Thursday, September 03, 2009

The week that was

By any indication, this was a week that began just awfully for anti-Communists. Yet, as it comes to an end, it may be the CCP itself who rues the seven days.

The week began (badly) in Japan, where Taro Aso - the latest and possibly most passionate in a line of anti-Communist Japanese premiers that included Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe - became the first Liberal Democrat in sixteen years (and arguably the first in over fifty) to suffer an outright defeat at the hands of the voters. The newly empowered Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has been spouting about moving away from the United States and closer to the Chinese Communist Party for years. Now, with a hammerlock on Japan's House of Representatives, they can form the government for the first time in history.

The next day brought a double-whammy: the family of Chen Shui-bian (former President of Taiwan and former leader of the anti-Communist Democratic Progressive Party) were convicted of perjury in his corruption trial. Chen himself will hear his verdict in about a week (Epoch Times); a conviction is all but certain. Meanwhile, Petrochina put in a nearly $2-billion bid for a major Albertan oil project, possibly turning North America's alternative to Middle Eastern oil into Beijing's overseas resource center.

All in all, the week looked horrific - and it was only Monday.

In fact, however, that was the whole point: the week still had five days left. Much as you don't declare the football game over at half-time, one cannot declare a week a disaster just two days in. On the contrary, as the week wore on, it started to wear a little better.

While the anti-Communist leaders were reeling from the Chen drama in Taiwan, the anti-Communist populace were making their presence known. President Ma Ying-jeou continued to take it on the chin politically on several fronts, while the presence of the Dalai Lama (whom Ma could not dare to ban from the island democracy) brought out the worst in the CCP - and reminded all who live on Taiwan just what reunification under Zhongnanhai would mean (Central News Agency). Much like the Republicans here have sprung back to life with the departure of George W. Bush, recent events on Taiwan make clear the anti-Communist DPP could have a revival of its own once the Chens leave the scene (voluntarily or otherwise).

The situation in Japan also improved - or to be more precise, it was revealed to be better than originally thought. For all the DPJ talk of moving closer to Beijing, one glaring obstacle stares them dead in the face - the choatic House of Councillors (known as the "upper house"). While the outgoing LDP lost control of that chamber in 2007, the DPJ doesn't control it either. Instead, it will have to rely on smaller parties from left and right - the latter will likely be nonplussed with any serious move in Beijing's direction. Until new Councillor elections next year, any new move in foreign policy could lead to trouble, which is why the triumphant DPJ is suddenly talking down any references to them.

Even the situation in Canada improved, and not just because the anti-Communists in the country began rousing themselves to take on their former friends in the governing Conservative Party (Calgary Herald). The bigger news may have come from the Gulf of Mexico, where a massive oil reservoir was discovered deep underground (Washington Post). While it will be a while before the field brings oil to the market, there is already talk of its effect on world oil prices. This could dampen the dollars enough for the Tories in Ottowa to clear their heads and give the Petrochina deal the long, painful look it deserves.

Meanwhile, word leaked out to the Epoch Times that the latest attempt by the cadres to pilfer state-owned assets and line their pockets had been met with a labor strike in Hunan Province - a telling reminder that the CCP's ongoing struggle to silence and dominate its own people continues to run into problems.

Of course, we have no idea how any of these items will resolve themselves, but we can be more optimistic about them than we could have been earlier in the week. While no one is really sure who coined the phrase "a week is a lifetime in politics" (the late UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson came close with the British subdued/deadpan version "a week is a long time in politics"), they were certainly validated this week.

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