A must read for anyone still convinced the Communist regime is ceding economic control: It's a rare day when a story grabs the headline over the China Freedom Blog Alliance links, but George Wehrfritz of Newsweek International has a rare piece. Wehrfritz sweeps away the smoke and mirrors on Communist China's plans for the economy: "Led by China and Russia, state companies are both consolidating control at home and expanding aggressively abroad." Specifically regarding the CCP, "Contrary to conventional wisdom, China's state sector continues to grow, while the local private sector (not including joint ventures) struggles, says MIT economist Yasheng Huang" (for Professor Huang's more detailed analysis on the Communist economy, see last item). Finally, don't forget this the next time someone brandishes statistics showing Communist China's economy in largely "private" hands: "many analysts say the official statistics overstate the trend, in part by removing all joint ventures from the state sector, even when the state retains control, and by ignoring the domination of many supposedly private firms by former state officials who remain ruling-party members." Sadly, Wehrfritz is more sanguine about regime-owned firms in the world economy than he should be, but he doesn't ignore those who note the inherent contradiction of the existence of such firms in a "free" market. More importantly, he takes the "engagement" forces' most potent argument - that a private, non-regime-controlled economy is taking shape in Communist China - and cuts it to ribbons.
From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: The Korea Liberator takes note of Iran's offer to spread its nuclear know-how (here's the BBC story on the subject, and this quarter's call for Iran's liberation), presents the remaining schedule for North Korea Freedom Week, and has the latest news on the Stalinist North.
More on the Communists' Korean colony: Japan demands the extradition of a leading Stalinist kidnapper (BBC); a visitor to Pyongyang is warned that the walls have ears (Daily NK); food rations are being cut back (Daily NK).
Dr. Wang defended in U.S., deleted in Communist China: The charges against Dr. Wang Wenyi for her protest at the Bush-Hu summit (third and second items) are themselves coming under criticism from several Christian leaders, including Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council, and Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition (World Net Daily). Meanwhile, the Communists, in their bid to make Hu look less the bloodthirsty dictator and more the honored statesmen, wiped out any mention of Dr. Wang's noble act (MSNBC).
Sky News investigates "deeply sinister" organ market in Communist China: Sky TV (the British counterpart to Fox News - both are News Corp. subsidiaries) conducted an investigation "that confirms important claims The Epoch Times has made in its own investigations into organ harvesting in China," including the use of executed prisoners as organ sources. The reporter, Dominic Waghorn, focused on Beijing, with its "endless supply of livers . . . the reasons why are deeply sinister," rather than Sujiatun.
Electronic national ID cards coming to Communist China: The cadres are "implementing an unprecedented program to give its citizens RFID tags to verify their identities" (United Press International via Washington Times). RFID is short for radio-frequency identification tag, meaning the Communist regime will be better able to keep track of every single citizen - dissidents included, within the area it controls.
Commentary and analysis: Sonya Bryskine, Epoch Times, notes the seventh anniversary (yesterday) of the "Zhongnanhai appeal," the peaceful Falun Gong protest that preceded the bloody crackdown against the spiritual movement. Tim Luard, BBC, ponders the fate of Tibet after the current Dalai Lama passes on.