Thursday, June 30, 2005

News of the Day (June 30)

Communist China’s military worrying United States: The massive military buildup by Communist China is leading the Pentagon to try to determine “the right mix of weapons to deal with China's growing military power” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). So far, the issue has become “‘the topic of much discussion and much dialogue’ as part of the congressionally-required Quadrennial Defense Review.”

Communist China could hit Taiwan, and soon: A number of analysts told Voice of America (via Newsmax) that “China is rapidly building up its military so that it will have the capability to attack Taiwan.” The Communists have plan to attack Taiwan anywhere from 2007 to 2012, and without U.S. support, the island democracy would fall quickly.

Ex-Pentagon official says Chen would have had asylum if he defected in U.S.: Dan Blumenthal, the Pentagon’s senior staffer on China, Taiwan and Mongolia from 2002-2004, told Australian television that Chen Yonglin “would probably already have been given asylum if the defection had happened in the U.S.” (Epoch Times). Blumenthal went on to say that the U.S. is “watching Australia’s relationship with China pretty closely.” Meanwhile, an Australian Senator ripped her government for being “gutless when it comes to standing up to human rights abuses in other countries” (Epoch Times). We repeat our call to grant Chen, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum in the U.S.

Cadre who came in from the cold in Canada fears deportation: Han Guangsheng, another former Communist police official-turned-defector, fears being sent back to Communist China after a Canadian court refused to give him refugee status. The court cited Han’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners – never mind that he defected so he wouldn’t have to do it anymore. The World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong “is working to intervene in support of Han’s appeal” (Epoch Times).

Amid debate on tariffs against Communist imports, opponents don’t get it: In their reaction to a bill calling for a tariff against Communist Chinese exports to the U.S. (second item), many of its opponents made the same mistake in their comments to Fox News: they assumed an argument against the bill was that a tariff would simply “raise U.S. imports from other low-cost sources of supply.” Given that those “low-cost sources of supply” aren’t building up their militaries for a future conflict with us, the import shift is a chief reason this corner supports the tariff, which comes before the Senate in July.

Lawyer hits Microsoft-on-Communism: Martin F. McMahon, an attorney in Washington, D.C., “has notified Microsoft Corporation that its practice of assisting the Chinese Communist government to restrict and monitor Internet usage is contrary to United States and United Nations laws” (Epoch Times). McMahon also noted Microsoft’s role in fighting internet restrictions in the United States, and asked “why your position in regards to freedom of speech on the Internet has changed so drastically since contracting with the PRC to censor speech” (see also second item).

European Union opens probe into Communist China shoe imports: The European Union officially opened an investigation into “an estimated sevenfold leap in China's imports since January 2005” (BBC) of shoes. Perhaps to grant the EU cover diplomatically, it also threw longtime Communist rival India under the microscope.

COSCO stock offering stumbles: The Communist-owned COSCO made its debut on Hong Kong’s stock market, and quickly fell 9% in value. One broker called the performance “a disaster for a major issue of this size” (BBC).

Even the Communists admit 300 million have no clean water: A cadre has admitted that pollution in Communist China has left “more than 300 million people without clean drinking water” (BBC). Other sources put the figure at 700 million (seventh item).

Commentary on Communist China: John Tamny has another terrible column in National Review Online; this one on Unocal is practically Kudlowesque. Xin Fei, Epoch Times, speaks to Li Qike, a former Communist colenol who insists there are many others like him still in the Communist military who can’t stand the Party. Chris Hogg, BBC, examines the political fallout inside and outside Taiwan from the proposed changes to the island democracy’s constitution.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

News of the Day (June 29)

Australia turned down invite to U.S.-led meetings on Communist China: A Bush Administration-led group of nations meeting “to discuss issues such as China’s increased militarization and how to protect diplomatic pouches” (Epoch Times) have been getting together for two years – but without Australia, who passed up an American invitation to the talks over a fear “that such talks would offend the Chinese regime.” The news is more compelling evidence to back up Chen Yonglin’s account that the Communists are turning Down Under into a political fiefdom. The other invitees – all of whom apparently accepted – were Great Britain, Japan, Canada, and New Zealand.

More on Chen Yonglin: The Epoch Times spoke to Bernard Collaery, Chen’s attorney. We once again call on the U.S. to grant Chen, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum.

Unnamed Communist calls military buildup “defensive”: A “Chinese diplomat, who declined to be identified” (Washington Times), insisted that his regime’s military buildup “is defensive.” He then had the audacity to claim, “We have never asked for a single piece of land.” That would be news to Taiwan, the other claimants of the Spratlys (next to last item), and Japan (twenty-eighth, sixteenth, twenty-sixth, and twenty-fifth items).

U.S. and India sign defense pact: The United States has responded to Communist China’s charm offensive on India (fourth item) with “a key agreement on military ties, opening the door to joint weapons production contracts and cooperation in missile defense” (Cybercast News) with the longtime rival of Communist China. India, which lost 40,000 square miles to the Communists in 1962, has received a lot of attention from the cadres in their desperation to prevent just such an accord between the U.S. and India.

Deal with Israel on arms sales still being worked out: Contrary to earlier reports (sixth item), an agreement between the U.S. and Israel “aimed at resolving Bush administration concerns about Israeli arms exports, especially to China” (Voice of America via Epoch Times) is still being negotiated. However, the Harpy upgrade cancellation is a done deal.

Huffy going Red: U.S. bicycle maker Huffy is “allowing its Chinese suppliers and a firm linked to the Chinese government to raise their shareholding to 51%” (BBC) by 2010.

Bishop backed by Vatican and Communists consecrated: Communist China’s “Catholic” Church consecrated Joseph Xing Wenzhi as an auxiliary bishop. What makes this unusual is that “both Rome and Beijing have tacitly agreed to Bishop Xing's appointment” (Washington Times, second item). Millions of Catholics refuse to worship in the Communist-controlled church, preferring to risk arrest and worship “underground” in order to remain loyal to the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI.

On Communist China and the United States: Ed Koch, in Newsmax, calls for the U.S. to block the Communists’ bid for Unocal. Pat Buchanan, World Net Daily, uses the deal to rip – and rightly so – U.S. trade policy on Communist China. Patrick Goodenough, Cybercast News, examines Communist China’s growing ties with the “G-8.”

More Commentary on Communist China: Peter Zvagulis, former reporter and editor for Radio Free Europe, talks to the Epoch Times on the effect of the Nine Commentaries. The Epoch Times also reprinted Adrzej Czuma’s comments to the Chicago “Say No to Communism” Rally. Sean Seid, Epoch Times, details further fallout from the murder of Gao Rongrong. Gao Ling, also in the Epoch Times, reveals how the Communists turned a group of taxi drivers trying to protect one of their own into “lawless persons.”

Democrats want higher-ranking envoy for SNK talks, rip Rusmfeld and Cheney: Four Senate Democrats (Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Joseph Biden of Delaware, Carl Levin of Michigan, and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia) called for “a special envoy to co-ordinate Korea policy and represent us in direct dialogue with North Korea at the Six Party talks” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). The Democrats had harsh words for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, whose apparent crime was a willingness to speak the truth about the Stalinist regime (fifth item, next to last item, last item).

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

On Communist China and Iran: Disturbing Questions

I don’t want to write this. Every word makes me feel worse, but yet I feel compelled to write all the same. Certain things have come together in my mind and they’re not good.

I have just re-read the latest Washington Times excerpt from Kenneth Timmerman’s Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran. This particular excerpt gives damning detail of Iran’s ties to al Qaeda, in particular the hijackers who killed nearly 3,000 on 9/11/01, as did the previous excerpt yesterday. For obvious reasons, Timmerman – who talked to a slew of Iranian defectors – also rips the Central Intelligence Agency for its refusal to accept that Iran was continuing to support terror despite the election of Mohammed Khatami as Iranian president in 1997. Timmerman calls the CIA denial of the truth “The Concept.”

However, as much as I would like to rip then-Director George Tenet, this is not a post about CIA failures. This is about Iran, and its lead military benefactor and ally: Communist China.

As most of you know, Iran held another “election” this month. Those in the know will tell you – and they will be right – that the actual office means little: Ayatollah Ali Khameini still runs the show. However, with the ascension of Tehran Mayor Mahmud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian Presidency, I believe Khameini et al have tipped their hand.

Until last Friday, everyone assumed the next president would be Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former president. Rafsanjani was a wily politician, that is to say he played a fairly decent PR game with the Western press while he committed unspeakable and vile acts against his own people. A re-elected Rafsanjani would have continued the game, and played it well, but it was not to be.

By pushing Ahmadinejad (to the point of stuffing ballot boxes, according to Michael Ledeen of National Review Online), the Iranian mullahs are, in my opinion, coming to the conclusion that they don’t need to play that game. It is almost certain that Iran’s support for the “insurgency” in Iraq will continue; Ahmadinejad himself has insisted the nuclear program is also full speed ahead once he takes office in August.

Why would they feel that way? Well, for starters, there is the fact that its ties to both al Qaeda and the anti-American terrorists in Iraq (yes, I know in some places they are the same thing) have led to no serious repercussions. There is the fact that they are very, very close to becoming a nuclear power, which would be a dead-certain deterrent against any military action by the United States. Finally, and I believe most importantly, there is Communist China.

Iran would be nowhere near where they are now on the nuclear front without Communist China. Several firms owned by the Communists, including the military-owned Northern Industrial Corporation (Norinco) have sold arms to the mullahs, and what the Communist China itself hasn’t done to buildup the mullahcracy’s might, its satellite state of Stalinist North Korea has done for it. The idea that Communist China could have done so much for and in Iran without knowing of the mullah’s appetite for terrorists – from Hezbollah to al Qaeda – is laughable.

From 9/11/01 on, I have always held the Communist China’s role in the terrorists’ war against America was as a benefactor of terrorism: al Qaeda, Iran, Saddam Hussein, the Taliban (second and third items), etc. I have never claimed that Communist China had foreknowledge of 9/11/01. Timmerman himself, or at least his excerpts, don’t make clear that even Iran knew exactly what would happen – although it’s fairly obvious the mullahs knew something big was going down. For Communist China, it was simple: the terrorists hated America, and the Communists can always use anti-Americans.

Now, however, we are entering more dangerous times. We have already seen fresh reports that Communist China is looking to conquer Taiwan sometime in the next two years. The mass reaction to the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party (2.5 million resignations and counting as of 5:00 this evening) gives the cadres ample reason for such a major nationalist diversion. However, it would almost certainly lead to American military response – unless, that is, we were dealing with another major terrorist attack. Meanwhile, an Iranian regime that continues to be despised by its own people has made it clear it will rely more on might and violence than on a “soft sell” to the West, making it all the more dependent on its Communist Chinese benefactors.

At this point, I’m going to throw it open to all of you. Am I putting the wrong two and two together? Have I become the overheated alarmist I have spent the better part of five years trying to avoid? Is my unspoken but frightening conclusion that I feel is based on evidence merely a theory which happens to fit the facts?

Or (gulp) am I on to something?

News of the Day (June 28)

Hao Fengjun hit by Communist propaganda: Communist China finally took notice of Hao Fengjun, the former officer in the ant-Falun Gong 610 unit who exposed Communist espionage in Canada (third item), and aimed their propaganda at him (Epoch Times). This corner once again calls on the U.S. to grant Hao and Chen Yonglin asylum.

Communist China may offer $20 billion for Unocal: Communist-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation “will probably lift its bid to $20 billion,” according to a PetroOverseas cited by the Communist news agency Xinhua (cited by the United Press Int’l via Washington Times). Meanwhile, a cadre mouthpiece insisted that the proposed takeover is “normal commercial activity” (BBC). Also reporting: NBC via MSNBC

What’s with those bomb shelters? Communist China is planning “to open up massive bomb shelters to the public, ostensibly to provide a respite from summer heat” (World Net Daily). However, some analysts think the move is designed to disguise a genuine future evacuation to the shelters in preparation for war as “militarily insignificant.”

Communist China furious at Harpy cancellation: Israel’s cancellation of Harpy radar upgrades for Communist China (sixth item) “caused irritation in Beijing” (Washington Post). The Communist aimed their ire at the “carping” U.S.

Land seizure protest hits Beijing: Thousands of peasants infuriated over the seizure of their land by corrupt local Communists “converged on the state-run institutes, U.S. and French Embassies in Beijing to give voice to their extreme anger at the Chinese Communist Party and its bureaucracy” (Epoch Times). The embassies were targeted not out of anger, but to ensure news of the protest would reach the outside world. One protestor railed against the regime: “Why does the government silently allow the anti-Japan protest, but doesn’t hesitate to arrest us? This is indeed too unreasonable!”

Resignations approach 2.6 million: Those inspired by the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party to quit the Party include a former Youth League member from Guangzhou (Epoch Times), and several members in the provinces of the north, according to Li Yangtian (Epoch Times). A rally was held in Chicago for the ex-cadres (Epoch Times: this was the rally at which Ethan Gutmann spoke – fifth item), and endorsed by Illinois State Senator Dan Rutherford (Epoch Times).

Relatives of flood victims blame Communists: Two hundred lives were lost in the Shalan River flood – a natural disaster according to the Communists (Epoch Times). Local residents paint a different picture. Some claim “the reason for the flood was the lack of repair to the Hesheng Dam on the upper Shalan river, which collapsed under pressure;” others say “the dam did not release the floodwaters due to lack of warning.”

Bird flu spreading in Communist China: The World Health Organization found “5,000 migratory birds had died” (BBC) in Qinghai province from the H5N1 bird flu virus, “five times China's estimate.” H5N1 is the virus that can now resist amantadine, thanks to Communist China’s widespread and improper use of human antiviral drug on poultry (tenth, fourth, and fifth items).

On Communist China and the United States: Frank Gaffney, of the Center for Security Policy, rails against CNOOC’s bid for Unocal, and the “see-no-evil” (National Review Online) attitude of Treasury Secretary John Snow and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Wes Vernon, Newsmax, takes note of the news uncovered by Bill Gertz. Friendly Blog Small Dead Animals hears from “Joe,” who details the Communists’ use of radical nationalism and anti-Americanism (also posted on Shotgun).

On Tibet: Ngawang Sangdrol, the Tibetan nun who has spent half of her life in prison (she’s 28) talks to the Independent (UK) about her ordeal, and the plight of her people – who have suffered under Communist occupation for over half a century.

Monday, June 27, 2005

News of the Day (June 27)

Communist China building global military and could attack Taiwan by 2007: Communist China’s military buildup is proceeding “faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). The military development is taking place on all fronts – technology, missiles, warheads, and naval vessels. One unnamed “senior defense official” called the Communist regime “the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany.” The Communist buildup, which one intelligence official said was “beyond what would be needed to fight a war against Taiwan” – is especially heavy in the naval area (Gertz), in no small part due to “its overt and covert efforts to gather intelligence and technology in the United States” (Gertz). Meanwhile, former Communist consul Chen Yonglin told Gertz that the Communists “view the United States as their main enemy and are working in Asia and around the world to undermine U.S. alliances” – Chen’s exact words were “The United States is considered by the Chinese Communist Party as the largest enemy, the major strategic rival.” Chen detailed Communist China’s espionage against America, and its use of “money diplomacy” to peel Australia away from the U.S. The China e-Lobby repeats its call for the U.S. to grant Chen, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum.

More on Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun: The very brave Australian who is sheltering Chen and his family talks to the Epoch Times about the threats she has received. Another rally on Chen and Hao’s behalf was held in Sydney (Epoch Times). Australia’s Senate demanded for an investigation of Communist espionage in Australia (Epoch Times). Liang Yu, in the Epoch Times, talks about the Communists efforts to recruit him. Finally, Epoch Times U.S. editor Stephen Gregory wonders: Is Australia for sale?

More on the late Gao Rongrong: The death of Falun Gong practitioner and Communist torture victim Gao Rongrong (timeline of torture courtesy Epoch Times) continues to reverberate, although you wouldn’t know it from MSM (Epoch Times). Protests were held in at least nine cities around the world (China Support Network).

Resignation update: The number of ex-Communists inspired by the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party has passed 2.5 million (Epoch Times).

Ethan Gutmann speaks, again: The author of Losing the New China details how U.S. technology firms are “assisting the round-up of Chinese dissidents” (Epoch Times).

Israel cancels Harpy upgrade: Israel has “abandoned” an upgrade of the Communist radar systems (third item, eighth item), as part of a new deal with the U.S. “promising each will take the other's concerns into account when selling weapons” (BBC).

Congressmen call on Treasury to stop CNOOC-Unocal deal, if it happens: Treasury Secretary John Snow received a letter from over forty members of Congress from both parties calling on him to block China National Offshore Oil Corporation from buying American oil firm Unocal (third item, fourth item). The Communist-owned CNOOC “moved quickly to try and reassure the US that it is interested only in securing future energy supplies” (BBC) – how that’s supposed to “reassure” is anyone’s guess. Meanwhile, two pundits have weighed in. Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post, derisively likens it to the hysteria over the Japanese “corporate spending spree in the 1980s.” Irwin M. Stelzer, Daily Standard, practically responding to Mallaby, says this of the Japan-redux argument: “That might just be dangerously wrong.”

United Nations to fund “one child” monstrosity again; U.S. outraged: The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) chose “to continue to provide financial and technical assistance to the Chinese birth-control program” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times). The United States ripped the UN for continuing to fund the hideous “one child” policy, which has led to forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and multiple murders. The House of Representatives voted down UNFPA funding last week (Roll call vote).

Communist Premier on currency revaluation – forget it: Communist Premier Wen Jiabao “said there is no hurry to revalue the country's currency” (BBC). The Communists have pegged their currency to just over 12 cents for more than a decade – many economists put its actual value at between 15 and 16 cents. The result has been major damage to American manufacturing and the exporting sectors of our Asian allies. Several members of Congress are calling for a tariff against Communist Chinese exports – a Senate vote will be held one month from now (second item).

Olympics in, 69 villages out: The building plan for the 2008 Olympics includes “dismantling 69 villages in the Beijing area” (BBC), meaning thousands of homeowners – in Communist China, individuals can own houses, but the Party owns the land – will face the bulldozer. Once again, the China e-Lobby calls on the U.S. to stay far, far away.

More corruption in Communist China: A Vice Governor of Henan Province involved several lower level cadres in his scheme to kill his wife (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, a former principal from Communist China talks about the corrupt nature of the CCP, and gives as an example a firm that has “been closed for 10 years” (Epoch Times) but “was still a listing company, and people said that it had been classified as a hi-tech stock.”

More commentary on Communist China: Kate McGeown, BBC, talks to Rebiya Kadeer, the Uighur political prisoner-turned-exiled activist. Peter Worthington, Toronto Sun, weighs in (weakly) on the Microsoft-on-Communism internet (second item).

On Stalinist North Korea: Dafna Linzer, Washington Post, discusses a new Bush Administration plan to freeze assets “of anyone conducting business with a handful of Iranian, North Korean and Syrian companies believed by Washington to be involved in weapons programs.” The Stalinists themselves ripped defector Kang Chol Hwan, who met with President Bush last week (eleventh item): “we have no such word as ‘defector’ . . . they are just a handful of criminals and hooligans” (Shotgun, from SDA author Kate McMillan). Richard Halloran, formerly of the New York Times, comes to terms with the Stalinists’ determination to become a nuclear power in the Washington Times, and examines the options: except for liberation. Will they never learn?

Friday, June 24, 2005

Venting: Kudlow Completely Blows It

Normally, I would spare Lawrence Kudlow’s defense of Communist China’s deliberately devalued currency (and his opposition to a currency-corrective tariff) my vitriol until the next News of the Day. However, since the next NOTD is likely coming on Monday – and the weekend will almost certainly provide some news that will overshadow this – I feel compelled to given his atrocious column in National Review Online the rhetorical double-barrel today. Additionally, there are plenty of economists all across the political spectrum that agree with Kudlow on this issue, so I thought it would be helpful to debunk his column, piece by piece.

Although my opinions on purely domestic issues normally have no relevance here, I should note that I usually agree with Kudlow; in part, that’s what makes his column so utterly maddening. Kudlow makes the mistake nearly every economist makes regarding trade with Communist China: he assumes it can be treated just like any other nation. In fact, we can’t – and we mustn’t – treat the regime so.

The first manifestation of Kudlow’s folly – well, one that isn’t a flowery rhetorical device – comes in his third paragraph:

China’s economy continues to climb near a 10 percent rate, with the heretofore impoverished Chinese population slowly but surely entering the modern realm of rising global prosperity.

Putting aside the highly questionable validity of Communist statistics in general (tenth item, fifteenth item), how can Kudlow possibly believe the growth he touts will reach the Chinese people? Given the heavy reliance on prison labor, the lack of independent unions, and the corruption that is shot through the Chinese Communist Party, Kudlow should be a lot more cautious before writing blasé assertions that the Chinese people are “slowly but surely entering the modern realm of rising global prosperity.”

Kudlow then puts up what in this corner (though admittedly, not in others) is a straw man: the belief “that a higher yuan would narrow the trade deficit.” Kudlow then cites Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s insistence of “no credible evidence that supports such a conclusion.” I know there are many folks in support of the tariff who would disagree, but Kudlow’s point is valid. Unfortunately, he misses the larger issue. Communist China’s currency peg has not only hurt American firms, but several Asian nations as well, particularly Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Imports from any and all of these nations would be far preferable to imports from Communist China from a national security perspective – but Kudlow’s vision is stunningly deficient on national security, as I point out further down in this vent.

Things quickly get worse:

But the common link between the two (currencies) has given the yuan global financial confidence while at the same time giving the U.S. enormous leverage over the Chinese economy. What’s wrong with that? We buy their goods and they invest in our country through the purchase of Treasury bonds and more recently through direct investment in large U.S-based corporations (like Maytag and Unocal).

Last I checked, there was something very wrong with having the Communist-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation acquire a major American oil firm. How Kudlow cannot see the danger of Communist China having direct control of a major player in American energy baffles – until you see the next paragraph:

Unlike the sale of defense-related technologies there’s no national security problem here. American firms like Anheuser-Busch, the Bank of America, and numerous tech firms are all investing in China. This is free and open trade for the mutual benefit of both nations. Trade and monetary cooperation also provide the basis for national security cooperation, especially in the areas of stopping nuclear proliferation in North Korea and protecting a free Taiwan. (emphasis added)

This is where Kudlow reveals himself to be a complete babe in the woods on national security. How can he possibly believe Communist China would do anything cooperative on “protecting a free Taiwan”? Communist China’s primary short-term foreign policy objective is the conquest of the island democracy. We already know they’re preparing for an invasion by – at the latest – 2012. As for “stopping nuclear proliferation in North Korea,” did Kudlow not notice the fact that Communist China sold its satellite state twenty tons of tributyl phosphate, a chemical that helps weaponize uranium and plutonium (second item)? Or should I simply revert to the question I have asked every time a leading official or pundit grasps the Pollyannaish notion that Communist China will help us disarm its own ally and puppet state? Namely, will they never learn?

Kudlow’s stunning naivete comes from a simple, and wrong, assumption: Communist China is not an enemy of the United States. No wonder Kudlow thinks “numerous tech firms . . . investing in China” is “for the mutual benefit of both nations.” Perhaps if he was aware how Communist China has helped al Qaeda launder money, aided Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, and sold Saddam Hussein weapons components for oil-for-food vouchers, he might be a little less sanguine about this.

Kudlow then falls into the usual traps: “China is not perfect, though it has reduced government ownership of the economy from 90 percent twenty years ago to about 30 percent today.” Sure, that sounds nice, until we remember that the private “owners” are Communist officials themselves, their relatives, or their lackeys. Here’s another one: “according to a recent study by the Council on Foreign Relations, China has also changed 2,600 legal statutes to comply with World Trade Organization rules.” Kudlow may not realize this, but Communist China has passed a whole slew of laws that are essentially meaningless and cosmetic. The more important issue is the rule of law, i.e., if and how those laws are followed, on which Communist China’s record is disastrous.

Kudlow finishes with trite rhetoric that must be challenged: “Open trade and currency stability enormously benefit both the U.S. and China and may well lead to improved international relations.” Is that so? Then why didn’t we try that with the Soviet Union? Wait a minute, we did try that in the 1970s as part of “détente.” The result was the rise of Communist regimes in Angola, Nicaragua, Laos, Cambodia, and Afghanistan – the last of these came before the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was done to stop the home-grown Afghan Communists from pulling a Central Asian Tito and reaching out to the West.

As I said at the beginning, I actually think Kudlow is a good economist, but this entire column suffers from one fatal flaw – a complete lack of understanding of the Chinese Communist Party, its plans for the world, and its animus toward the United States. The CCP is not a reforming regime modernizing its country; it is a tyrannical, criminal enterprise that considers us the enemy. The sooner Lawrence Kudlow understands this, the less frequently he’ll be writing columns that force me to rip him so.

News of the Day (June 24)

U.S. wants Communist China to coax SNK back to talks: Where do we begin? The Bush Administration said Communist China is “not doing enough to cajole North Korea back to nuclear talks” (Washington Post). In particular, Undersecretary of State Robert Joseph had this to say: “The Chinese can exert more influence. China has to make a decision how to influence North Korea. It has a number of tools.” This inspires one unfortunate question from this corner (seventh item): does crow taste like chicken? Meanwhile, the Post itself – or to be more precise, Dafna Linzer – actually referred to Communist China and South Korea as “the two U.S. allies.” This brings us to our second – and far more familiar – question, regarding Linzer and Joseph: will they never learn?

We’ll stay with Stalinist North Korea for now . . .

SNK and South Korea talks conclude: How the talks between Stalinist North Korea and South Korea went depends on the news source. United Press Int’l (via Washington Times) focused on the “agreed . . . set of measures Thursday to ease concerns about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions and to promote cross-border reconciliation.” However, readers of the BBC will see the talks made “little headway.” Voice of America (via Epoch Times) landed somewhere between the first two. However, all agreed that the Stalinists set no date for a return to the badly over-hyped talks on its nuclear weapons.

Relatives of abduction victims want sanctions against SNK: Relatives of the Japanese citizens abducted by Stalinist North Korea between 1977 and 1983 “are demanding that Japan impose economic sanctions against Pyongyang” (BBC). The relatives were joined by activists outside the Japanese House of Representatives office building for the start of a three-day protest (UPI/Washington Times). The Stalinists admitted to kidnapping 13 Japanese citizens, five of whom have since been allowed to return home with their families. SNK insists that the eight others are dead, despite a lack of evidence and many facts pointing to the contrary. It is widely believed many more Japanese were seized.

CNOOC bid for Unocal, Communist currency roil Capitol Hill: A Senate Finance Committee hearing became a grilling session for Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and Treasury Secretary John W. Snow as Senators from both parties ripped Communist China’s bid for American oil giant Unocal (third item) and the Communists’ deliberately devalued currency – which has damaged American manufacturing and other Asian exporters, including America’s allies. Among those demanding more action (Fox News) were Democrats Charles Schumer (New York) and Max Baucus (Montana), and Republicans Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Jim Bunning (Kentucky). Greenspan and Snow continued to oppose a bill – sponsored by Graham and Schumer (second item) – to impose a currency-corrective tariff on Communist imports (BBC). Meanwhile, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) was among many “members (who) demanded an administration review of the bid, required under the Defense Production Act, to determine potential economic and security risks” (Washington Post). House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-California), also called for a probe (Newsmax).

Poll finds Communist China more popular than U.S., unless it gets too powerful: A poll by the Pew Research Center found “that China is viewed more favorably than the US in many countries” (BBC). Distressing as that sounds, there is one hopeful caveat: “Solid majorities in every European nation except Turkey would not like to see China rival the US as a military superpower.” In other words, the Communists are OK unless they actually make good on their plans to be a superpower, confirming the Victor Davis Hanson theory on the subject (eighth item).

More fallout from Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun: The Epoch Times excerpts Chen’s Wednesday press conference. Ceng Ni, Epoch Times, examines web reaction to a cadre’s propaganda on the subject. Zhou Wei, also in the Epoch Times, reveals her experience as with Communist spies as a student in Communist China. Finally, the editors of the Asian-Pacific Post (Canada) laments the plight of Robert Allan Read, a Canadian Mountie “who sacrificed his career to alert you about the activities of Beijing‘s agents in the country” – i.e., the espionage ring Hao exposed. Join our call to grant Chen, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum in the United States.

Alberta examining Communist slander against Falun Gong: The Justice Ministry of the Canadian province of Alberta “is looking at possible charges against staff at the Chinese consulate over alleged propaganda material defaming the Falun Gong movement, according to city police” (Edmonton Sun). The cadres first caught the eye of Edmonton police for handing out slanderous booklets against the spiritual movement.

Hong Kong leader takes oath – in Beijing: Who “elected” Donald Tsang the Chief Executive of Hong Kong again? “Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presented Mr. Tsang with his appointment letter as chief executive of the territory” (BBC), after Tsang took his oath of office in Beijing. One country, one-and-a-half systems rolls on.

Lies, damned lies, and Communist statistics: The Epoch Times presents a microcosm of the problem with cadre stats – the village of Santai and its instant millionaires.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Friendly Blog joins us in the Banned-lands

The Western Standard's blog (Shotgun) is now banned in Communist China. In fact, all Typepad blogs are now blocked (RConversation). They now join Blogger blogs, who have been blocked for quite a while (note: that includes us).

News of the Day (June 23)

Chen Yonglin – Communist China “believes that Australia can be bought”: During his dramatic press conference yesterday, defector Chen Yonglin gave the basis for his fear that the cadres and Australia already have a deal to send him back to Communist China: “The Chinese Government believes that Australia can be bought” (Epoch Times, story also examines the accounts of espionage in Canada). Chen also gave more details of how the Communists kidnapped the son of a former deputy mayor – to force the ex-official to face corruption charges at home. According to Chen, “kidnapping cases like this happen once a year in Australia. They are all done by the Chinese Communist Party’s spies and secret agents in Australia” (Epoch Times). Still, Australia has not even granted Chen a protection visa – all the more reason the U.S. must grant him, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum now. Meanwhile, Bai Zhi (Epoch Times) and Nick Squires (South China Morning Post via Monsters and Critics) examine Communist espionage abroad.

Communists shut down web sites: Supervision of Public Opinions in China and Democracy and Freedom were the latest sites to be put in the cadres’ crosshairs. The reasons for the latter’s shutdown – the 44th in the site’s history – are obvious; the former was well-known for its reports on corrupt Communists (Epoch Times).

Communists going after Unocal; cadre-run bank scores huge IPO: As Bank of Communications – whose largest stockholder is the Communist Finance Ministry – saw its stock price go up 14% in its opening day of trading on Hong Kong’s stock market (BBC), the Communist owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) “bid $18.5bn (£9.8bn) in cash for Unocal” (BBC). The hostile takeover bid – coming after Unocal’s planned merger with Chevron won U.S. government approval – would give the Communists a major stake in American oil, but – surprise! – CNOOC “will have to take on billions of dollars in debt to finance it.”

Former imprisoned Buddhist nun calls for more help for Tibet: Ngawang Sangdrol, a Buddhist nun who managed to start two pro-Tibetan demonstrations in the prison where the Communists were holding her before she was exiled (last item), told the BBC “that the human rights situation in Tibet was getting worse,” and called on Great Britain “to use its upcoming EU presidency to get a special EU rapporteur for Tibet appointed” and do more in general for the people of that nation, which has suffered under Communist occupation for over half a century.

Commentary: Friendly Blog Small Dead Animals (Canada) sounds off on Communist threats against – and investment in – the Great White North. Robert Bate, Daily Standard, has another installment from Communist China’s favorite African tyrant (third item, sixth item): Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe.

U.S. offers food to SNK, citing WFP controls: The United States “has promised impoverished North Korea 50,000 tons of food aid” (BBC) through the UN World Food Program due to improved “monitoring on the part of the WFP.” Previously, the U.S. had concerns of the Stalinists stealing the food from their own people to feed themselves and their military (fifth item, ninth item). How much the “significant improvements” (CNN) claimed by the WFP would change that remains to be seen.

Activist says aid to SNK should be tied to human rights improvements: Meanwhile, Michael Horowitz, a leading force behind last year’s North Korea Human Rights Act, “told South Korean opposition lawmakers in Seoul that the North should be required to permit religious freedom; allow families split by the Korean War to reunite; adopt a need-based food distribution system; practice the rule of law; and give international monitors access to its prison camps” (Cybercast News) before it receives any non-food aid. The “opposition” refers to the Grand National Party, whose outlook on Stalinist North Korea is far more realistic than that of dovish President Roh Moo-hyun’s Uri Party.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

News of the Day (June 22)

Chen Yonglin, given temporary residency, fears deal to send him back: Australia gave former Communist consul Chen Yonglin “temporary residence yesterday while the immigration department assesses his request for a protection visa” (Washington Times). However, the move gave Chen little comfort. In fact, he “heard through a source, that the Chinese consulate was ‘confident that they would take me back to China,’” (Epoch Times) due to “an agreement with the Australian authorities under the table.” If true – and we can only hope it isn’t – this is all the more reason to grant Chen, his family, and Hao Fengjun asylum in the U.S. Chen also went public with details of a Communist kidnapping in Australia, as a reminder that his life is still in danger. Meanwhile, Yuan Hongbing, who last week noted Communist China’s plans to make Australia a “political colony” (second item) went public with his asylum bid (Epoch Times).

Communist China Ju Lang-2 missile test successful: Communist China “successfully flight-tested a submarine-launched missile that U.S. officials say marks a major advance in Beijing's long-range nuclear program” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times). The missile in question, the Ju Lang-2 or JL-2, “is estimated to have a range of up to 6,000 miles, enough to hit targets in the United States.” According to the Air Force's National Air Intelligence Center, the missile “will, for the first time, allow Chinese [missile submarines] to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast” – or hit any part of the U.S. from the deep sea (seventh item).

U.S. ties itself in knots in Hong Kong statement: In a message congratulating Donald Tsang on being appointed to lead Hong Kong by Communist China (sixth, seventh, and ninth items), the United States issued the following rhetorical pretzel: “We strongly support continued democracy in Hong Kong through electoral reform and universal suffrage as provided by the Basic Law” (United Press Int’l via Washington Times) – the same Basic Law the cadres used to nearly impose an “anti-subversion law” on the city.

Water shortage hits “hundreds of cities” in Communist China: Yes, you read that right: “400 of about 600 Chinese cities suffer from shortages” (Epoch Times). Several reasons are behind the shortage, among them water sources polluted by corruption-driven development (fourteenth item) and an astronomical water leakage rate of 20 percent.

Communist China on bird flu drug misuse: who, us? Communist China “denied Tuesday that the government had encouraged farmers to use an influenza drug intended for people to treat bird flu in poultry” (Washington Post). Of course, few expected the cadres to admit they had encouraged a practice that made the most plentiful anti-flu agent utterly useless and make an epidemic much more likely (tenth and fourth items).

On the resignations from the Chinese Communist Party: Sweden held a march and rally “in support of the (over) 2 million Chinese who have renounced their affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party” (Epoch Times). One of the speakers, exiled dissident Wei Jingsheng, “believes the actual number of people who desire to withdraw from the CCP is approximately 20 million” (Epoch Times).

Commentary on Communist China: William R. Hawkins, of the U.S. Business and Industry Council, sounds another badly needed warning about Communist China – in particular how corporate America seems tone deaf to the threat – in Front Page Magazine. Lev Navrozov, Newsmax, continues to be his ornery yet prescient self. David Bosco, Foreign Policy, notes the good history of SEC nominee Christopher Cox in The New Republic, and laments Cox’s exit from Congress. Martin Sieff (UPI via Washington Times) notes that John Bolton’s successor as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control – Robert Joseph – “regards the current missile threats from Iran and North Korea, and in the long run China, as the main threat to the United States.” Finally, Kerry Howley, Reason, isn’t all that concerned over Microsoft’s censorship of its own software in Communist China – some of her points make sense, others are spurious at best.

Stalinist North Korea news: The Stalinist regime “requested more food aid from South Korea during ministerial talks in Seoul” (BBC), and returned Chang Pan-sun, a prisoner of war for over fifty years, home to South Korea (UPI via Washington Times, third item).

More bad advice on SNK: Former Ambassador Donald Gregg and former Washington Post reporter Don Oberdorfer jointly call for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to visit Stalinist North Korea and commence “engaging Kim.” This corner asks, again: Will they never learn?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

News of the Day (June 21)

Gao Rongrong’s death overseen by Luo Gan: The case of Gao Rongrong – the Falun Gong practitioner who was tortured almost beyond recognition (thirteenth item), managed to escape (second item), and then was recaptured and murdered (twelfth item) – was and is currently under the watchful eye of Politburo Standing Committee member Luo Gan (Falun Dafa Information Center via Epoch Times). For those who don’t remember, Luo – the chief protégé of Tiananmen butcher Li Peng – was the cadre sent by Hu Jintao to oversee the Hanyuan County Massacre.

Ninth-grader beaten and expelled for having Nine Commentaries: Duan Xirong, a 15-year-old student, was slapped by her teacher and expelled from her school for bringing the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party to class. The expulsion came after she refused to “sign a repentance letter” (Epoch Times).

Sydney office of Epoch Times hit with white powder letter: In the first attack of its kind on an Australian newspaper, the Epoch Times was hit with an “envelope with an unknown white powder.” Australia’s anti-terrorist unit may take control of the investigation; the powder itself will be identified by tomorrow.

World Health Organization wants answers on bird flu drug misuse: The World Health Organization “asked Beijing for an explanation” (Cybercast News) about the Communists’ misuse of amantadine – a bird flu drug – in the 1990s (tenth item). The cadres’ action “explains the discovery by scientists last year that the virus known as H5N1 had developed a resistance to amantadine” and, according to the WHO, “could mark the start of an influenza pandemic.”

Pentagon cuts back arms for Israel in wake of sales to Communist China: The Pentagon “sharply curtailed weapons-technology transfers to Israel” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times) in response to the latter’s arm sales to Communist China (third item, eighth item). Meanwhile, “press reports in Israel (say) that the Bush administration has demanded the resignation of several Israeli officials involved in arms sales to China.”

Bolton filibustered again: John Bolton’s nomination for United Nations Ambassador was stymied again by a filibuster in the United States Senate. Although left unmentioned in all of the reports (CNN, Cybercast News, Fox News, and Washington Times), some of Bolton’s opponents have mentioned his willingness to speak the truth on Stalinist North Korea and his tough stand on Communist Chinese weapons proliferation (fifth item) as reasons to oppose him (naturally, this corner considers it his best qualification).

Haier makes bid for Maytag: The Communist-owned appliance firm confirmed earlier speculation (seventh item) by joining a bid to by Maytag for $1.28 billion, a good deal higher than the $1.13 billion offered by Ripplewood. Maytag “said it would consider both bids but favored Ripplewood's” (BBC).

Taiwan enters Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute: The argument between Japan and Communist China over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands (twenty-eighth, sixteenth, twenty-sixth, and twenty-fifth items) became a three-way issue when Taiwan sent a warship to the area “after Taiwanese fishermen complained of harassment by Japanese patrol boats” (BBC).

One country, one-and-a-half systems rolls on: Reminding everyone who really is in charge in Hong Kong (sixth item, seventh item), Communist China “appointed veteran civil servant Donald Tsang as Hong Kong's next leader” (Washington Post, last item).

Communists admit to too many cadres: One Communist is too many, but “70 million officials” is apparently too much even for the cadres themselves. At least it is for Zhou Tianyong, himself the associate director of the central committee for the Chinese Communist Party's Research Division (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times).

On Communist China and the United States: Arnaud de Borchgrave, in Newsmax, puts together a decent column on Africa, warning the U.S. to establish itself as a strong presence in the continent before Communist China does it first.

On Communist China and Canada: Conservative MP Peter MacKay – the Deputy Opposition Leader – continues to press the Liberal government on Communist espionage in Canada (Hansard). Ezra Levant, Calgary Sun, writes about Microsoft’s willingness to censor its own software, and rips the “total prostration” of the Canadian government towards the Communists. Meanwhile, the editors of the Toronto Star just can’t seem to get past their support of what it calls “a friendly and growing” relationship between Canada and Communist China, even when they’re trying to rip the cadres’ for espionage.

Kim Jong-il would give up missile program, but not nukes, for diplomatic relations: Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il “to end North Korea's missile programs in exchange for formal ties with the United States,” according to Chung Dong-young, Unification Minister under dovish South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun (Voice of America via Epoch Times). Of course, KJI made no mention of a willingness to end his nuclear weapons program. At least one analyst isn’t buying it – “Yuh Moonwan, with the private consulting firm the National Strategy Institute in Seoul, says Pyongyang's missile offer is a bluff” – but the South Korean doves “describe the meeting with Kim Jong Il as a success.” Will they never learn?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Press Release for the upcoming film on the Tiananmen Square massacre

(Full Disclosure: Yours truly is a consultant to this film)

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release
20 June 2005



WHAT: Announce the movie Tiananmen and the launch of the website

WHEN: Tuesday, June 21st, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: National Press Theatre, 150 Wellington, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

WHO: Harry Towers, Producer; Rob Anders, MP; Clive Ansley, Human Rights Lawyer; Sheng Xue, Democracy Activist

Famed Producer Harry Towers announces a new project to be filmed in Canada which will expose the truth about Tiananmen Square.

A never before seen seven-minute trailer for the film, produced by the BBC, using spectacular documentary footage will be shown along with still pictures smuggled out of China.

Towers, whose film credits include Cry the Beloved Country, is appealing to millions of activists around the world for support to ensure the film starts shooting in Canada in September, for release in June of 2006, on the anniversary of the massacre.

The screenplay was written by the award-winning writer, Gordon Thomas. His previous work includes the five-times Academy Award nominated Voyage of the Damned.

For more information contact: D.J. McGuire,

News of the Day (June 20)

Better Dead than Red – refugees in Australia, fearing repatriation, attempt suicide: Thirty-four refugees from Communist China detained in Australia provided damning detail of how the Aussies allowed Communist China to isolate them from all other asylum seekers and, more importantly, interrogate each and every one of them. Thirteen were so distraught they attempted suicide to avoid being sent back (Epoch Times).

Chen speaks at Australian rally as fellow refugee tells of recruitment as a spy: Chen Yonglin appeared at a refugee rally in Australia just one day after the aforementioned mass suicide attempt. Chen “thanked the Australian public and media for the overwhelming support they had given him over the past few weeks” (Epoch Times). Over the weekend, Chen Yong, also a refugee from Communist China in Australia, told the Epoch Times of how the cadres recruited him to be a spy, dramatically confirming Chen Yonglin’s account of an extensive Communist spy network Down Under.

Hao Fengjun document details Canada’s attempt to disrupt Falun Gong protest: One of the many documents defector Hao Fengjun brought with him on Communist China’s espionage network in Canada “indicates that the Canadian government had pressed the City of Vancouver to remove display boards depicting the persecution of Falun Gong from in front of the Vancouver Chinese consulate” (Epoch Times). The display remains in place, as it has for nearly four years, but “has been increasing pressure to take them down” – and not just from Communist China, but from Ottawa as well. Join our call to grant Hao, Chen, and their families asylum in the United States.

Canadian opposition continues to demand answers on Communist spy network: Hao’s account of Communist spies in Canada continued to roil the Great White North, as Opposition MPs Helena Guergis (Hansard) and Peter MacKay (Hansard) continued to question the Liberal government on this issue, and fellow Conservative Rob Nicholson called on Prime Minister Martin’s cabinet to “suspend all foreign aid that it is giving to China until the government expels all communist spies” (Hansard). Falun Gong, who has already seen at least two of its practitioners come forward to reveal being victims of the Communist espionage network, demanded a government investigation (CBC).

More on the revelations of Chen and Hao: Licia Corbella, Calgary Sun, is furious at her government seems unconcerned about the Communist spy news. Jonathan Browde, Epoch Times, details Communist espionage and Falun Gong intimidation activity in the United States. Hao – whose revelations inspired a weekend protest outside the Communist consulate in New York City (Epoch Times) – gives an inside account of the Communists’ brutal anti-Falun Gong unit: the 610 office (Epoch Times).

Friendly Blog notes: Kate McMillan comments on Victor Davis Hanson’s examination of Communist China’s rise (see also eighth item) and the censorship of Microsoft blogs in Communist China on her Small Dead Animals (Canadian) blog.

New Communist Chinese missile can carry a nuclear warhead from a submarine: With the development and testing of it Ju Lang-2, Communist China now has the capability to launch a nuclear warhead from a submarine into “the U.S. interior” (World Net Daily). The political goals of the new missile are to keep the U.S. out of “the Taiwan issue” and to “warn Russia not to get too close to the U.S.”

Israel apologizes for weapon sales to Communist China: Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom “publicly apologized to the US over a deal to sell military technology to China” (BBC). The deal in question was over Harpy attack drones (third item). Shalom insisted his government allowed the deal “with the utmost innocence.”

Communist China arming Nepalese dictatorship: As part of making the world safe for dictators, Communist China “supplied Nepal with five armored personnel carriers” (BBC). Nepal’s king “suspended parliament and assumed absolute power in February.”

Communist improper use of bird flu treatment makes it “useless”: For years, Communist China “tried to suppress major bird flu outbreaks among chickens with an antiviral drug meant for humans” (Washington Post). The widespread use of the drug in question, amantadine, “violated international livestock guidelines” and has now made the drug “useless” in combating bird flu. It was just the latest in a continuing series of Communist livestock disease cover-ups (seventh item, third item).

Another village “election” fixed: The villagers of Dangxi expected their will to be followed in village “elections” set up by the cadres. What they found were ballot stuffing, vote-buying, and various other Communist machinations (Washington Post).

From the Falun Gong War: Gao Rongrong, a Falun Gong practitioner brutal tortured with electric shock by the cadres before she was able to escape (second item) was recaptured by the Communists, and this time they killed her (Clearwisdom). Meanwhile, Nie Shuwen, a practitioner from Taiwan, was barred entry into Singapore (Epoch Times), which has a history of caving into the cadres’ wishes on Falun Gong (third item, second item). For personal accounts of the practice, James Burke, Epoch Times, talks to Australian practitioner John Deller, while Kate Vereshaka tells the Epoch Times about her experience as a foreign practitioner, protester, and prisoner in Communist China.

Resignations pass 2.4 million: Xin Fei, in the Epoch Times, sees the collapse of the Communist Party coming as a result of the ever-growing number of ex-Communists.

Echo Chamber moment: Yours truly examines the central role of corruption in the Chinese Communist Party’s survival (Epoch Times).

Other Commentary on Communist China: Chen Yingci, Asian Times (via Epoch Times), examines the real reasons behind a sudden surge in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets. Charles R. Smith, Newsmax, details the Hughes Corporations role in advancing Communist China’s space program – and the espionage that can come with it. Dorinda Elliot and Bill Powell (Time Asia) have a puff piece on Wal-Mart, but the worst column easily comes from Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato Institute. In Fox News, Carpenter opines that Communist China doesn’t quite control Stalinist North Korea, and even fears that “the growing bitterness at China's lack of cooperation could seriously damage U.S.-Chinese relations, and that would have grave consequences for the entire East Asian region.” Ted, will you never learn?

Speaking of Stalinist North Korea, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed an earlier demand from Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il that the U.S. “respect Pyongyang ‘as a partner’” (Voice of America via Newsmax) for him to return to the much over-hyped multilateral talks on his nuclear weapons program. Rice opined that the SNK “does not want to face, what she called an inevitable confrontation over its nuclear program.” Meanwhile, Bill Powell (Time Asia) brought a nervous eye to his examination of President Bush’s meeting with exiled SNK dissident Kang Chol Hwan: “he (Bush) seems heedless of any need to keep Kim sweet.” Will he (Powell) never learn?

Friday, June 17, 2005

News of the Day (June 17)

Canadian Opposition Leader presses government on Communist spies: Stephen Harper, Canada’s Leader of the Opposition, followed up on the queries of four fellow Conservative MPs regarding Hao Fengjun’s account of Communist Chinese spies in Canada. Harper also cited former Canadian intelligence official Michel Juneau-Katsuya, who earlier estimated that Communist industrial espionage “cost Canada $1 billion every month” (CTV, Canada). In response, Prime Minister Paul Martin, Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew, and Deputy PM Anne McLellan were evasive, at best (Hansard). Meanwhile, another victim of the Communist surveillance in the Great White North, Lucy Zhou, came forward to tell her story to Toronto’s Globe and Mail.

Check the new Friendly Canadian additions: The Communist espionage up north has led to some new Friendly Sites from Canada: Katewerk and the Western Standard, each with its own Friendly Blog (Small Dead Animals and the Shotgun).

Support for Chen and Hao reaches San Diego: Two candidates in the special election for Mayor of San Diego – Libertarian Richard Rider and independent Jim Bell – offered their support for Hao and fellow refugee Chen Yonglin (Epoch Times).

Forty Senators call for Yang Jianli’s release: Forty U.S. Senators called on Communist China to release Yang Jianli – an exiled dissident arrested by the cadres after he went back into Communist China to help labor dissidents in its northeastern provinces (seventh item) – in a letter personally address to Hu Jintao (Washington Times) detailing the abuses Yang has suffered in prison. Communist China had the audacity to insist in its response that Yang “was in good health” (Washington Post, third item).

Now U.S. in talks with Communists over textiles: Apparently willing to follow Europe’s lead (sixth item), the U.S. “started fresh talks to try to reach agreement” (BBC) with Communist China over the latter’s textile exports to America. Communist exports to the U.S. have surged in recent months as worldwide textile restrictions ended (fifth item) – removing a major barrier to the Communists’ ability to undercut nearly everyone else in textiles due to its undervalued currency, use of prison labor, and lack of independent unions (fourth item, second item).

Bank of Whom? Bank of America is now “acquiring a 9% stake in China Construction Bank” (BBC) for a price of $3 billion. CEO Kenneth Lewis said the move “makes sense, if you are looking to . . . consider an investment in China” – never mind the Communist-owned bank’s corruption (sixteenth item, seventh item), its bad loans (twenty-first item), and its need for tens of billions in bailout money (twenty-fourth item).

Will the Maytag repair man need a Mao suit? Haier, the Communist-owned appliance company (fourteenth item) is “considering sparking a bidding war for Maytag” (BBC).

Mine employees protest shutdown in Liaoning Province: Earlier this month the Haizhou Mine in Fuxin city, Liaoning province, was ordered shut down by a Communist court. Over 30,000 employees received no unemployment compensation or pension. Some of the workers told the Epoch Times that “the government funding for the unemployed staff had been allocated, but until now it has not been distributed to the employees, and no details of such arrangements has been explained to them.” Tens of thousands of cheated former employees have taken to the streets in protest.

Resignations pass 2.3 million: Among those who have quit the Chinese Communist Party is Sui Qingshan, who at 91 left the Party after nearly sixty years (Epoch Times).

Shanghai tries to share electricity with its neighbors: Faced with a summer power shortage, the city of Shanghai “has entered into agreements with neighboring Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces to swap power-usage peaks” (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times). Just in case that doesn’t work: “The usage of air conditioners will be prohibited during certain hours as well. Some large power-consuming industrial uses will be required to operate every other week or shut down entirely.”

Tsang speaks to CNN, gives no democracy guarantee: The newly installed – ahem, “elected” – Chief Executive of Hong Kong (sixth item, seventh item) refused to guarantee when the city would be allowed to choose its next leaders: “Give us some time. Nobody can pin such a date.” He did say the 2007-2008 round of elections – half of the Legislative Council and a small minority of the panel that chose Tsang (fifteenth item) are directly elected – would be “more open and representative” – whatever that means.

Commentary on Communist China: Newsmax has two columns on the Communist threat to the United States, from Lev Navrozov and George Putnam (full disclosure: the former was a guest on my short-lived radio program, the latter had me as a guest on his, which is still running). Victor Davis Hanson, National Review Online, notices how proximity to Communist China has drawn Japan closer to the U.S. in the Washington Times. Tim Blainey, Epoch Times, examines the cadres’ propaganda against Falun Gong.

Kim Jong-il meets South Korean official, says his regime may come back to talks: Stalinist-in-chief Kim Jong-il “told a South Korean official that Pyongyang could rejoin international talks on its nuclear programme in July” (BBC). The official was Chung Dong-young, Unification Minister under dovish South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun. Meanwhile, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ford said the U.S. would look at “other options” (Washington Times, second item) if Stalinist North Korea did not return to the talks. Of course, the talks themselves have proven to be of little value.