Monday, August 01, 2005

News of the Day (August 1)

Talks on SNK’s nuclear weapons centering around draft statement: The six-party talks on Stalinist North Korea’s nuclear weapons is now a week old, and the goal of this round appears to be agreement on a “draft of basic principles” (BBC). The biggest holdup is “North Korea's demand for swift compensation for a commitment to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and U.S. insistence that inspections and dismantling actually begin before compensation is delivered” (Washington Post). Note that the U.S. is now merely demanding that “dismlantling” begin, not be completed. Making matters worse, Christopher Hill, the head of the U.S. delegation, said it was all coming down to “wordsmithing.” In other words, while the Stalinist regime continues to develop more nuclear weapons, it can engage in wordplay with the U.S., Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Communist China (not that the fifty-plus year Stalinist ally minds all that much) over the timing of aid they can receive before a single nuclear weapon is destroyed. Freelance correspondent Richard Halloran (Washington Times) sees this as going nowhere; yours truly is more afraid a deal will go down (Epoch Times). Will they never learn? Meanwhile, Lieut. Colenol Gordon Cucullu, Front Page Magazine, is rightly incensed that the well-being of the people of northern Korea is not being discussed at the talks.

Hao Fengjun gets protection visa as embassy worker defects in Canada: Hao Fengjun, the former 610 official who defected to Australia and brought with him evidence of Communist espionage in Canada and elsewhere, was finally granted a protection visa today (BBC). Meanwhile, in Canada itself, Yang Jianhua, a hairdresser with the Communist Embassy, defected with his wife and son, and is now hiding “in an eastern Canada city” (Epoch Times).

Woe Canada! All is not well in the Great White North. The shipping giant CP Limited Ships is considering a takeover bid from the Communist-owned China Shipping Group (United Press Int’l via Washington Times, second item). France's CMA CGM is the only obstacle between the cadres and their latest Canadian prize (fourth item).

U.S. to send military officer to de facto embassy in Taiwan: The Bush Administration will reverse twenty-seven years of (bad) history and send an Army colonel to Taiwan to “take up the post of liaison affairs officer – essentially a military attache” (Cybercast News) at the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. Embassy there for the first time since the U.S. closed its embassy in Taiwan in 1979. Naturally, the Communists were furious, but nuke-wielding General Zhu Chenghu was silent. Meanwhile, John Derbyshire, National Review Online, called Zhu “stark gibbering insane.”

Administration takes blasé attitude toward Communist thrust into Africa: Not all is well in the Bush Administration either. The Communist charge into Africa for economic resources and political friends seems to be of no concern to principal deputy assistant secretary of State for African Affairs Michael E. Ranneberger, who actually said this to a Congressional subcommittee: “this can work to advance our goals in Africa to the extent that it serves to increase prosperity and stability and thereby contributes to increased respect for human rights and individual freedom” (UPI via Washington Times) and “it can increase the potential for collaboration between the United States and China as part of a broader, constructive bilateral relationship.” I think I’m going to be sick again.

Cisco faces shareholder revolt for its complicity in Great Red Firewall: Cisco’s role in helping Communist China crackdown on cyberdissidents (eighth item) has gotten the firm into trouble with its own shareholders, some of whom are calling for “the company to adopt a comprehensive human rights policy for its dealings with the Chinese government, and with other states practicing political censorship of the internet” (Wired).

Bush grants Bolton recess appointment: President Bush bypassed the U.S. Senate and appointed John Bolton Ambassador to the United Nations in a “recess apppointment” (MSNBC, Fox News) Bolton had majority support in the Senate, but his nomination had been filibustered due to, among other things, his toughness on Communist China and Stalinist North Korea (fifth item). Bolton may serve until January 2007, unless the Senate rejects the nomination when it reconvenes.

“Pig fever” continues to spread, but Communist blackout spreads more quickly: Communist China has acknowledged 163 cases of what it calls streptococcus suis (the BBC dubbed it “pig fever”), but outside experts are skeptical of the diagnosis, noting that the bacteria in question rarely infects humans (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times). The Communists continue to deny the World Health Organization access to Sichuan (origin of the epidemic), and have also banned all press from covering it. If that sounds familiar to anyone, it should.

Nine Commentaries owner murdered by Communist police as resignations increase: Guo Lifang, of Hunan province, was taken for interrogation by local police after they found a copy of the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party in her home. She later died of “unnatural causes” (Epoch Times), i.e., she was strangled.

More on the Nine Commentaries: The Epoch Times reprinted the remarks of Chinese-language editor-in-chief Annette Guo, Congressman Tom Tancredo, and Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy at the National Press Club forum on the Commentaries.

Ignorant Comment of the Day: The prize goes to James McGregor, former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China. In the Washington Post, MacGregor slams American politics, takes pot shots at democracy in general, calls for Communist-owned firms to get chucks of the U.S. economy, supports the loosening of export controls, and treats counterfeiting like it’s something the Communists don’t want. He also presents himself as “a patriotic American who has lived in Beijing for 15 years – and as a person who respects the Chinese people and what they are accomplishing.” What they are accomplishing? Anyone looking for a clear-eyed view of the situation might want to check out Losing the New China, by Ethan Guttmen (Member since 2004).

Our Runner-up is the London Daily Telegraph (via Washington Times), whose analysis of the Communists’ infinitesimal currency action is beyond silly.

More commentary on Communist China and the United States: Gary Schmitt, of the Project for the New American Century, and Dan Blumenthal, of the American Enterprise Institute, praise the “substantive merit” (Weekly Standard) in the Pentagon’s report on the Communist military, but lament the authors’ unwillingness to act upon it. Thomas Donnelly and Melissa Wisner, both from AEI, discuss the Communist bid for Unocal in the Daily Standard. William Kristol, deputy director of the Project for the New American Century, calls for the U.S. to form a “community of democracies” in Asia. Finally, the Epoch Times reprints the testimony of its English-language chairman, Stephen Gregory, on Communist abuses against its enemies here in the United States.

Other Commentary on Communist China: Edward Cody, Washington Post (via MSNBC) examines a violent incident at Chizhou, where the local populace witnessed a young man being beaten by a hospital official’s bodyguards, confused the bodyguard with a nouveau riche cadre, and revolted against “the increasingly intimate connection in modern China between big money and Communist government.” Meanwhile, Søren Espersen, Member of Parliament for Copenhagen (Denmark), talks to New Tang Dynasty Television (via Epoch Times), about the European Union arms embargo (third item) and Communist China’s attempts to block the seminar he attended.

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