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.


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