Shinzo Abe sees Japan as the exporter of freedom in Asia: Japan's Prime Minister is sowing the seeds for a dramatically ambitious and beneficial role in the world - as Asia's leading force for "freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law" (Washington Post). This comes with plans for closer ties with India and the U.S., hints that his country could become nuclear if it wanted to do so (Voice of America via Epoch Times), and possibly more support for dissidents in captive nations such as North Korea (Daily NK). Despite being in office less than two months, Abe already has given the cause of anti-Communism a dramatic shot in the arm.
Stephen Harper's badge of honor: Communist Chinese leader Hu Jintao backed out of a planned meeting with Canada's Prime Minister during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference next week. Hu and his cronies are, according to one analyst, "not happy with the tenor of the relationship" (Globe and Mail). Naturally, Bay Street (Canada's version of Wall Street) is unhappy. This corner, by contrast, is ecstatic.
Cardinal Zen says Communist China must respect freedom of religion: The leader of Hong Kong's Catholic, a longtime anti-Communist (twentieth, seventh, sixth, second to last, third to last, tenth, seventh, and fifth items), reiterated the demand while speaking to Zhongguang News (via Epoch Times).
Any chance President Bush will get the memo? Meanwhile, the Bush Administration appears more willing to be nice to both the Communists (BBC and Washington Post, don't let the latter's headline fool you) and their mullahcratic allies in Tehran (MSNBC, National Review Online, and Newsmax). Already, America's friends (Washington Times) and foes (Worldwide Standard) are noticing.
More on the Middle Eastern proxies: Iran and Syria are presenting demands of their own to the democratic world (London Times), while their Hezbollah puppet further destabilizes Lebanon (Small Dead Animals, Washington Post, and Worldwide Standard). Tehran is also tightening its grip in Gaza (Cybercast News), while Damascus dabbles in the West Bank (United Press Int'l via Washington Times). The mullahs' nuclear ambitions were also in the news, again (Toronto Star, VOA via Epoch Times, and Washington Times).
More on the Communists' Korean colony: China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea comments further on the scarlet fever outbreak in the Stalinist North; OFK also found some bemusement in Ban Ki-Moon's continuing transition from dovish South Korean Foreign Minister to United Nations Secretary General. Meanwhile, the South's doves are still embarrassing themselves (UPI via Washington Times); SNK considers playing Moscow and Beijing off each other (Daily NK); and the UN considers another human rights resolution on the Stalinist regime (Daily NK).
On matters inside Communist China: Jia Jia talks to the Epoch Times about the value of outside media to those looking for truth inside Communist China. Beijing residents try to protect their dogs (Washington Post, see also tenth item). The cadres claim their efforts to tame the economy is working (BBC), but Andrew Cohen (Epoch Times) notes the danger in reading Communist statistics.
Taipei mayor admits to "serious administrative flaws": That was how the BBC characterized the opposition leader's account of possible embezzlement incidents (last item).