House church leaders arrested and beaten: Communist China raided a retreat for house church leaders in Hebei province yesterday, arresting 50 church pastors and beating several of them (World Net Daily). The pastors “planned to discuss how best to help the poor, the orphaned, and the floating population in urban areas” (China Aid Association via Epoch Times). House churches are the most common places of worship for the tens of millions of Christians who refuse to attend cadre-controlled churches.
Cadres rely on corruption for their income: A survey put together by several regime departments admitted “that 31 provincial administrative regions have violated the 1997 State Council Officials Compensation standards” (Epoch Times). The ways cadres are lining their pockets included “diverted local tax revenue, embezzlement of the national territory development fund, cutting the government engineering project fund, accounting fraud, inflating the number of personnel in the organization, and other devices.”
Communist China admits, late, to bird flu: Vice Premier Hui Liangyu acknowledged that bird flu situation was “very severe” in Communist China. However, the first reports of the flu came “two months after the outbreak began” (Central News Agency, Taiwan, via Epoch Times). How far the disease spread during that time is not known.
Mao’s home town part of Communists’ tourism campaign: Communist China has “designated this year as the year of Red Tourism, an initiative designed to re-kindle faith in the present-day Communist Party” (Independent, UK). Among the focal points for the campaign is the home town of the murdered of tens of millions, Mao Zedong.
Lee Teng-hui calls for Taiwan to have “separate identity” and rips Communists: Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui told an audience at the National Press Club that Communist China wants to “annex Taiwan” (Washington Times). He also called on for changing Taiwan’s name to the Republic of Taiwan “to reflect its separate identity.”
Hu Jintao to visit Stalinist North Korea: The Communist leader will go next week, his first trip to SNK since taking over the Central Military Commission last year (BBC).
More on the Communists’ northern Korean colony: Bill Gertz, Washington Times, hears from General Leon LaPorte about the situation at the demilitarized zone. New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson hears reassurance from the Stalinists that they will be at the next round of six-party nuclear talks (Washington Post, last item). Andrew Salmon’s column on SNK’s economy is done a disservice by the Washington Times headline writers. South Korea wants more control over its military should war ensue, and the U.S. has agreed to “speed up discussions” (BBC) on the subject.
On the five million-plus resignations: The wave of ex-Communists is cheered by Worldrights Executive Director Timothy Cooper (China Support Network) and Zhang Tianliang (Epoch Times). Meanwhile, Lee Dan, Epoch Times, finds that not even the Communist military is immune from the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
On Communist China and the United States: Despite the aforementioned ripples in the Communist military, it remains a formidable, and hostile, force, as shown by Martin Sieff (United Press Int’l via Washington Times), Lev Navrozov (Newsmax), and the U.S. Business and Industry Council’s William R. Hawkins (National Review Online).
More Commentary on Communist China: Han Guangsheng, who ran the Shenyang City Judicial Bureau before defecting (third item), details the rampant corruption on Communist China to Li Jia, Epoch Times. Freelance writer Gabriel Martinez ponders the dark nature of Hu Jintao, and how the rest of the world has refused to notice (China Support Network). Edward Lanfranco, Unite Press Int’l (via Washington Times) finds nothing democratic in the Communists’ “white paper” on democracy (fifth item).