Friday, December 30, 2005

News of the Day (December 30)

The Canada file: Friendly Blog Between Heaven and Earth continues to establish itself as the go-to blog for news and events intersecting Communist China and Canada with today's reprint of Kevin Steele's Western Standard piece on the Nine Commentaries and the blindness of the Canadian MSM to them. The editors of the Epoch Times Canadian edition, and list among them the lamentable fact that "the Canadian government gets even more comfortable in bed with the communist regime" (yet another reason why we endorsed the opposition Conservatives in next month's election).

Beijing News staff protest editors' firings by walking out: Nearly 100 reporters from the Beijing News, whose editors were fired by the Communists this week (sixth item), have staged a walkout in protest, a move the BBC rightly notes is "highly unusual." The Beijing News last summer exposed the cadre-inspired thug attack on farmers in Shengyou village (Dingzhou city) protesting a land seizure. It should be noted that yours truly mistakenly read (and reported) that the Beijing News had exposed the police attack in Dongzhou, better known as the Shanwei massacre; apologies for yesterday's error.

Communists preparing to register cell phone users: Communist China, ostensibly worried about "fraud", is "set to begin registering the names of cell-phone users on the first of the year" (United Press Int'l via Washington Times). The potential for Communist surveillance is so obvious that even the Communist-run Xinhua news agency had to pay lip service to "complaints that the registration is . . . an intrusion on privacy."

Communists admit to worker exploitation - in "private" firms: Communist China released a report documenting employer abuse of employees, but only in "private" firms. Left unmentioned by the China Daily report is any mention of abuse at Communist-owned firms; nor does the Communist-run paper mention that most, if not all, "private firms" are owned at least in part by Communist cadres, their relatives, or their protégés. Report: BBC

Renewable energy to get 2006 push: Communist China has announced a goal of having renewable energy resources "account for 15 percent of national consumption" (UPI via Washington Times, third item) by 2020. It's seven percent now. While under normal circumstances this is good news, given how Communist China is building its renewable energy plants (water and wind) today, this report means we must brace ourselves for more Hanyuans and Shanweis.

Another currency dodge: Communist China "approved 13 domestic and foreign banks to act as market-makers for yuan trading" (BBC). The move supposedly "will limit the extent to which it can intervene in the currency markets," but it will not stop the Communists from holding down the value of the currency by unloading excess supply of yuan on the market. Communist China's deliberately devalued currency has been "making Chinese exports artificially cheap and damaging other countries' trade balances" - and their exporters.

Dalai Lama refutes comments of Communist-picked monk: The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, refuted the earlier comments of the Communist-appointed Panchen Lama (tenth item), who claimed the Communist-occupied nation "was open and happy" (Washington Times). The real Panchen Lama has not been seen since Communist China detained him and his family over ten years ago, when he was six years old.

Vietnam not happy with Taiwan's Spratly airstrip: The island democracy of Taiwan is planning to build an airstrip "on one of the biggest islets in the disputed Spratly Island chain" (Washington Times, second item). Vietnam, which also claims the Spratlys, demanded the plans be stopped. There was no comment from the other claimant to the entire Spratly chain: Communist China.

Ignorant Comment of the Day: Today's dubious prize goes to David Ignatius, Washington Post, who says this about the year that was in Communist China: "It was hard to know what was more depressing: the contempt of Russian and Chinese leaders for democracy, or the willingness of their publics (and the rest of the world's leaders) to play along." Did Mr. Ignatius miss the news from his own paper on Shengyou, Taishi, or Shanwei, or Sanshan (sixth item)?

Other Commentary on Communist China: Edward Lanfranco, UPI via Washington Times, gives the year that was in Communist China - almost; he forgot Taishi, Chen Yonglin, Hao Fengjun, the Nine Commentaries resignations . . .

On Stalinist North Korea: China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea traces the latest asset move by Communist China's would-be colony, offers a radio question to Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il, fires another well-deserved rhetorical shot at Chung Dong-young, whose remarks on Stalinist counterfeiting of American currency (Washington Times) weren't nearly as positive as originally thought (last item), tracks the travails of Stalinist diplomats, rips the dovish South Korean government for its aid to SNK, comments on politics in the South, and notes the departure of Joseph DeTrani from the diplomatic scene. Stunningly, OFK actually missed a couple of things: the United States finally growing a spine and telling the Stalinists they'll get no food aid unless they promise outsiders can make sure it goes to the people who need it (BBC and Cybercast News), and the trouble SNK is having regulating cell phone use (Daily NK).

Thursday, December 29, 2005

News of the Day (December 29)

The Canada file: Friendly Blog Between Heaven and Earth does the blogosphere a tremendous service by reprinting in full Conservative MP Stockwell Day's excellent speech on Communist China at the University of Toronto (UPDATE: for all the visitors from Small Dead Animals, this is the speech SDA excerpted). That the Conservatives had the wisdom to appoint Day their foreign policy critic (i.e., shadow foreign minister) was the tipping point behind our endorsement of them in next month's Canadian election. This speech is a must read. Between Heaven and Earth also has a speech by David Kilgour, a retiring MP who bolted the governing Liberal Party in disgust this year, on the value of democracy in the modern world.

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Member One Free Korea has a detailed recent history of Communist China's support of Stalinist North Korea and the mullahcracy of Iran.

Communist China rips U.S. sanctions: Speaking of Communist aid to Iran, Zhongnanhai "demanded that the Bush administration lift sanctions imposed on six companies on charges of illicit sales to Iran, saying the action undermined Beijing's cooperation with the United States" (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). Here are some reminders on what Communist China calls cooperation. Also reporting: BBC

Communist China inks deal with its would-be colony on offshore oil: Communist China and Stalinist North Korea "agreed Saturday in Beijing to conduct this joint (oil) exploration project to help China's rapid economic growth and North Korea with winter heating" (United Press Int'l via Washington Times).

News of more Christmas arrests: The arrests reported yesterday in occupied East Turkestan (sixth item) were not the only incidents of Communists trying to get between believers and their God on Christmas. A Roman Catholic mass in Fuzhou, Fujian was "disrupted" (Cybercast News), while members of a Beijing Protestant congregation have been dragged into police stations for questioning.

Communists purge Beijing News staff, shut down Bai Xing website: The editor-in-chief of Beijing News, a paper known "for forthright reporting and commentary" (BBC) has been fired, along with two other editors. The cadres are obviously not happy at the paper for exposing the Shanwei massacre. Meanwhile, the web site of Bai Xing, a muckraking magazine according to Boxun, has been wiped off the web.

Finding out unborn baby's gender means jail time in Communist China: The Communists attempt to maintain the hideous "one child" policy while reversing the alarming shortage in girls has led them to announce penalties of "up to three years in jail and heavy fines for helping (parents) with gender selection" (UPI via Newkerala, India).

Interview with Gao Zhisheng: Sound of Hope Radio (via Epoch Times) talks to the human rights' attorney who continues the fight for freedom despite the heavy hand of the Chinese Communist Party (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, and eleventh items).

On Communist China and South Asia: Frederick Stakelbeck, Jr., in the Washington Times, calls on the United States and India to "deter further Chinese influence" in the dictatorship-suffering Nepal (fourth item).

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

News of the Day (December 28)

Canada file (sort of): It may be a stretch, but I think I figured out why Canadian jet-setter Maurice Strong thinks water will soon be rationed by armed guards. Strong "spends much of his time in Beijing, where he keeps an office" (Western Standard). Well, according to the Epoch Times, Communist China is now suffering under a water shortage of more than 1.5 trillion gallons. Of course, what Strong is unwilling to admit is that said water shortage is caused in large part by rampant pollution that, according to hydrologist Wang Weluo, has led to "about 700-800 million people in China . . . drinking polluted water" (see also seventh item). Meanwhile, the Communists' own State Environmental Protection Administration is now admitting that "underground water supplies of around 90% of China's cities have been polluted" (BBC). Of course, given Communist China's rampant overdevelopment, of the kind no free market would sustain (twenty-ninth, thirtieth, last, and seventh items), and things like the Jilin and Shaoguan poison spills (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, seventh, tenth, sixth, and ninth items), this really shouldn't surprise anyone. However, if one thinks Communist China as the wave of the future, things like water rationing start to make sense.

"Wisp Wind" announces new political party; drafts constitution for "New China": Assuming "Wisp Wind" is a pseudonym, an anonymous dissident has brought forth the Chinese People's Party, complete with a founding declaration and a draft constitution for "New China" (Boxun).

Luo Gan visits Communist Cuba; fellow cadres give Castro "multimillion-dollar loan": Luo Gan, Communist China's Lavrenty Beria (second item), visited Communist Cuba recently for talks on the "excellent political, economic and (Communist) party ties between China and Cuba" (Human Events). As part of said ties, the Castro regime "announced recently it will be opening a consulate in Guangdong, China, in order to support Chinese trade and investment in Cuba" and scored a "multimillion-dollar loan" from Zhongnanhai. The two Communist regimes have been close for quite some time (seventh and twenty-second items).

India growing more annoyed at Nepal buying arms from Communist China: India, Communist China's longtime rival, has become rather upset at Nepal, where dictatorial King Gyanendra's military "purchased arms and ammunition from China, paying hard cash while continuing to ignore older debts to India that have mounted up to over US$26 million" (ISN, Switzerland). Communist China was able to score the sale because of its willingness to pay commissions to "brokers, who are often senior army officials" in Nepal.

Airbus deal with Communist China raises eyebrows: The major plane deal between Airbus and Communist China (ninth item) has caused concern from Airbus' home base in France. Christian Harbulot, the director of the Paris-based School of Economic War, called the deal "risky" (ISN), given Communist China " is a rising power, and it moves according to a power strategy." Harblout also noted that the technology involved in the sale could be transferred to military use.

Communists arrest church leaders on Christmas Day in occupied East Turkestan: Communist Chinese police "raided a house church during its Christmas gathering in a rented commercial facility" (China Aid via Epoch Times) and arrested 12 pastors. Five are still in custody. The arrests occurred in occupied East Turkestan ("Xinjiang"); if not for the fifty-six-year Communist occupation, the church leaders would have been free to worship as they pleased.

Communist China pledges to double AIDS spending, but no mention of Henan victims: Communist China is once again trying to make us believe it is fighting AIDS, this time by announcing plans to "double expenditure on AIDS/HIV prevention to over US$350 million in the next two years" (ISN). This quarter will remain unconvinced until the regime admits to the one million victims in Henan Province, infected by the Communists themselves via an unhygienic blood drive (sixth, fourth, and sixth items).

Taiwan's DPP accuses Kuomintang of selling media stakes to firm with Communist money: Legislators from the governing and deeply anti-Communist Democratic Progressive Party accused the opposition Kuomintang party of selling its holdings in media companies to a Cayman Islands firm "which may have investment capital from China" (China Post, Taiwan) or the Communists' favorite tycoon: Li Ka-shing. KMT leader Ma Ying-jeou denied the accusations, but given the party's recent history towards the Communists, it can't be ruled out.

Enlightened Comment of the Day: Today's winner is Peter Morici, professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, for his terrific United Press International column (via Washington Times) on how Communist China's "autocratic capitalism" threatens the United States and Europe both economically and geopolitically.

More on Communist China and the United States: Roger McDermott, of the Jamestown Foundation, examines Kazakhstan's attempt to move closer to the U.S. without "incurring great political penalties from a wary Russia and a vigilant China" (Eurasia Daily Monitor via ISN).

On dissidents in Communist China: Guo Ruo and Lu Qingshuang, Epoch Times, find that the cadres' attempt to silence Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, and eighth items) has only made him more popular. Meanwhile, Xin Fei, also in the Epoch Times, provides the real reasons for the arrest of Xu Wanping (fourth item).

On Stalinist North Korea: Chung Dong-young, Unification Minister in South Korea's dovish government (or, as China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea calls him, North Korea's Minister for Southern Affairs), finally decides to stop playing apologist for the Communists' would-be colony on its counterfeiting of American currency (UPI via Washington Times).

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

News of the day (December 27)

Greetings to all of the folks sent to us by Friendly Blog Small Dead Animals. In what can only be described as a cruel irony, the Canada file is empty today; apologies to all. That said, keep checking; there's a new post nearly every weekday. In the meantime, here's the last Canada file.

Norinco's back - Communist firms penalized for helping Iran's missile and WMD efforts: The Bush Administration barred "six Chinese government-run companies, two Indian firms and one Austrian company" (Bill Gertz, Washington Times) from doing business in the U.S. due to violations of the Iran Nonproliferation Act. The actions of the firms, which include repeat offender Norinco, were not revealed, but likely involved Iran's program in chemical weapons and missiles. Communist China has also been helping Iran's nuclear weapons program.

General Xiong Guangkai headed for "retirement": According to Charles Smith, Newsmax, Communist General Xiong Guangkai will soon retire from his post as number two officer in the so-called People's Liberation Army. However, the General, best known for threatening to incinerate Los Angeles, will still be chairman of the China Institute for Strategic Studies, making him a major Communist gatekeeper for foreigners, according to Rick Fisher, a longtime watcher of Communist China.

Communist China's colonization of Africa continues: Communist China is making major inroads into Angola, a dictatorship that hasn't seen a free vote in over a dozen years (Boston Globe). Of course, as in Zimbabwe, the locals are getting a little miffed, but the dictatorship is thrilled.

Japan signs on to missile defense as Communists frame dissident for anti-Japan riots: The Communists must have been hoping Japan would stop spreading the truth about them (eleventh item) if they turned on the people they encouraged to riot at the Japanese Embassy last spring. The only trouble is, they chose instead to frame a democracy activist: Xu Wanping, whose wife "told the AFP news agency her husband had played no role in organising (UK sp) or participating in anti-Japanese protests and should be freed" (BBC). One day earlier, Japan "approved a joint missile defence programme (UK sp) with the U.S." (BBC) due to what Chief cabinet secretary Shinzo Abe called "current international circumstances."

As post-massacre crackdown intensifies in Shanwei, another Guangdong protester is arrested: Communist police in Dongzhou village, site of the Shanwei massacre, have expelled over 200 residents, in some cases "leaving children alone at home" (Epoch Times), and have arrested as many as forty others. The massacre has triggered another wave of resignations from the Chinese Communist Party (Epoch Times), putting the number of ex-Communists at over 6.6 million. Meanwhile, in yet another part of Guangdong Province, a land-grab by local cadres has resulted in the arrest of a citizen who led a protest to stop it: Chen Weiying of Sanshan (Washington Post).

Guo Feixiong set free: However, there was some good regarding, of all places, Taishi. One day after he was mentioned here, Guo Feixiong - the attorney who helped Taishi locals try to recall corrupt cadres under the Communists' own "village elections" law - "has been released without charges" (BBC) after being held for over three months. Of course, the damage has already been done: the villagers' attempts to recall their leaders were crushed. That said, the cadres' falsehoods on the nature of "village elections" were exposed to the world.

Communist surveillance in Beijing increasing: Communist China will soon install "cameras in entertainment centers in star-rated hotels before the 2008 Olympics" (United Press Int'l via Washington Times). The surveillance cameras will also include "business centers, gas stations, elementary and middle schools, and more than 3,000 automated teller machines" (Epoch Times).

Communists trying, and failing, to lure Gao into discretions: The efforts Communist China are making to ruin attorney Gao Zhisheng's reputation (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, and third items) are somewhat creative, but too transparent. Cadres are now resorting to offering "money and sex" to ensnare the human rights lawyer; the latter ruse actually got him laughing. Meanwhile, Dr. Cheng Xiaonong, Editor-in-Chief of Modern China Studies, said Gao's investigation of the Communists revealed persecution of Falun Gong practitioners "worse than the Nazis" (Epoch Times).

Communists rips U.S. support for Hong Kong democracy: In response to the U.S. lending vocal support to those in Hong Kong wanting "a timetable for full democracy" (Washington Times), Communist mouthpiece Qin Gang "reacted angrily" and "told Washington not to interfere."

Communist-picked Tibetan monk praises occupiers' policies: Communist China's hand-picked Panchen Lama "emerged in China's state-run press yesterday to praise the country's religious policies" (Washington Times). The real Panchen Lama - second in rank only to the Dalai Lama - has not been seen since Communist China detained him and his family over a decade ago, when he was six years old.

More on Communist oppression: Sandra Keaton, Epoch Times, has the latest on the Sydney International Tribunal, whose mandate is to expose "the Chinese Communist Party's crimes against humanity."

Posion slick from Jilin hits Khabarovsk: The now infamous poison slick put into the Songhua and Amur Rivers by a Communist-owned chemical factory (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, seventh, and tenth items) reached the Russia city of Khabarovsk, whose residents "switched to stockpiled drinking water, ignoring officials' statements that filtering and other precautions would protect them against the slick" (Washington Post).

Former Communist minister gets life in prison for taking bribes: Ex-Minister for Land and Resources Tian Fengshan was convicted of taking over $500,000 in bribes and sentenced to life in prison (BBC). Tian's trial just happened to begin less than a week after the Shanwei massacre, which itself stemmed from a Communist seizure of land (last item).

On the Communist economy: Will Smale, BBC, expects Communist China's supposedly white-hot growth to continue (fifth item), as does Citibank apparently (Washington Post, last item), but Dr. Gao Weibang, of the Victims Association for Taiwanese Investors in China, issues another warning to anyone looking to cash in on the "one billion customers" myth. This time, Dr. Gao notes that even money safely deposited in a bank is anything but (Epoch Times).

On Stalinist North Korea: China Freedom Alliance Blog Member One Free Korea comments on the return of famine to the Communists' would-be colony, and marvels at dovish South Korea's refusal to accept reality about Stalinist counterfeiting. Meanwhile, SNK lambasted U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow for speaking the truth about it (The New Republic, last item), while Vershbow himself called on the Stalinists to stop hiding behind America's punishment of them for the fakery as their excuse to avoid the talks on their nuclear ambitions (Washington Times).

Monday, December 26, 2005

Ignorant Comment of the Year

I feel I have to start with an apology, because this post is in part a substitute for the News of the Day, which won't restart until tomorrow. Christmas has been a little too hectic around here.

That said, I did find the time to finally take a look at Time's excuses - ahem, explanations - for their Persons of the Year: Bono, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates, and I hate to say it, but the editors blew it. In fact, their entire outlook on the year was so bad they earned the ultimate dubious honor (from this quarter): Ignorant Comment of the Year.

We'll start with Bono. He has had quite an impact with his anti-poverty campaign, and he has taken a lot of effort into make this more than a typical rock-and-roll fad. My question is, why this year? The "Live-8" concert, while quite a story for about a week, did not have nearly the impact of all of his other, less glamarous work, most of it was done before 2005 and will continue long after December 31. Additionally, there is one issue on which I must take issue with him: Zimbabwe. During a Newsnight (UK) interview, Bono tried to sidestep the issue of Zimbabwe: "You can’t diminish what is happening in Zimbabwe, but you have to remember Africa is not just one country. It’s 50 countries" (The Zimbabwean). What Bono either doesn't know (which would be surprising) or won't admit (which would be maddening) is that among the 50-plus African nations, Zimbabwe is exceptional, if not unique, because of dictator Robert Mugabe's willingness to use food as a weapon against his political opponents. No one can argue with helping people, but to try to ignore or deflect the outrage over Mugabe, Communist China's best friend in Africa, is simply the wrong thing to do.

As for the Gates couple, again, they clearly are looking to make the world a better place. I just don't think that should include a $57 million grant to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) - the same UNFPA (eighth item) that is an enabler to Communist China's hideous "one child" policy. Recent contributions to the US Committee for UNFPA, totalling nearly half a million dollars, doesn't help either.

However, what really made these choices all the more ridiculous is not the faults of those selected; as my mother was fond of saying, "Nobody's perfect." The bigger complaint I have is a near-total lack of respect for the rest of the world. Time's Person of the Year is supposed to be the person who had the greatest impact on the world, for good or ill, during the calendar year. I just don't see any of these three being that person.

However, I can see how Time might make that mistake, given their unbelievable myopia on world events. Take a look at their "People Who Mattered" section to see what I mean. The overwhelming majority are American. It was stunning. The only people who made the list from outside the United States were Pope Benedict XVI, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Iranian mouthpiece Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. If you've just asked yourself, "How can they have picked no one from East Asia?", you're beginning to understand my problem with the editors' decisions.

Were there people from East Asia who could have been Person of the Year? Absolutely. Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun exposed a massive overseas Communist espionage operation that, in addition to the usual economic and military spying, has been silencing ethnic Chinese communities in the democratic world for years. Shi Tao's arrest (fourteenth, fifth, lead, third, eighth, seventh, third, fifth, eighth, last, third, and fourth items) not only reminded the world of the Communists' disgust for a free press, but it exposed just how deeply American high-tech companies are intertwined in the Communist police state (funny, none of that was mentioned in Time's profile of the Gates couple). The brave citizens of Taishi village allowed one and all to see the sham of Communist China's "village elections;" their legal adviser, Guo Feixiong, remains in a Communist prison cell to this day. Then there are the victims of the Shanwei massacre, the news of which is continuing to circle the globe as I write this. Finally, there are the authors of the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, although the fact that the Commentaries actually came out in late 2004 could serve as a disqualifier.

Of course, one need not select any of these brave souls to honor them. Time's criteria famously leaves room for the world's evil men and women. Thus, Hu Jintao, as leader of the regime responsible for the outrages within Communist China listed above, would have made a very justifiable Person of the Year, so long as it was clear the blood on his hands is what put him there. Luo Gan, the Politburo Standing Committee Member who has used the year to consolidate his role as Communist China's Lavrenty Beria (Epoch Times), would have also been a worthy choice for the same dark reasons. Even selecting the Chinese Communist Party as a whole makes more sense than the three people actually selected.

However, in order for any of these choices to be considered, one has to be aware of what Communist China is today - the largest prison society on the planet and the greatest threat to the survival of the free world (yes, greater than terrorism, which wouldn't be where it is today without the Chinese Communist Party). Sadly, that awareness seems to be missing at Time, and most of mainstream media in general; and that, in a nutshell, is why Time ended up with Bono and the Gates couple as Persons of the Year, and thus earned the Ignorant Comment of the Year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

News of the Day (December 23)

The Canada file: With one month to go until Canada's election, for which we have endorsed the opposition Conservatives, events from the Great White North will receive added prominence between now and then. We start with the Ignorant Comment of the Day, won by Paul Waldie (Globe and Mail) for taking a case on possible Communist espionage in Canada (third, lead, lead, third, and sixth items) and turning it into an immigration puff piece. Kevin Steele, Western Standard, scores the Enlightened Comment of the Day by tracing the reality Waldie ignored (Shotgun). Fellow Friendly Blog Between Heaven and Earth highlights the Canadian Labour Congress report on toy making in Communist China. Finally, the British Columbia-based Asian Pacific Post tells the harrowing tale of a mother in Hunan province who was on the run for five months, escaped a Communist hospital, and had a Caesarian-section delivery, all to save her second child from the cadres' hideous "one child" policy.

Luo Gan was in Shanwei just before the shooting: The Epoch Times is reporting that Luo Gan, the Politburo Standing Committee member who was in Hanyuan just before the shooting started last year, "clandestinely arrived in Shanwei just before departing overseas," providing greater evidence the Shanwei massacre was at least condoned and probably encouraged by the Communist leadership in Beijing. There are also reports that cadres in the city personally stand to gain from the power plant at the center of the dispute. Gu Qinger and Gao Ling (Epoch Times) have the latest on the torture and fear in Shanwei, and Ye Deming (also Epoch Times) gives the background on the brutal Luo.

Communists charge New York Times journalist: Zhao Yan, the New York Times researcher and dissident journalist jailed last year, was finally indicted by the Communists for "fraud and illegally releasing state secrets" (CNN). His actual crime was revealing Jiang Zemin's plans to leave the Central Military Commission last year. Jiang's successor, Hu Jintao, has personally backed Zhao's persecution (fourth item).

PEN grants awards, expresses concern for Shi Tao's health under forced labor: The Independent Chinese PEN Center announced the Free-to-write and Lin Zhao Memorial awards for 2005. The former went to Beijing write Wu Si, the latter to university professor Lu Xuesong (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, International PEN expressed concern for Shi Tao (fourteenth, fifth, lead, third, eighth, seventh, third, fifth, eighth, last, and third items) "following reports that he is suffering from respiratory problems and a skin inflammation as a result of forced labor" (Boxun).

Communist thugs beaten priests and nuns, then police interrogate them: Another land dispute with a Catholic Church turned ugly, this time in Tianjin, where five priests and nuns were beaten by "more than 30 thugs" (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times). The police responded by detaining the priests and nuns for interrogation.

Dissident seized in Burma loses Beijing appeal: Peng Ming, an exiled dissident who according to associates went to Burma "to set up a haven for fleeing Chinese dissidents" (BBC), lost the appeal of the life sentence imposed upon him by the Communists, who claim he was "setting up a terrorist training base in Burma and inciting others to murder and kidnap people." They slapped the same charges, and sentence, on Wang Bingzhang.

Communist China shuts down Gay/Lesbian Event: Two days before the Beijing Gay and Lesbian Culture Festival was to begin, Communist China banned them from the location where it was to take place (Boxun). The festival was moved, but the new location was raided by police just before it was to begin. The shutdown, part of a longtime crackdown against homosexual activism in Communist China, may have also had something to do with the festival's focus on "sexual rights and health, specifically HIV/AIDS." They wouldn't want anyone to mention the one million infected in Henan Province from an earlier Communist blood drive (sixth, fourth, and sixth items).

Communists in Beijing and Hong Kong lash out at pro-democracy politicians: Stuck with the reality that their efforts at "reform" bait-and-switch were shot down by the pro-democracy members of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (tenth, second, and seventh items), the cadres in Beijing ripped the democracy supporters (BBC), as did their minions in the Hong Kong press (BBC). The anti-Communist Apple Daily backed the democrats.

Communist China says cadmium spill has been dammed up: Cadres in Guangdong Province, home of the cadmium-tainted Bei River (sixth item) now insist that the sludge "has been stopped by a dam, ensuring the water remains safe to use downstream" (BBC). Of course, the cadres in Jilin said the same thing about their benzene-tainted Songhua (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, seventh, and tenth items).

Mining officials punished (sort of), but no mines closed by the Communists: The cadres announced they had "taken action against more than 200 officials in connection with six major coal mining accidents" (BBC). However, nearly half of said officials will keep their jobs. More importantly, no mention was made of mines that had been shut down, despite earlier pledges to shut down thousands of them (sixth and eighth items).

Communists insist their "development" is "peaceful"; Japan remains unconvinced: Communist China issued a new white paper insisting it will "stick to the road of peaceful development" (Washington Post). It took little time for Japan to bring us all back to reality. New Opposition Leader Seiji Maehara called the Communist regime a "realistic threat" (World Net Daily). Foreign Minister Taro Aso went even further: "a neighbor with one billion people equipped with nuclear bombs and has expanded its military outlays by double digits for 17 years in a row, and it is unclear as to what this is being used for . . . It is beginning to be a considerable threat" (BBC). Also reporting: Cybercast News, United Press International via Washington Times

Communist China hosts OPEC officials: America may be grabbing the headlines in the Middle East, but Communist China certainly isn't avoiding the place. The cadres in Beijing are hosting the first ever talks between themselves and officials from the Mideast-heavy Oil Producing and Exporting Countries (OPEC) group. Sadly, the BBC story made no mention of Communist support for OPEC more terrorist-minded members.

Judge says cleared Uighurs are illegally held, but he cannot release them: Add District Court Judge James Robertson to the list of people (including this quarter) maddeningly frustrated by the fate of Uighurs from occupied East Turkestan who have been cleared of terrorist suspicion but can't leave Guantanamo Bay. Robertson called the detention "unlawful" (UPI via Washington Times), but could find nothing in the law that gave him the power to act. The U.S. has been trying to find a home for the Uighurs (except here), but have been rebuffed at every turn (fifth item).

The Falun Gong War overseas: In San Francisco, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, which organizers the city's Chinese New Year Parade, are refusing to let Falun Gong practitioners participate (Epoch Times). In New Zealand, Wellington's city council has ordered the arrest of practitioners protesting in front of the Communist Embassy (Epoch Times). Finally, the beating of demonstrating practitioners in Argentina, and the government's refusal to stop it, earns opprobrium in Australia (Epoch Times).

Chen Yonglin speaks: The former Communist consular officer who defected to expose the Communists' international espionage activities testifies to the Sydney Tribunal during the Trial of the Chinese Communist Party for Crimes against Humanity about the persecution of Falun Gong (Epoch Times).

On Communist China and Christmas: Kery Nunez, Epoch Times, reveals how her attempts to avoid "Made in China" this Christmas helped her discover its true meaning.

On Stalinist North Korea: China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea has the latest on the Stalinist counterfeiting flap, including the Communists trying to provide cover for their would-be colony, while guest blogger Andy Jackson wraps up his reports from the Seoul conference on human rights in the Stalinist North.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

News of the Day (December 21)

Due to family obligations, the next News of the Day will come on Friday, December 23.

China Support Network Echo Chamber: The Epoch Times reprints Curry Kenworthy's piece on avoiding Communist-made Christmas/Hanukkah/Insert-holiday-here gifts.

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Member One Free Korea earns to big hat tips. The first is on Stalinist North Korean abductions in then-Portugese Macau (Chosun Ilbo, South Korea); the second is on the Stalinists' lust for Russian naval weapons (Chosun Ilbo). OFK also notes House Int'l Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde's praise for tough talking U.S. Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, while guest blogger Andy Jackson continues to report from the Seoul conference on human rights in the SNK.

More on the Communists' would-be colony: Japan has restarted talks with SNK on the eight Japanese abducted by the Stalinists, who "never provided conclusive proof of their deaths" (BBC). Meanwhile, U.S. envoy Christopher Hill talks to Yonhap (via Korea Times) about Stalinist counterfeiting and the nuclear talks debacle, but not liberation.

Did we scoop the Israeli military on missile sales to Iran and Communist China? Odds are Major General Aharon Ze'evi knew about the dozen Ukrainian warhead-capable missiles sold to Iran and half-dozen sold to Communist China before he told the Knesset (Jerusalem Post). Still, readers of this site knew of the sale nine months ago (third item).

Communists lock down Dongzhou village, torture villagers in Huaxi: The village in Shanwei City (hence the term Shanwei massacre) is now full of "fear, foreboding, and resentment" (Washington Post), due to the suffocating presence of violent Communist police in the village who have tortured several villagers (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, In Huaxi, Zheijang, a previous battle between anti-pollution protestors and Communist police (fourth, eleventh, and sixth items) ended with eight villagers tortured into "confessing" to leading the "riot" (Washington Post). Frederick W. Stakelbeck, Jr., examines the fallout from protests such as these in Front Page Magazine.

Another regime-owned factory makes water undrinkable: An "excessive discharge of cadmium from a state-owned smelter" (BBC) has forced the city of Shaoguan to go without drinking water. The news comes one month after the pollution scandal in Jilin (seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, seventh, and tenth items).

Hong Kong democrats block faux reforms: Pro-democracy members of Hong Kong's Legislative Council shot down Communist-appointed city leader Donald Tsang's political "reform plans" (BBC), which would in fact do little to make the city government more accountable to the people instead of the Communists (tenth and second items).

House of Representatives condemns Communist labor camps: The vote on the resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 294, was 413-1 (Epoch Times).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

News of the Day (December 20)

From the China Support Network: Founder John Patrick details the bloody history of the Chinese Communist Party; Spain Director Demetrius Klitou cites the Shanwei-Dongzhou Massacre as evidence to maintain the European Union arms embargo on Communist China; Executive Director Curry Kenworthy advises on how to avoid gifts from Communist China ruining the Christmas/Hanukkah/Insert-holiday-here season.

Human Rights Watch calls for independent probe of Shanwei Massacre: Communist China's cover-up of the Shanwei massacre has earned the regime the wrath of Human Rights Watch, which "urged China to immediately invite the United Nations or another independent body to investigate the killings" (Boxun).

Gao Zhisheng wins more support, but humbly deflects praise for his efforts: Human-rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, who faces the end of his law practice and his freedom for his work on behalf of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, and second items), won more support from the exiled dissident community, in this case Wang Bin (Epoch Times). Gao himself reacted humbly: "Don't give me too much credit. We should praise those who survived the 'tiger bench.' They are the true hopes and glories of the Chinese nation" (Epoch Times). Dr. Jiao Guobiao, who joined Gao in his investigations of the persecution, explains what "tiger bench" means, in very graphic and painful terms, in the Epoch Times.

Communist sale of organs from executed prisoners to British patients exposed: Richard Spencer, London Telegraph, conducted an extensive investigation of a network selling organs from executed prisoners in Communist China to patients in Britain, with the operations to take place at Communist military hospitals in order to bypass ordinary citizens in Communist China on "long local waiting lists" for transplants.

Communists claim economy even bigger than they thought: Communist China now claims its economy "was 16.8% larger in 2004 than initially calculated" (BBC). This makes the Communist economy the world's sixth largest at least. It could be as high as fourth, ahead of Great Britain (Bloomberg), assuming, of course, that the Communists have somehow stopped inflating statistics and building useless factories (fifteenth, twenty-ninth, thirtieth, tenth, sixth, last, last, and seventh items). Meanwhile, despite the supposedly roaring economy, real estate vacancy is through the roof, a sign that rents and housing prices are too high (Epoch Times). Can you say "real estate bubble"?

Ignorant Comment of the Day: Jim Frederick, Time Asia, wins the dubious prize for the second time in eight days (last item) for a piece on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi which focuses more on Koizumi's trips to the Yasukuni Shrine than Communist China’s geopolitical machinations against the sixty-year ally of the United States.

More Commentary on Communist China: Benjamin Youngquest (Epoch Times) follows up on New Tang Dynasty Television's report on Wal-Mart's ties to Communist China (tenth item). Guan Guimin, a performer at the NTDTV New Year Global Gala, talks to the Epoch Times about how the Chinese Communist Party damaged morals and art at home while it spreads fear to ethnic Chinese abroad, including in the United States.

Stalinist North Korea to restart nuclear plant construction: The Communists' would-be colony upped the ante by announcing plans "to resume building two nuclear reactors" (BBC), in reaction to the cancellation of the plants from the 1994 Agreed Framework fiasco. Now the Stalinists have another card to play in the game of nuclear diplomacy, while this quarter wonders how long it will take for the U.S. to switch to liberation.

More on Stalinist North Korea: China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea provides a counterfeiting update, and comments on religion's role in the lives of refugees from SNK; OFK guest blogger Andy Jackson has the latest from the Seoul conference on human rights in the Stalinist North. Meanwhile, Guy Dinmore and Anna Fifield, Financial Times (UK), have a largely useless and panicked analysis of the battle within the Bush Administration over SNK policy, with this exception: "Robert Joseph, under-secretary for arms control, did not believe in the use of negotiations." Apparently, Joseph has the wisdom of his predecessor, John Bolton (fifth item); this is fantastic news.

Monday, December 19, 2005

News of the Day (December 19)

Communists trying, and failing, to cover up Shanwei Massacre: Communist China is so desperate to get attention off the Shanwei massacre they have resorted to bribing relatives of the murdered villagers into silence, and threatening to beat them if they refuse the deal (New York Times via China Freedom Blog Alliance Member One Free Korea). Police are still in there in force, terrifying the local populace (Epoch Times), while the police commander the cadres bragged about detaining "was actually released without charge only three days later" (Epoch Times). Literally adding insult to injury, the cadres printed the names of three casualties, ignoring the more than sixty others murdered (BBC). Despite this, word is still getting out, in one case through a website in which the discussion is disguised as a review of a 1926 article (Washington Post), and several members of Congress expressed their outrage to the Communist Ambassador (OFK). The Epoch Times spoke to Dr. Cheng Xiaonong, Editor-in-chief of Contemporary China History Studies, about the significance of this horrifying act.

Communists may close Gao Zhisheng's office for good: Communist China "forced one of the three lawyers of the Shengzhi Law Office to leave the firm" (Epoch Times). Under Communist law, a firm must have three lawyers or close, meaning the Shengzhi Law Office - the firm of human-rights attorney Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, and third items) - could be shut down. If the cadres hoped this would silence Gao, or cost him support, they were wrong on both counts (Epoch Times).

European Commission VP rips foreign tech firms aiding Communist crackdown: Margot Wallstroem, Vice President of the European Commission, used a blog entry to take Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google to task for allowing themselves to becoming part of Communist China’s crackdown against cyberdissidents (BBC).

Virologist's lab is shut down; bird flu honesty believed to be the reason: Less than two weeks after Hong Kong virologist Guan Yi blew the whistle on Communist China’s bird flu cover-up (sixth item), the cadres declared that Dr. Guan’s lab in Guangdong province "did not meet state regulations" (Epoch Times) and will be shut down.

The latest on the Falun Gong war overseas: The craven willingness of Thailand to harass and arrest Falun Gong practitioners at Communist China's request (third and fourth items) led to a protest in front of the Thai consulate in New York (Epoch Times). John Nania, also from the Epoch Times, took stock of the Communists' successful efforts to convince democratic nations to crack down on demonstrating practitioners. Meanwhile, Chris Bowen, an opposition MP from Australia, repeated his support for Falun Gong (third item), and his criticism of his government's harsh reaction to it, in an interview with Sound Of Hope Radio (reprinted by the Epoch Times).

New report details Communist Chinese threat to U.S., Taiwan, and Russia: A new report by the Hudson Institute reveals that Communist China "plans to win a war over Taiwan within a week" (Newsmax), which is not beyond the realm of possibility. The cadres are even contemplating the possibility of nuclear war with the U.S. in order to advance its geopolitical interests. Meanwhile, Russia, Communist China's largest arms supplier, is growing increasingly worried about the Sinicization of the Russian Far East.

Moscow grappling with benzene spill from Jilin explosion: Russia has one other thing from Communist China worthy of worry: the benzene slick coming from the Petrochina explosion in Jilin (BBC, see also seventh, fourth, ninth, fourth, fourth, fifth, fourth, fifth, third, seventh, and tenth items).

Communist claim economic growth of over 9%: Communist China announced an economic growth rate of "more than 9% in 2005" (BBC). How much of this is real, as opposed to inflated statistics and useless factory building (fifteenth, twenty-ninth, thirtieth, tenth, sixth, last, last, and seventh items), was not discussed.

O Canada! Carleton University journalism professor David van Praagh’s terrific Ottawa Citizen (Canada) column on the Communist Chinese threat to the democratic world (reprinted by the Friendly Blog Shotgun) scores the Enlightened Comment of the Day.

More on Communist China and the United States: New Tang Dynasty Television (via Epoch Times) details Wal-Mart’s ties with Communist factories where workers "are forced to work 13 hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week, for as little as 18 to 33 cents an hour."

On the Communists' would-be colony of Stalinist North Korea: One Free Korea rails against the United Nations World Food Program for abandoning the people of northern Korea, while OFK guest blogger Andy Jackson reports from the Seoul conference on human rights in SNK. Michael O'Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, argues for the South Korea-U.S. alliance in the Washington Times, while Chosun Ilbo (South Korea) calls on the dovish government there to act more like an ally. Finally, Nina Shea of the Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom, details some of the worse persecutors of Christianity, including the Stalinists, in National Review Online.

Friday, December 16, 2005

This Kudlowesque moment brought to you by the Ludwig von Mises Institute

The News of the Day can be found here.

Once again, the refusal to face geopolitical reality was in full view, this time from Hillsdale College Economics Professor Robert P. Murphy. In this piece posted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Murphy puts forth some easy straw men on trade with Communist China, and then knocks them down. If he actually dealt with the real objections to trading with the Communists, he might have been harder to refute. Then again, he might have also realized he would have had no case.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that one of the leading libertarian organizations in the world would get the U.S.-Communist China relationship so terribly wrong. Far too many libertarians (particularly the economic-based ones) prefer to see this as a free-trade or free-market issue; as if Communist China is no different than, say, India. If what follows sounds a lot like my reaction to Lawrence Kudlow's disastrous column from half a year ago, that's because Murphy makes some similarly foolish points.

We'll begin with Murphy's first argument about the reason no one should concern themselves with the nearly $200 billion trade deficit we will have with Communist China for this year when it ends in two and a half weeks. Every tried and true free trader has used this (and it is not without merit, up to a point): "There is nothing intrinsically disturbing about a trade 'deficit' or 'imbalance' between any two countries, in the same way that there is nothing shortsighted in my own practice of consistently buying more goods from McDonald's than I sell to the restaurant chain."

Murphy is tipping his hand here on what he thinks of Communist China, i.e., that it is not a hostile nation bent on defeating us in Cold War II, but just another economic actor on the world stage. That’s why he can equate the regime to McDonald's. However, I would humbly submit that if MacDonald's had a history of ties to al Qaeda that included buying unexploded American cruise missiles from it and laundered Osama bin Laden's drug money for him, even Professor Murphy might consider switching to Burger King.

Murphy then notes, correctly, that one cannot have a trade deficit without a capital surplus, i.e., the nation who exports more to you than they import from you has to invest in your economy to make sure you have the currency to buy their goods. He then asserts, "Most people think that trade surpluses (in goods and services) are good, as well as net capital inflows (i.e., when foreigners invest more in America than vice versa)." In point of fact, we in the anti-Communist community don’t want Communist China "investing" in any part of the American economy, or vice versa. Again, it's the difference between treating Communist China a just another country and seeing it for the enemy it really is.

Murphy does have the guts to discuss the argument that the trade deficit helps finance Communist China’s military and his response sounds reasonable at first: "It's not as if the Chinese government says, 'This year let's set military spending equal to whatever our trade surplus with the US happens to be.' If American consumers bought fewer toys and TVs from China, would that really thwart the ambitions of their political rulers, or would it simply make their people poorer and increase international tensions?"

Kudos to Murphy for recognizing Communist China wouldn't care a whit about its own people if forced with that decision. However, he makes the mistake of assuming Communist China is interested in making its people richer now. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party's only concern is its own well-being. Nearly all of the economic gains in recent years have been siphoned off by the Communists themselves, or been poured into their Potemkin cities on the Pacific Coast. The improvement of the people at large is not on the cadres' agenda. Would the Communists take the money from the Potemkin cities to fund their military if we stopped sending over $200 million? Probably, but at least it would make the regime's deceptions harder to maintain, and thus make it easier for the Chinese people to liberate themselves from the CCP. Sadly, Murphy doesn’t even seem to consider this scenario.

Murphy then addresses the concern over Communist China's American debt holdings, but he makes the same mistake by comparing the Communist regime to a loan-issuing bank. Again, a bank's interest is in making a profit; it could care less about you individually. Communist China, by contrast, considers the United States to be the enemy; profit motive is not what they have in mind.

Next up is the matter of wages, and here Murphy simply ignores the real problem. Nowhere is his supposed refutation of concern over Communist China's depressed wage rates doe he mention two of the most critical reasons for it: the lack of independent labor unions and the widespread use of "reeducation" camp prison labor. Murphy would have us believe that Communist China’s comparative advantage in certain products is a natural market effect, where in fact it is largely resulting from the above distortions to the free market imposed by the Communists.

Murphy's arguments on the Communists' deliberately devalued currency hold a little more water, if we were just talking about the U.S. and Communist China. In fact, the real story of the devalued currency is largely missed: it has greatly hurt the exporting ability of America's other trading partners, including some of her largest and most important allies. For the American consumer, that’s not very important. For an American worried about bringing together the democratic world to face the Communist threat, the fact that said allies are far weaker economically than they would be in an unfettered market should give everyone pause.

Murphy's last point is a dismissive reaction to the intellectual piracy issue: "the notion that our national security is at stake because of bootlegged DVDs is ridiculous." If we were only talk DVDs, he'd be right. The trouble is counterfeiting goes well beyond home entertainment: "more than 90 percent of software (in Communist China) is pirated, the Business Software Alliance says" (Seattle Times). Given Communist China’s determined effort to achieve a high-tech economy and a high-tech military (second item), concern about stolen software is anything but "ridiculous."

Murphy ends his piece with an absurd argument: "Let me end simply by asking the concerned reader, do you think our free enterprise system works or not? After all, if you really do believe that blind faith in market forces will be trumped by crafty foreign politicians who intervene in their own economies, then shouldn't you welcome our domination by self-proclaimed communists?"

No one has to lose faith in the free enterprise system to wonder if it can withstand a regime that not only subverts it domestically, but also has as its central foreign policy aim to take control of the world from its most well-known implementer: the United States. Would Professor Murphy be so cavalier about free trade with, say, the Soviet Union? Or would he instead recognize that we were correct in (mostly) steering clear of selling them the rope they needed to hang us?

Communist China is, if anything, a more dangerous threat to us now, in the Second Cold War, than the Soviets were in the First. Yet Murphy refuses to see the danger, and thus treats the Chinese Communist Party like any other government. It is nothing of the kind; the CCP is an evil institution that cares not how many people it has to kill in order to maintain its power. One does not trade with such a monster. Instead, one isolates it economically, contains it geopolitically, and works with the monster's greatest victims – the Chinese people – to help them liberate themselves from their Communist jailers.

America, and the entire democratic world, will never be secure until China is free.