From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth compiles the latest on Communist China's internet crackdown - with help from technology firms in the democratic world - and reprints a terrific piece on Communist China and the War on Terror from Investors' Business Daily; and no, I do not say that only because the piece mentions me (the cartoon is also terrific, and apropos). Meanwhile, One Free Korea gauges the state, such as it is, of South Korean politics.
Canada file: Prime Minister Paul Martin apologized (somewhat convolutedly) for the Chinese head tax Canadian imposed from 1885 to 1923 (Vancouver Sun). However, he did not make any changes to the deal that would deny compensation to any actual victims or their descendants; the money is still going to the pro-Communist National Congress of Chinese Canadians (sixth, lead, and second items).
Leader of citizens' fight to stop cadres from seizing Shaanxi oil wells sentenced to jail: Feng Bingxian, "one of about 60,000 private investors who developed oil wells in Shaanxi with the blessing of local officials in the mid-1990s" (Washington Post), was sentenced to three years in jail for "organizing illegal protests," i.e., bringing together the investors after the Communists seized the profitable oil wells. The rise and fall of this enterprise (fourth and lead items) should be ample warning for anyone too enamored of "private property" in Communist China.
More on human rights in Communist China: Ji Yun, Epoch Times, interviews human-rights attorney Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, eighth, and fourth items). Ben Bendig, also in the Epoch Times, provides the second installment in a three part series on Falun Gong practitioner, American citizen, and Communist Chinese prisoner Charles Li (fifth item).
Communists make another mine closing announcement, despite last year's empty promises: Communist China made another bold announcement about closing coal mines: "As many as 5,290 coal mines will be shut down, said the state Xinhua News Agency" (CBC). One would be more willing to believe this were it not for the earlier, unfulfilled promise to shut down between 4,000 and 7,000 mines last year (sixth and eighth items).
Architect of Cultural Revolution dies: Yao Wenyuan, one of the "gang of four" that oversaw Mao Zedong's brutal Cultural Revolution, died last month at the age of 74 (BBC). He was the last of the gang to die.
Leading anti-anti-Communist may be eased out of key Washington post: Dennis Wilder, currently the acting NSC director for Asia, is running into "criticism from liberal human-rights activists over his role in arranging the embarrassing visit by President Bush to an "official" Chinese government-controlled Protestant church Nov. 20 in Beijing" (Washington Times). The fallout from that visit, during which "about 30 people were arrested near the church" by the Communists for trying "to explain to the president the true state of religious repression in China" means Wilder's attempt to get the job permanently "has run into trouble and is unlikely" to succeed. Conservatives were already upset at Wilder for his criticism of anti-Communists within the Bush Administration.
Communist China may stop piling up U.S. dollars in its foreign reserves: The cadres are looking at plans "to diversify its rapidly growing foreign exchange reserves away from the US dollar and government bonds" (Financial Times, UK, via MSNBC). The move, if actually implemented, would "put heavy downward pressure on the greenback," and end or reduce Communist China's deliberate devaluation of its currency. The devaluation has damaged both American manufacturing and exporters among our allies around the world.
Communist Foreign Minister to visit Africa; cadres using continent to avoid textile curbs: Trade between Communist China and resource-rich Africa "jumped 39% to $32.17bn (£18bn) in the first 10 months of last year" (BBC). More troubling, "textiles and clothing firms were also investing heavily in Africa at the moment as a way to get around US and European Union limits on Chinese exports in this sector" (see also fifth, fourth, second, fifth, third, second, and eleventh items). Given the above, and Communist China's neo-colonial plans for Zimbabwe, it should be no surprise that Communist Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing is heading for Africa later this month (Washington Times).
Ignorant Comment of the Day: While Devvy Kid does recognize some of the ties between Communist China and the mullahcracy of Iran, her conclusion that the Islamic regime and Communist satellite state having nuclear weapons is no threat to America makes her World Net Daily column an easy pick for the dubious honor.
More on Communist China and the rest of the world: Kushal Jeena, United Press International (via Washington Times), examines how Communist China's geopolitical ambition has brought its two largest regional rivals - namely, India and Japan - together to combat it.