Wednesday, October 19, 2005

News of the Day (October 19)

Resignations pass five million; one ex-Communist killed for withdrawal: A police officer in the city of Xi’an “declared his resignation from the CCP and even returned his gun, as he had also decided to quit his job with the Xi’an public security bureau” (Epoch Times). That was in June; later that summer an unknown assailant attacked Han, who died within the week. Despite horrific actions like this, the number of ex-Communists passed five million yesterday. James Burke, Epoch Times, examines the meaning of the resignations, while the documents that started it all, the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party, were launched in Australia (Epoch Times).

Rumsfeld repeats calls for openness on military spending and democracy: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “visited the Central Party School, which trains future Communist leaders” (BBC) and once again questioned the “non-transparent nature” of the Communist defense buildup. Communist Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan insisted no such buildup exists. Rumsfeld also called on the Communists to end its dictatorial rule: “Every society has to be vigilant against another type of great wall that can be a burden on man's talents and is borne from fear of them – a wall that limits speech, information or choices . . . history teaches us that it is impossible, in practical terms, to isolate any people for long” (Bill Gertz, Washington Times).

Former President Lee says Taiwan needs long-range missiles: Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan’s former president and democracy pioneer, warned that Communist China’s military superiority over the island democracy has led to a need for “‘some kind of long-range missiles’ that would give (Taiwan) an offensive capability” (Washington Post).

Now Communist China takes aim at Google: Less than a week after Google stopped labelling the democracy a Communist province (third item), a Communist mouthpiece in the U.S. “told the Sing Tao Daily that he was disappointed by the decision” (BBC).

Communist China issues “democracy” white paper: The Hu regime showed some rhetorical ledgerdemain with a new white paper allegedly on “democracy and political reform” (BBC). However, the actual goal the Communist set out was “socialist democracy with its own characteristics” – i.e., Communist tyranny by another name. To those who do put faith in the Communists’ willingness to democratize itself, this quarter offers one word: Taishi (fifth, tenth, sixth, lead, third, third, lead, lead, and lead items).

Communists admit to bird flu, but insist no humans infected: Communist China “announced a fresh outbreak of bird flu, saying 2,600 birds have died from the disease in Inner Mongolia” (BBC). However, the Communists claim “that the latest outbreak had been detected at a small farm with fewer than 10,000 birds, mainly chickens, geese and peacocks” and that there were no human infections. Can you say SARS-like coverup?

Hong Kong reveals “reforms”: The Hong Kong regime announced a new plan that would “include expanding the membership of the election committee from 800 people to 1,600 people, and expanding the legislature, the Legislative Council, by 10 seats - five of which would be directly elected by the public” (BBC). In other words, the city legislature would still be half-controlled by largely pro-Communist “functional constituencies” and the “election committee” which chooses the Chief Executive of the city, would have twice as many Communist appointees. Reform this certainly is not.

Dalai Lama to visit DC: Tibet spiritual leader and head of its government-in-exile “will make a high-profile 10-day visit to Washington next month, during which he is expected to meet with President Bush” (Agence France Presse via Washington Times).

On Taishi: Sadly, it appears the fact the Lu Banglie managed to survive his beating has dulled the interests of the rest of the world in the battle between Taishi’s villagers and its cadres (fifth, tenth, sixth, lead, third, third, lead, lead, and lead items). Rconversation tries to steer the conversation back to where it needs to be.

On Communist China and the United States: Robert Samuelson, in the Washington Post, takes note of the danger Communist China’s “combination of low wages, a huge market and an artificially low currency” poses to American manufacturing (although a discussion of the repressive policies that keep those wages low would have been nice).

On human rights in Communist China: Mo Shaoping told a Yale Law School audience how hard it is to be a criminal defense attorney in Communist China (Epoch Times). Calin Stefan, Epoch Times, reports from a seminar in Timosoara, Romania on the similarities between the former Romanian Communist regime and the CCP.

On Communist China’s Korean colony: The Epoch Times reprints yours truly.

More on Stalinist North Korea: Donald MacIntyre, Time Asia, visits SNK, and finds he can’t actually see much. Friendly Blog One Free Korea hails the safe arrival of a refugee who lost her feet to Stalinist torture (seventeenth item), continues his lament of what he considers the South Korean opposition’s lack of vision on the Kang Jeong-koo affair (ninth item), and recounts his BBC debate with dovish ex-Ambassador Donald Gregg.

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