The next post will be on January 2, 2007; Happy New Year to all.
Communist China cites Taiwan as reason for its military buildup: Communist China released a white paper revealing its plans to "focus its spending on strengthening the country's naval and air forces" (BBC), citing "the separatist forces for Taiwan independence" as one of the main reasons for its air and naval buildup. While the regime added some nice boilerplate - saying it "will not engage in any arms race or pose a military threat to any other country" - we should not forget the cadres do not consider the island democracy of Taiwan to be its own country.
Australian intelligence taking aim at the Communist espionage threat: Australia's leading intelligence agency, the ASIO, is building "a new counter-espionage unit created to cope with the increased number of Chinese spies in Australia" (AAP via Epoch Times). The Communist espionage network in Australia was in part exposed by defector Chen Yonglin last year.
Syria accelerates its nuclear weapons program: The nuclear ambitions of Middle East Proxy Number Two were greatly aided by "material that Saddam Hussein’s two sons shipped to Syria before — and during — the U.S. war against Iraq" (New York Sun).
As for Middle Eastern Proxy Number One (Iran), the editors of the Washington Times comment on the news of the mullahs' ties to the Khobar Towers bombing (third item); Israel accuses the regime of funding Palestinian rocket attacks (United Press International via Washington Times); and Joshua Brilliant (UPI via Washington Times), examines Israel's options regarding Tehran's nuclear ambitions (but he skips liberation).
On Communist China's Korean colony: Stalinist North Korea may have an escape hatch from the financial penalties imposed by the Bush Administration - gold (Times of London and Washington Times). Meanwhile, in South Korea, a defector deals with a death threat (Daily NK); a military white paper speaks the truth on SNK (BBC), and the governing dovish coalition is cracking apart (UPI via Washington Times).