the Day for his detailed and passionate call for the liberation of Iran. He even did a better job than yours truly, who reviewed Gordon Chang's Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World in the Epoch Times.
Communist China looking to clean up military spending: Central Military Commission member Liao Xilong, director of the Communist military's General Logistics Department, announced "plans to audit more than 4,000 officers responsible for making purchasing decisions, including 100 above the rank of army commander" (United Press International via Washington Times), in an attempt to ensure money spent on the military actually goes to improving its ability to challenge America - ahem, modernizing itself.
Communists' words on aiding peasantry fall short, to say nothing of actions: Remember the speech by Wen Jiabao in which he cautioned against "an historic error over land problems" (sixth item)? Well, it turns out he forgot something: "Wen did not refer to the role of corruption in land confiscations, although farmers routinely cite it as a reason for their violent protests" (Washington Post). Meanwhile, the Communists are trying to appease the peasantry by ending a centuries-old agricultural tax, which sounds nice, but has nothing to do with the land seizures that have put the rural interior in an uproar.
More on the State of the Workers in the Workers' State: The editors of the Epoch Times lament the rise of gang violence and crime in Communist China, and note how cadres have used them to enforce their reign of terror. Meanwhile, an anonymous former university student tells her sad tale of regime-imposed poverty, debt, and unhappiness to ChinaEweekly (via Epoch Times).
On Communist China's banking system: Economist-turned-dissident He Qinglian, sticking with her learned craft, has a devastating critique on the Communist banking system, and what it means for foreign investors, in the Epoch Times.
Bird flu, schmird flu; Communist still keep Taiwan away from WHO: The World Health Assembly, the weeklong meeting of the World Health Organization, will focus primarily on bird flu. One of the most vulnerable areas, however, will be frozen out of the discussion: the island democracy of Taiwan, courtesy of Communist China (Cybercast News), which has a long history of putting politics before the people's health (sixth, fourth, and eighth items).
San Francisco parade controversy continues: The Chinese Chamber of Commerce, organizer of the Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, continues to refuse to allow Falun Gong to participate. As a result, the city council is now being asked to withdraw its funding for the parade (Epoch Times).
More on Communist China and the rest of the world: Francesco Sisci, Asia editor of La Stampa (Italy), writes a silly column on Communist China's rise in the Asia Times. Ralph Peters, while dealing with several military subjects, does much better in talking about the Communist threat to the U.S. in the Weekly Standard, although some separation between the Chinese people and the CCP would be in order.