Japan and France clash over EU arms embargo: French President Jacques Chirac visited Japan and publicly restated his support for lifting the European Union arms embargo against Communist China despite growing opposition. Chirac’s hosts, meanwhile, publicly repeated their strong objection to the idea – Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary called Chirac’s plans "a big problem” (Cybercast News). Also reporting: BBC
Communists rip Taiwanese march, remain silent about leaked invasion plan: As one would expect, Communist China took aim at the one million Taiwanese who took to the streets of Taipei (second item) to express their opposition to the Communists’ “anti-secession law”. According to the Communists, to demand “Peace” (Newsmax) from them is to create “new tension.” No one has asked about the tension caused by their leaked plans to invade the island democracy in 2012.
Nationalists send delegation to mainland: Meanwhile, the Nationalist Party – the leading “pan-blue” opposition in Taiwan – sent a thirty-member delegation to Communist China “aimed at easing tensions with Beijing” (BBC). Little stunts like this have led millions of Taiwanese to wonder about how cozy the “pan-blues” really are with the Communists – and such worry has fueled both election victories (2000 and 2004) for Democratic Progressive President Chen Shui-bian.
Commentary on Taiwan: George Will has a weak Newsweek column predicting “consumerism” will get the better of the Communists’ plans for Taiwan and the world. Joseph Nye, of Harvard, throws around a lot of facts, but no robust defense of Taiwan, in the Taipei Times (via Taiwan Security Research). The editors of the Asian-Pacific Post (Canada) have a much more realistic view on Communist China’s treatment of its own people and saber-rattling on Taiwan. John Downing, Toronto Sun, gives a quick analysis of the situation and laments that “Canada and the world haven't the guts to threaten to ban Chinese trade if China attacks what deserves to be a sovereign island.” The Taipei Times also interviewed Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu.
U.S. dollar could take a hit from Communist China: The U.S. dollar is still the world currency lodestar, but that could change dramatically “if China decided to sharply diversify its reserves portfolio away from dollars and toward euros” (Washington Times). While this would mean the Communists would have to end their deliberating cheapening of their currency – which has greatly damaged both American industry and exporters among U.S. allies in Asia – such a move can’t be ruled out if and when the Communists decide the time has come to break the dollar.
U.S. leads in nanotech spending, for now: The United States is the largest investor in nanotechnology, spending “about $1 billion last year” (Washington Post), more than “every other country, including the entire European Union.” However, Communist China is already at $900 million, and that’s just the official numbers. Moreover, the U.S. spending is not in nanotech weapons, where Communist China maintains a large edge.
Communist banks told to shape up: The China Banking Regulatory Commission is calling on Communist banks to “combat the growing cases of fraud and mismanagement” (BBC). The news comes as yet another Communist-owned bank was hit with scandal – “A former Bank of China employee was arrested on Sunday in connection with the alleged embezzlement of $6 million.”
Did Stalinist North Korea send Megumi Yokota’s remains after all? That is the question scientists are asking after Nature magazine claimed that the DNA tested conducted by Japan on remains sent by SNK were “inconclusive” (Time Asia) and that the testing itself ran a “high risk of contamination.” This was the second set of remains sent by the Stalinists – the first set was more certainly false. Kim Jong-il himself admitted his regime kidnapped thirteen Japanese from 1978 to 1983, but insisted eight are dead, including two on the same day, right after they managed to smuggle a letter home. Many believe at least some of the eight are still alive. The other five were supposed to make a short trip to Japan in late 2002 and have never returned since, resulting in their childen being held hostage for a year and a half. Ms. Yokota, one of the supposed dead, was a teenage when she was abducted.
Stalinists admit to bird flu outbreak, sort of: The Kim Jong-il regime acknowledged an outbreak of avian “bird” flu, among “a few” (CNN) chicken farms, but insisted “emergency measures and meticulously organized veterinary and anti-epizootic work” stopped the spread of the disease. If the actions of SNK’s Communist allies on SARS is any indication, the reality is likely a lot worse South Korea took little time to announce “it is ready to help the North” (BBC) with aid, so we can expect a story much closer to the truth now that the Stalinists see outside support coming from it.