Thursday, February 16, 2006

News of the Day (February 16)

Other China Freedom Blog Alliance members gets the top stories before C e-L rolls out of bed: Time to give props to those who picked up this quarter's slack yesterday. The Communist cybercrackdown was all the rage, again, in Washington, as noted by Between Heaven and Earth and the Korea Liberator. The other folks who covered it were the Epoch Times, BBC, Cybercast News, and United Press International via Washington Times. Gene Koprowski, also from UPI (via Washington Times), noted that commercial speech (i.e., advertising) seems to have avoided the crackdown, leading some people to say silly things. The Communists, of course, defended their crackdown (BBC), as did James V. DeLong, who ran away with Ignorant Comment of the Day in his egregious Washington Times column. The editors of the Washington Post and Washington Times also weighed in. BHaE also had the Canada File covered with a reprint of the Winnipeg Sun piece on Kunlun Zhang's efforts to bring the cadres who tortured him before he escaped to the Great White North to trial; the Sun also has an excellent piece on the Communist intimidation - in your cities; in Canada. Meanwhile, Korea Liberator also has the latest on the Administration's decision to support Iranian dissidents, a small but commendable first step towards supporting liberation; Voice of America via Epoch Times and the Boston Globe had more on this, while Cybercast News hears Senator Sam Brownback's words of wisdom on Communist China and Iran's mullahcracy, and Nora Boustany (Washington Post) has the latest on the Iranian bus union struggle (second item).

Other stuff from the Korea Liberator: Their news link post is leading to me to consider outsourcing this quarter's work on the Stalinist colony to them. They also comment on the Stalinists' love for their ICBMs, provide background on the reactor issue, lament the Stalinist abductions (and the dovish South Korean response), and make note of the furor among ex-cadres in Communist China over the closing of Freezing Point (last item); Epoch Times has more on the support the late magazine is getting.

More on the would-be colony: Sarah Buckley, BBC, used today's birthday (supposedly) of Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il to ponder who will follow him (BBC also has a family sketch, plus a ridiculous profile of KJI by a former Indonesian Embassy staffer). Daily NK reports on the rising black market in northern Korea and how prisoners must resort to raiding the pig trough in order to survive. Finally, Banco Delta Asia has pulled itself out of the Stalinist money-laundering business (BBC).

Communist China wants the U.S. to keep Japan in check: That's what Willy Lam, of China Brief, is hearing; more unnervingly, the cadres may be successful on this. Paging Mr. Ishihara . . .

Satellite photos show Communist military buildup: Recently released satellite photos "provide a new look at China's nuclear forces and bases images that include the first view of a secret underwater submarine tunnel" (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). Oddly enough, the folks behind the photos' release, the Federation of American Scientists, tried to "suggest (the) Chinese ballistic submarine threat may be overstated" (UPI via Washington Times). Here's why they make that claim: "The photos show China's single ballistic sub at a dock. It 'has never gone on patrol or traveled beyond Chinese regional waters,' FAS said." Perhaps someone should remind FAS that if "Chinese regional waters" include areas near the island democracy of Taiwan, the threat is not "overstated," it's confirmed.

Now the U.S. will look closer at Communist China's trade practices: News of the bilateral U.S.-Communist China trade imbalance passing $200 billion (fifth item) led U.S. Trade representative Rob Portman to decided to "focus more closely on China's trade policies" (BBC). Any reason the U.S. couldn't have done this, say, $2oo billion ago?

Communist China-India cooperation only makes them more willing to battle each other: According to Wisconsin-Eau Claire Professor Tarique Niazi, the rivalry between India and Communist China for control of southern and southeast Asia has become so intense that " several cooperative initiatives between Beijing and New Delhi that are underway at bilateral, regional and global levels . . . only fuel their competitive tensions" (China Brief).

Saudi Arabia - self-labeled defender of Islam - joins in the persecution of East Turkestan: The cadres have struck a deal with Saudi Arabia on oil and other things, including "a Saudi loan to fund a development project in China's largely Muslim region of Xinjiang" (China Brief); the project will almost certainly make Communist efforts to erase the culture of the native Muslims both easier and more valuable.

Speaking of oil: Rupert Wingfield-Hayes (BBC) examines the future of Communist China's energy consumption.

Huawei makes another entry into Europe: The firm that helped Saddam Hussein integrate his air defenses is partnering with Vodafone (BBC).

Tibet envoys in Beijing: Communist China and envoys from the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, are holding another round of talks on "allowing the region some form of autonomy" (BBC).

Chicago Epoch Times staff strikes for Yuan Li; San Francisco staffer discusses info thefts: The Chicago staff of the paper began their hunger strike on the same day Youzhi Ma talked about two break-ins in his San Francisco home.

Hunger strike news: James Burke, Epoch Times, examines the worldwide appeal of the strike, while Ding Xiao, Radio Free Asia (via Epoch Times) finds support in Communist China is so strong the "the hunger strike could go on for a whole year with two persons at a time for 24 hours," despite a Communist crackdown on strikers (Sound of Hope Radio via Epoch Times). Zhang Tianliang, also in the Epoch Times, ponders the strike's future.

Communists admit to over 100,000 corrupt cadres: In an attempt to show it was "fighting corruption," Communist China admitted to catching 115,000 cadres violating the law (Washington Post). Meanwhile, the Epoch Times, examining the Bank of China embezzlement case (fourth and sixth items), speculates that America is no longer a safe haven for this sort.

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