Japan and Australia sign defense pact; Aussie opposition leader unhappy: Prime Ministers John Howard and Shinzo Abe made it official today (Epoch Times and BBC), while Australian opposition leader Kevin Rudd accused Howard of signing " defence pact which would unnecessarily draw Australia into the uncertainties of the future of strategic developments in north-east Asia between China, Japan and Korea" (AAP via Epoch Times).
Canada wants trade deal with India: Ted Menzies, parliamentary secretary to Trade Minister David Emerson, made the announcement in a speech in India yesterday. Menzies said Canada would look for a bilateral deal if overall global trade talks hit a wall (Montreal Gazette). Such a deal would provide a boost for the world's largest democracy and South Asia's longtime rival of Communist China.
"What this agreement has really done is cemented China’s regional supremacy." One Free Korea perfectly summarizes the Beijing surrender.
More on the surrender aftermath: Japan is understandably upset at being left out in the cold on the abduction issue (Daily NK); Macau may free up Kim Jong-il's frozen accounts by liquidating the bank that held them (United Press Int'l via Washington Times); KJI milks the deal for propaganda (Daily NK).
Enlightened Comment of the Day: Fang Jue's column (New Century Net via Epoch Times) calling for America to "strengthen its military forces in Eastern Asia and the western Pacific Ocean" and "counteract China's military buildup" win the prize by a nose over Doug Bandow's excellent piece on Communist persecution of religion (National Review Online).
More on Communist China and the rest of the world: Communist China's Olympic venues may be built with stolen Japanese children's slides (Guardian). A forum in Philadelphia examines Communist organ harvesting (Epoch Times).
Rally for Taiwan to be held tomorrow in NYC: For anyone in the tri-state area, the demonstration begins at noon on the corner of 42nd Street and 12th Avenue (China Support Network).
More on human rights abuses in Communist China: Between Heaven and Earth examines the Communist crackdown against Falun Gong. Boycott 2008 notes, with reasonable skepticism, a Communist recommendation to cut back on executions. Jennifer Chou (Worldwide Standard) finds that the cadres' attempt to pass themselves off as quasi-capitalists has turned Maoists into surprised victims of persecution.
Pollution in Communist China affecting rainfall: The ecological costs of rampant overdevelopment that no free market would allow has reduced rainfall by 20% on average. In some rural areas, rainfall has been cut in half (BBC).