From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth lengthens the life of the often-recycled (and justifiably so) column by Minxin Pei on Communist China (last item). The Korea Liberator comments on Stalinist North Korea stringing out talks with the World Food Program while its people starve, new Congressional efforts to help the people of SNK, a possible re-orientation of America's military presence in South Korea, and Communist China's decision to end it Korean Autonomous Zone (not to be confused with its Korean colony, which is SNK itself).
More on the Communists' Korean colony: Yoduk Story, the musical on the horrors of prison life in Stalinist North Korea, debuted in Seoul last night (Independent, UK); Daily NK reports the story of Georgeta Mircioiu, a Romanian who has been forcibly separated from husband Cho Jung Ho for over forty years due to the Stalinists' fear of foreigners.
Outrage in North America to the Sujiatun camp: Friends of Falun Gong has started an e-mail drive calling on President Bush to pressure the Communists on this. Friendly Blog Small Dead Animals weighs in powerfully: "the Nazis would render the fat of their victims to make soap . . . the fascists of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have improved on the methods of the Nazis. They understand there is more money to be made in selling corneas and kidneys than soap." Meanwhile, Sonya Bryskine (Epoch Times) gives some background on the prisoner organ trade in Communist China.
Economist yanked from Communist TV for railing against regime-owned fire sales: Lang Xianping (a.k.a. Larry Lang) was an economist and Hong Kong professor who made his mark as a television personality "by attacking the sale of state assets at what he said were often fire-sale prices in under-the-table deals to private entrepreneurs" (Financial Times, UK). Naturally, the Communists weren't happy at this economist exposing the truth behind their corrupt "private" sector, so Lang has been shut down.
Yet another Epoch Times office attacked: This time it was the Taichung (Taiwan) office that was hit; all computers - desktops and servers - were swiped. It was the latest in a series of crimes against the paper, the most dramatic of which were the beating of Yuan Li and the Hong Kong break-in (lead, second, sixth, last, and sixth items).
Communist China's military influence in Latin America increasing: According to General Bantz J. Craddock, head of the U.S. Southern Command, Communist China's military is increasing training initiatives with Latin American nations "who formerly would come to the United States" (Bill Gertz, Washington Times).
U.S. talk on trade with Communist China slowly getting tougher: American trade officials are stepping up (somewhat) their comments on the Communist regime's predatory trade policies. Carlos Gutierrez, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, had this to say the Asia Society: "The reality of trade with China continues to fall short of the potential. If our economic relationship is to stay afloat, China needs to lighten the load by carrying out reforms and delivering results" (United Press International via Washington Times). Trade Representative Rob Portman said the following: " China should be held accountable for its actions and required to live up to its responsibilities . . . We will use all options available to meet this challenge." While this is nice to hear, this quarter is looking for something stronger, such as the cancellation of PNTR.
Former China Aviation Oil head pleads guilty: Chen Jiulin "pleaded guilty in Singapore's subordinate court to charges including making false statements and insider trading" (BBC), The charges stem from the Communist-own firms attempt to hide its dismal fiscal picture and taking investors to the cleaners in the process (twelfth, seventh, eighth, and eleventh items).
Communist China shoots down Japanese UN dues plan: A proposal by Japan to force the United Nations Security Council's permanent members (U.S. UK, France, Russia, and Communist China) to contribute at least three percent of the UN's budget was rejected by Communist China (Cybercast News). At present, Japan contributes nearly one-fifth of the budget, second only to the U.S. Communist China contributes less than two and a half percent.
Enlightened Comment of the Day: Raman Bhaskar takes the crown with a terrific UPI piece (via Washington Times) in defense of the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal. The column's best lines may have been its last: "The India-specific anti-proliferation lobby in Washington has a lot to answer about rampant proliferation from other countries. India is not Iran or North Korea. It is the China-Pakistan proliferation axis which transferred technology to Iran and North Korea. While arguing against India, this lobby must answer these questions to establish their minimum credibility, if they had any."
More on Communist China, the U.S., and the world: Patrick Goodenough (Cybercast News) has a strange piece on Pakistan and Communist China, claiming that the alliance between the two "is heading for a new level." Given that the two have been military and geopolitical allies for over half a century, that line says more about Goodenough (who usually is better than this) than it does about anyone in Central Asia.