As Tibet bleeds, some start to wonder whether the Beijing Olympiad was really the best move: The Communist regime's bloody crackdown in Tibet (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, BBC-4, BBC-5, BBC-6, BBC-7, BBC-8, CAN via Epoch Times, Epoch Times, more Epoch Times, and the Washington Post) has raised eyebrows and concerns over the symbolism of holding the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. While the International Olympic Committee pretends ignorance is bliss (Washington Post), others are less sanguine (Greg Pollowitz in NRO - Media Blog, Jay Nordlinger in NRO, the editors of the Washington Post and the Washington Times, Wei Jingsheng in the Post, and Kevin Kusinitz in the Weekly Standard Blog). Some expect the Olympics to be a flop (John Derbyshire, NRO, is fervently hoping for "a huge fiasco"), but the Communists are putting on a brave face (Washington Post) to go with their iron fist (BBC).
More on the Tibet (and parts of China proper) crackdown: The anti-Communist uprising spread beyond Tibet into provinces with large Tibetan populations (BBC, BBC again, BBC III, and the Washington Post). The Communists were quick to blame the Dalai Lama for all of it (BBC, Washington Post), but later put on the happy face and called for a "dialogue" (Washington Times). For his part, the Tibetan spiritual leader was deeply distressed by the bloodshed, to the point of threatening to resign (BBC, CNN, and the Washington Post). Meanwhile, the efforts of Tibetan groups who support complete independence (the Dalai Lama prefers autonomy) came to the fore (BBC, CNN, and the Washington Post), as Tibetan exiles united to stand with their persecuted brethren (BBC-1, BBC-2, Epoch Times, and the Washington Post). A number of American politicians condemned the Communists, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (BBC and CNN) and Republican Presidential nominee John McCain (Washington Post); President Bush chose to use "private messages" (Washington Post). Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Globe and Mail), American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Washington Times), and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon (BBC) also weighed in. In Britain, the Prime Minister addressed the issue (BBC), perhaps to take attention away from some strange comments praising Communist leader Hu Jintao (Iain Dale). The Prince of Wales is expect to meet the Dalai Lama (London Telegraph). India's Foreign Minister also spoke (BBC). The most vocal condemner of the Communists, however, was easily Taiwan's embattled anti-Communist Presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (BBC). Finally, Anne Applebaum (Washington Post), scored Enlightened Comment of the (consolidated almost) Year by noting how Communist China suddenly looks like all the other far-flung tyrannies that were "brought down by their subjects, undermined by their client states, overwhelmed by the national aspirations of small, subordinate countries."
Other Tibet news: Before the streets ran red with blood, the Communists played their usual games. There was pressure on others to marginalize the occupied nation - some of which worked (BBC), some of which didn't (BBC-1 and BBC-2) - plus the usual reports of arrests (BBC-1 and BBC-2), forced relocation (BBC), interference with the local religion (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, BBC-4, and BBC-5), and a ban on any foreign support (BBC).
Other Olympic News: The Communist Olympiad was running into trouble long before this month, including concerns about the water and air in the Beijing area (BBC, CNA via Epoch Times, NRO - Media blog, and the Washington Post), let alone the food (Washington Post). Of course, the Communists' brutal treatment of the Chinese people - and concern over whether rewarding the regime with an Olympiad - was highlighted (Epoch Times, more Epoch Times, Hambastegi via Epoch Times, Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times, Reporters Without Borders via Epoch Times, and the Washington Post). Meanwhile, opposition to the regime's support for the brutal Sudanese regime (BBC and NRO) led former Olympian Richard Vaughan (BBC), Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell (BBC), Olympic film director Daryl Goodrich (BBC), and George Clooney (BBC) to speak out. Stephen Spielberg simply walked away from the Communist Olympiad, earning him the wrath of the regime (BBC, NRO - Media Blog, and the Washington Post). Undeterred, the Communists even ensured the Olympic Torch would visit their Korean colony (BBC).
Speaking of Communist China and terrorist regimes, the Communist regime's support for the butchers of Darfur continues to grow (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, NRO - The Tank), while the rebel forces (for obvious reasons) don't want the Communists anywhere near them (BBC-1 and BBC-2). For good measure, the regime stuck its neck out for the Iranian mullahcracy, too (BBC).
Communist Chinese arms in Taliban hands: The American and British military has found "Chinese arms" with Taliban members after they have attacked said militaries (BBC). Sadly, this hasn't stopped either Afghanistan (BBC) or Iraq (NRO - The Corner) from treating the Communist regime like a normal government.
Communist Chinese espionage is the "single greatest risk" to American technology: The cited words came from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (BBC and NRO - The Tank), backed up by the arrest of two computer engineers "charged with conspiring to steal microchip designs to sell to the Chinese military" (BBC). Secretary of National Intelligence Michael McConnell gauged the Communist espionage efforts to be "close to Cold War levels" (BBC). The British MI-5 had an even broader warning for its countrymen (BBC). Less than three months later, a Defense Department official and two others were arrested for their role in a Communist spy ring stealing information about weapons sales to Taiwan (BBC, Washington Post, and the Washington Times). The FBI is also probing a Communist hacking operation (Washington Post).
More on Communist China and the U.S. (military issues): While the Communists' snubbing of the U.S. Navy got plenty of attention last November (BBC, China Confidential via Epoch Times, Epoch Times, NRO - The Tank), far less attention was paid to the much bigger story - another double-digit percentage increase in Communist China's military spending (BBC, Epoch Times, NRO, NRO - The Tank). Meanwhile, India, Japan, and Australia joined the American navy for a week of military exercises in the Bay of Bengal (BBC).
More on Communist China and the U.S. (export product safety): The furor over tainted Communist exports, which was white-hot last June, has largely faded into the background for now, but not before leading American retailers pulled their Communist goods (BBC and BBC again). The scandal spread to food exports (NRO - Media Blog and The Corner). The Communists responded with a whole slew of "crackdowns" (BBC-1, BBC-2), a fit of pique (BBC), some more interference in American politics (Washington Post), and a hope that no one would hold it against their latest export effort in automobiles (BBC). Next thing you know, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration finds that the Communists are exporting contaminated components of blood thinner (Washington Post).
More on Communist China and the U.S. (everything else): The State Department wins Ignorant Comment of the (consolidated almost) Year honors for taking Communist China off the list of worst human-rights abusers (BBC, NRO - Media Blog and Washington Post), as the regime agrees to hold a "dialogue" on human rights with Washington (Washington Post). CIA Director Michael Hayden had a mishmash of an analysis of the regime in the Washington Times. The Communists also try using the long arm of lawlessness to initimidate American officials (Epoch Times). The Communists' deliberately devalued currency continued to get bad press (NRO and Washington Post). Leading American anti-Communist Tom Lantos passed away (Washington Post). GM set up plans for Communist hybrid cars (BBC).
More on Communist China and the rest of the world (except Taiwan and East Turkestan): Apprehension is rife in New Zealand as the Kiwi government prepares to sign a free-trade deal with Communist China (Epoch Times and more Epoch Times). The long arm of lawlessness (see above) spreads to Israel (Epoch Times), Malaysia (Epoch Times), Canada (Epoch Times and Small Dead Animals), Denmark (BBC), Ukranie (Epoch Times) and everywhere else (Epoch Times). Australia's new Prime Minister is almost immediately criticized for being too friendly to the Communists (AAP via Epoch Times), who are making major inroads into the Australian economy (BBC and BBC again). The new leaders of both Britain (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, and NRO - Phi Beta Cons) and France (BBC and BBC again) are drinking the "engagement" Kool-Aid. The regime digs its meat-hooks deeper into Africa (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, BBC-4, BBC-5, BBC-6, BBC-7, BBC-8, BBC-9, BBC-10, and NRO - The Tank,), while the Bush Administration (BBC) and the World Bank (BBC) see no evil (UK Conservative leader David Cameron asked least tried to prod the Communists to stop the madness, although he should have known better - BBC). The cadres also cast their eyes on the Carribean (BBC), Kazakhstan (BBC-1 and BBC-2), and even Antarctica (BBC). India's Prime Minister visited Beijing (BBC), and his military conducted joint "anti-terrorism" operations with the PLA (try to avoid laughter - that's OK; I couldn't either: BBC). Japan's new Prime Minster has proven he is no Koizumi (BBC and BBC again). Fiat makes a deal with Chery (BBC). Russia and Communist China make a joint call for a space arms treaty (BBC), but Gazprom wants out of its gas contract to the Communists (BBC).
Taiwan election news: Until Tibet started bleeding, the opposition pan-red (errrr, "pan-blue") coalition candidate (the Kuomintang's Ma Ying-jeou) seemed a sure winner (BBC). Now, Frank Hsieh, the candidate for the anti-Communist Democratic Progressive Party, has seized upon Tibet as a warning to the Taiwanese people (BBC) and "may now be in striking distance of an upset" (CNN). There will also be two referendum on applying to join the United Nations as "Taiwan" - which has the Communists and ther pan-blues spooked (BBC and Washington Post). FYI, yours truly emphatically endorses Hsieh in tomorrow's election.
Other Taiwan news: After a military exercise last fall (BBC), the outgoing Chen Adminsitration bolstered its claim to the disputed Spratly Islands (Washington Post). Of course, the United Nations followed Communist China's lead last year and blocked Taiwan's admission (BBC and NRO - The Tank); not even the Olympic torch could be spared the Communists' wrath (BBC). Meanwhile, Malawi (BBC) and B&Q (BBC) follwed Costa Rica (BBC) in cutting off Taiwan in favor of Communist China. Peter Pham discussed the military balance between the Communists and the island democracy (The Tank). David Frum (NRO) examines Taiwanese history.
East Turkestan news: Communist China made a dramatic claim of foiling two terrorist plots (BBC-1, BBC-2, Washington Post); Rebiya Kadeer isn't buying it (Epoch Times).
Hong Kong and Macau news: The 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to Communist China past last summer (BBC). The BBC talked to the last British leader of the city, and the one who brought it democracy, Chirs Patten (BBC). Meanwhile the Communist say the might allow the HK people to elect their leader - in 2017 (BBC). On Macau, the Communist-appointed leader was accused of still having a stake in the city's massive casino market (BBC).
Communists meet in Beijing and give empty promises to fight mass corruption: Between now and last June, the CCP held its five-year Congress (BBC and Epoch Times) and the annual session of its rubber-stamp Parliament (BBC, Epoch Times, and Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times). The Party decided, first and foremost, that it would remain in charge ad infinitum (BBC). Thus, no one can challenge them for power, or the corruption that comes with it (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, BBC-4, Chengming via Epoch Times, Epoch Times, New Epoch Weekly). Lest anyone think that this corruption is new, Jung Chang revealed otherwise as she discussed her excellent biography of Mao (Epoch Times).
Many Chinese are considering life without the Communists: A three-part Epoch Times piece calls for members of the CCP to withdraw. One cadre does (Epoch Times), while a provincial official writes an open letter calling for the de-Communizing of China (Epoch Times).
Organ theft news: The Communists gave great fanfare to their new organ transplant rules (BBC). It should surprise no one to knnow they aren't following them (Epoch Times and IHEU-Appignani Center for Bioethics via Epoch Times).
One-child policy to remain, but with nicer labels: The cadres decided that what was wrong with the one-chiolde policy wasn't the hideous treatment of women, the gender imbalance (NRO - Media Blog), or the resultant kidnapping of children (Washington Post). It was just the slogans they were using (BBC); so they will go, but the hideous policy remains in place (BBC).
Religious persecution news: Communist China continues to make nice with the Roman Catholic Church (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, BBC-4, BBC-5, BBC-6, and the Washington Post, but for non-Catholic Christians (BBC, Epoch Times, and Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times) and Falun Gong (Epoch Times and more Epoch Times), it's business as usual.
Media crackdown news: Zhao Yan (of the New York Times) is free (BBC), as is Ching Cheong (BBC) and Yu Huafeng (Washington Post), but Lu Gengsong is serving a four year sentence for "inciting subversion of state power" (NRO - Media Blog), and even arrested the BBC's Dan Griffiths. In fact, Communist China "tops the list of world's biggest jailer of journalists" (Media Blog). Meanwhile, a photographer is fired because a cadre didn't like a picture of hm (Epoch Times), editors marking the Tiananmen anniversary were sent packing (BBC), and the regime announced it was building a database on all foreign journalists headed to cover the Olympics (Media Blog).
Dissident news: Hu Jia is, as I write, on trial for "subversion" (Washington Post), while his wife and infant duaghter are under house arrest (BBC and NRO - Media Blog). Yang Chunlin will also be tried soon (Washington Post). The wife of Chen Guangcheng has been denied permission to leave the country (BBC). Several political opponents of the Communists were jailed (CNA via Epoch Times and Epoch Times). Ding Zilin makes another appeal on behalf of her follow relatives of Tiananmen massacre victims (Epoch Times). Attorney Zheng Enchong was "brutally beaten three times in two days" (Epoch Times). Another lawyer, Teng Bao, was arrested and held for two days before being released (Washington Post). Several dissidents who sued Yahoo for its role in helping the regime arrest them settled with the internet giant (BBC and Epoch Times).
Censorship and surveillance news: Communist China's battle with the internet continues (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, and NRO - Media Blog) as the regime reaches out to slap down advertisements (BBC), talent shows (BBC), films (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, and Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times), actors (BBC). Meanwhile, the cadres are making tremendous strides in telecommunications surveillance (Sound of Hope via Epoch Times and NRO - Media Blog).
Appellant (petitioner) news: All citizens of China have the right to redress of grievances against local officials. Of course, the Communists honor this right in name only. Actual petitioners - assuming the cadres can't prevent them from even reaching the capital (Epoch Times) - are ordered to leave town (BBC), arrested (Epoch Times), and beaten to death (Epoch Times and NRO).
Protest news: The Communist regime continued to take use its monopoly on land to enrich itself at the expense of its people (BBC). The latest examples are in Sichuan (Radio Free Asia via Epoch Times), Hainan (Epoch Times).
On the state of the workers in the workers' state: In a land where independent labor unions are illegal, workers end up getting stiffed (Epoch Times), killed by tear gas (Epoch Times), or beaten by Communist-hired thugs (BBC). In order to prevent such tragedies from happening again, the cadres are now demanding migrant workers "declare their political affiliations when registering for residency permits" (BBC), as if they don't have enough worries (BBC). Meanwhile, coal production and corruption still go hand in hand - killing workers in the process (Washington Post).
Other economic news: Communist China went to war against inflation (BBC) - including implementing prize freezes (BBC) and higher interst rates (BBC) - but inflation still won (BBC and the Epoch Times). Making matters worse, the Communist economy was actually 40% smaller than everyone thought it was (BBC) - which probably came as know surprise to the people actually suffering under it (BBC and the Epoch Times). The cadres did admit unemployment was a problem, FWIW (BBC), but the cadres themselves are still pulling in money from foreign fools (BBC), preparing to buy up the rest of the world (BBC and David Frum of NRO). and tightening their grip on the economy (BBC). Meanwhile, regime-owned PetroChina pased ExxonMobil and the largest company in the world (BBC).
Environmental news: Communist China continues to zoom past everyone else in carbon emissions (BBC) and pollution has rendered the water supply for another 200,000 people undrinkable (BBC), but when it comes to the environment and the Communists, one begins and ends with Three Gorges Dam (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, BBC-4, and Radio Free Asia via the Epoch Times).
Space news: Communist China's plans for a space station (BBC) moved forward with a trip to the moon (BBC and the Epoch Times) - complete with a picture (BBC) - um, we think (Fox News via NRO - Media Blog).
Beijing surrender news: The nuclear "deal" with Stlainist North Korea that was so highly praised (except here) has stalled (BBC, NRO, and the Washington Times), and once again the United States is asking Communist China for help (BBC) and considering giving the Stalinists nuclear power (Washington Times) - yes, you read that right. This after SNK has its $25 million (BBC and NRO). Meanwhile, the regime test-fired another missile (BBC and NRO - The Tank), started another border incident with South Korea (BBC-1 and BBC-2), and may have helped Syrian dictator Bashar Assad with his own nuclear program - before Israel razed it to the ground (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3, NRO). Then there is the issue of the Stalinists' abduction of Japanese citizens, which was also supposed to be resolved at the six-party talks. Well, they weren't (BBC-1, BBC-2, BBC-3). Instead, we're all supposed to take hope in the New York Philharmonic (BBC, Washington Post).
More news on "another Chinese province": The presence of a more realistic Administration in South Korea (BBC-1, BBC-2, and NRO - The Tank) led the Stalinists to suspend rail link (BBC). Meanwhile, SNK executed 15 people for trying to escape the regime (BBC) - sadly, the other side of the border is hardly safe (Washington Times) - as more Koreans die (BBC) and Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il continues to enrich himself (Washington Post), reel in his children (BBC), and feed his immense ego (Washington Post).