Tuesday, February 14, 2006

News of the Day (February 14)

From the China Freedom Blog Alliance: Between Heaven and Earth reprints Feng Chia Professor Lee Yung-ming's comments on what Communist China's uncertain future could mean for Taiwan.

More on Taiwan (also Canada file): Paul Jackson, Calgary Sun, scores the Enlightened Comment of the Day for his use of the pen to defend the island democracy: "if the West sells out to Beijing, our politicians should hang their heads in shame." Meanwhile, Steven W. Mosher author of Hegemon: China's Plan to Dominate the World (note to self: add to must-read list), laments the Communists' diplomatic offensive, at Taiwan's expense, in the Caribbean (National Review Online).

Bill in the works to keep high-tech internet servers out of Communist China: New Jersey Congressmen Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey) "is drafting a bill that would force Internet companies including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to keep vital computer servers out of China and other nations the State Department deems repressive to human rights" (USA Today). Such a move "would keep personal data they house from government reach."

Primary opponent to anti-Communist Senate candidate in Ohio withdraws: Democrat Paul Hackett "has dropped out of the race for Ohio's U.S. Senate seat" (Cybercast News), which clears the way for anti-Communist Congressman Sherrod Brown to win the Democratic nomination for the seat held by Republican incumbent Michael DeWine.

Protest held for Yuan Li: The Epoch Times held a protest "outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington" in response to "the armed robbery and attack on Epoch Times chief technical officer Dr. Peter Yuan Li."

Prime Minister in Burmese junta in Beijing for trade talks: General Soe Win, the front man for the long-reviled dictatorship in Burma, is hoping for "economic co-operation in areas such as gas, timber and infrastructure projects" (BBC) from Communist China, which "remains the main political and economic ally of the isolated military regime."

Is Great Britain sending a practitioner back to Communist China? Apparently determined to follow the ignoble tradition of Germany (fourth item) and Canada, the British government arrested Falun Gong practitioner Kun Yang after rejecting his request for asylum (Epoch Times). As the Labour government considers his appeal, it should keep in mind both previous governments that deported practitioners (German Social Democrats and Canadian Liberals) were bounced by the voters in subsequent elections.

Li Ka-shing to get another port, in New Zealand: The pro-Communist Hong Kong tycoon whose firm controls two container ports in the Panama Canal is about to become a major partner in Lyttleton Port, which is in Christchurch City, New Zealand (TVNZ).

Dovish South Korean Foreign Minister wants top UN job: Ban Ki-moon, the current Foreign Minister in South Korea's dovish government, "declared his candidacy" (BBC) for the post of United Nations Secretary-General. Ban had "a key part in six-nation talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear ambitions." For some reason, people are taking that to be helpful to his candidacy.

Meanwhile, in the would-be colony, the starvation has become so bad that even members of the military have suffered, according to Daily NK; the dissident paper also has a horrifying account of prison labor under the Stalinist regime from Ahn Hyok.

Hunger strike news: James Burke, Epoch Times, talks to Chen Yonglin about his decision to join the strike. The main group (ninth, sixth, fifth, and second items) issues its fifth announcement (via Epoch Times), while the founder, human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng (sixth, tenth, fifth, lead, third, last, twelfth, eighth, third, second, third, eighth, eleventh, eighth, fourth, fourth, last, fourth, fifth, twelfth, fifth, second, lead, next to last, seventh, and last items) rips the Communists for continuing to harass him and his family (Epoch Times).

Ex-cadres rip Hu Jintao crackdown: On any other day, this would be the lead item. Be that as it may, several former high-ranking Communists, including an aide to Mao Zedong, "have launched a scathing attack on the country's handling of the media and information" (BBC). Mao's former secretary, Li Rui, along with former People's Daily editor Hu Jiwei and ex-propaganda boss Zhu Houze, "denounced the recent closure of investigative newspaper Bingdian (Freezing Point)." Since the closure of Freezing Point (seventh, third, sixth, fourth, and last items) was most likely done with the personal approval of Communist leader Hu Jintao, this is a very public rebuke of the Communist boss.

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