Friday, February 27, 2009

China Rising 专制中国的崛起与克林顿们的绥靖

China Rising 专制中国的崛起与克林顿们的绥靖

By William R. Hawkins | Friday, February 27, 2009

The global economic downturn, triggered by the U.S. financial crisis that sent tremors through European banks and plunged Japan into a deep recession, could not have come at a better time for China. The turmoil will pull the focus of rival governments inward. There will be no desire, and few resources available, to face new confrontations abroad for years to come. Beijing will use the time to continue its “peaceful rise” without fear of interference by other powers whose longer term interests are at risk as China creates a “multipolar” world it can shape to its advantage.

China is, of course, facing problems. Its economy is dependent on exports in a world where trade is shrinking. Beijing is clearly worried about the impact of declining overseas markets. During the last few months, more than 20 million migrant workers have become unemployed. Last year 2,400 factories in and around the vibrant coastal region of Guangzhou closed. Rapid, double-digit economic growth has become the main legitimizing theme of the Communist dictatorship, and there is a real threat of social unrest if the economy slows. At a meeting of the cabinet last month, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told government leaders to prepare for trouble, “The country’s employment situation is extremely grim,” he said. More than 3,000 public security directors from across the country have been summoned to Beijing to learn how to suppress rallies and strikes before they turn into riots.

Yet, China’s trade surplus in 2008 set a new record, both in the aggregate and with the United States. Its aggressive export strategy, based on currency values set by the regime, massive subsidies, and dumping by state corporations that value jobs and production over profits, has meant that Chinese exporters can beat out foreign rivals to expand their share of whatever markets remain open. A $585 billion stimulus package was introduced in November; much of it aimed at labor-intensive construction projects. And China’s already largely closed market for imports is becoming more protectionist– even as Beijing demands that markets in America and Europe open further to its products.

China also has the world’s largest hard currency reserves, estimated at around $2 trillion, the result of accumulated trade surpluses. The United States alone has given China $1.5 trillion via its trade deficit between 2000 and 2008. This massive Chinese hoard of capital hangs over the debt-ridden world economy like the Sword of Damocles. In the ancient Greek fable, the wealthy and powerful ruler of Syracuse was constantly menaced by a sword that hung over his throne by a single horsehair. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly behaved as if she was sitting under such a weapon when she visited China last weekend.

The United States and China sit on opposite sides of every arena of conflict across the globe, as well as represent contrary principles of government and human rights. Yet, none of these issues played a major role in the discussions between Secretary Clinton and Chinese leaders, and many were not even mentioned. Beijing was praised for its “positive” role in hosting the Six-Party talks on North Korea. These talks have served Chinese interests well, protecting the Pyongyang buffer state from any concerted foreign pressure and even getting sanctions lifted in exchange for very little in the way of verifiable changes in regime behavior. Chinese support for the Iranian regime and its nuclear ambitions, which have stymied sanctions and undermined international pressure, was mentioned only by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in the joint press conference of Feb. 21, not by Secretary Clinton. There does not seem to have been any mention of the genocidal Islamic dictatorship in Sudan, which is armed and funded by Beijing in exchange for control of its oil industry, despite Secretary Clinton’s long standing personal concern for what is happening there.

There was no public sign that Afghanistan was discussed in Beijing. China is strengthening its ties with Pakistan, providing new combat aircraft and warships. It is also giving Islamabad diplomatic support to resist U.S. pressure to take the offensive against Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan’s border region from which attacks are launched against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Chinese arms are also the mainstay of the Taliban insurgents.

At the Feb. 21 joint press conference, Secretary Clinton said “it is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship. Both of us are seeking ways to deepen and broaden that relationship.” A great deal of attention was devoted to environmental issues, as if the U.S. side was trying to create a common enemy in “global warming” so as to form an alliance with China that would overshadow all the traditional geopolitical conflicts that divide the two nations.

Secretary Clinton has taken flak from the human-rights community for downgrading their concerns in China. This should not have been surprising, since her husband Bill Clinton did exactly the same thing. President Clinton changed his campaign rhetoric about using trade as leverage for reform in China once he was in office under pressure from the business community. That corporate pressure is still in full force, but is now reinforced by the need to keep Chinese capital flowing to fund the U.S. budget deficit, even though that money originated from American consumers. Secretary Clinton tried to assure Beijing’s leaders that their considerable investment in Treasury bonds would remain safe.

Yet, in a world where banks and factories are failing, the potential returns from buying distressed real assets to take control of future production could be irresistible. Two days before Clinton arrived in Beijing, Fang Shangpu, deputy director of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, said that China will encourage and assist its companies in expanding operations and acquisitions overseas. Beijing has for many years been buying up energy and other natural resources in Africa, Asia and Latin America, taking them off the market for exclusive use by Chinese industry. A considerable debate has been triggered in Australia by Aluminum Corporation of China’s (Chinalco) decision to invest $19.5 billion in British-Australian Rio Tinto Group and China Minmetals’ offer for a $1.7 billion investment in OZ Minerals Ltd. China Investment Corporation, the $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, is thought to be in talks with Fortescue Metals Group Ltd., Australia’s third-biggest iron ore exporter, about gaining a $3 billion stake.

The China Development Bank (CDB) is in final negotiations with Brazils Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) to loan the company some $10 billion for deepwater energy development — a loan to be repaid in oil. Beijing’s approach is a resurrection of the 19th century colonial model. It buys raw materials and invests in infrastructure projects to develop trade routes, paid for by the export of manufactured goods on very favorable terms. Chinese mercantilism is not about profit in the sense used in Western capitalist theory. It is about the control of wealth and production capacity as the foundation of state power and international influence.

Beijing believes its rise to great power status is inevitable, but that it will take time to construct the economic, social and political foundations. During the period of emergence, China could be vulnerable to foreign pressure. It has played a wily came, posing as a fragile developing country that needs special treatment to alleviate poverty and establish a basis for reform; while at the same time using its economic and diplomatic clout to project its growing power and deter counteraction. This strategy has been very much in line with Sun Tzu’s ancient advice that, ““Warfare is the Way (Tao) of deception. Although capable, display incapability. When committed to employing your forces, feign inactivity.”

The “peaceful rise” line of propaganda was introduced over ten years ago in response to the “China threat” theory advanced at the time by Lee Kuan-yew of Singapore, whose strategic city-state built a dockyard designed for use by U.S. aircraft carriers in an attempt to pull American power back to Southeast Asia. In 2005, Beijing released a White Paper that tweaked the term from “rise” to “development” to make it sound less aggressive. A year earlier, Gong Li, vice director of the Institute of International Strategic Studies at the Central Party School of the Chinese Communist Party, had presented a conference paper arguing that only a minority of Chinese officials believe that common interests outweigh contradictions between Beijing and Washington. A majority believe that Washington could take action to “contain” China before it can become a threat to American “hegemony.” Beijing needed to buy time to grow strong in an environment of appeasement and accommodation. It will now have that time.

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, who as Foreign Minister in 2005 told a press conference that China was beginning to pose a "considerable threat" because of its military buildup, is about to visit the White House. But he has an approval rating back home nearing single digits as Japan spirals into recession. President Barack Obama, looking to reduce the budget deficit even as massive stimulus packages are being passed by Congress, is planning major cuts in combat aircraft programs, missile defense and naval shipbuilding– the very capabilities that would be needed to contain a China that is modernizing and expanding its military in these same areas. As twilight is falling on the West, Beijing sees a new day dawning in the East.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Alan Keyes: Obama Will Destroy U.S. 奥巴马会毁灭美国

Alan Keyes: Obama Will Destroy U.S. 奥巴马会毁灭美国

Link to Video:

Monday, February 23, 2009 8:50 AM

Arch-conservative Alan Keyes is not giving Barack Obama any honeymoon.

After the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" column picked up Keyes' comments - taken from an impromptu interview posted to YouTube - about Obama from last week, those comments have been the buzz of the web this past weekend.

Keyes, a former U.S. ambassador, ran against Obama in 2004 as the Republican Senate candidate in Illinois.

In his diatribe against the new president, Keyes calls Obama a "radical communist" and says "he will destroy this country" and warns that unless he is stopped, America "will cease to exist."

Keyes also says Obama has failed constitutional muster to become president, since, Keyes argues, Obama was born in Kenya.

Obama has stated he was born in Hawaii. His campaign has released his Certificate of Live Birth - not his actual birth certificate. Hawaii state officials said they reviewed the actual birth certificate and that Obama was born in the state of Hawaii.

Also, Obama's family placed a legal advertisement in a Hawaii newspaper days after he was born.

© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Che Guevara: Hypocritical Darling of Pop Culture 格瓦拉与美国左派的伪善

Che Guevara: Hypocritical Darling of Pop Culture 格瓦拉与美国左派的伪善

By Helena Zhu & Joan Delaney Feb 23, 2009

Sporting his Che Guevara T-shirt, musician Carlos Santana and his wife Deborah King Santana arrive at the 77th Annual Academy Awards in February 2005. (Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

He was chief executioner for the Castro regime, responsible for the murder of thousands of Cubans. He was by all accounts cruel, self-centered and incompetent at just about everything other than murdering bound and blindfolded men.

Yet Ernesto “Che” Guevara is a darling of popular culture, that famous image by Alberto Korda appearing on posters, couture bags and T-shirts worn by everyone from movie stars to the kid next door.

Che is celebrated by Hollywood and Madison Avenue as both saint and sex symbol.

Angelina Jolie sports a Che tattoo, and Madonna, Carlos Santana, Mike Tyson, and Johnny Depp have been seen in T-shirts bearing Che’s image.

Time Magazine once named him one of the 100 most influential people of the twentieth century, and many believe the Argentinean was a brave freedom fighter devoted to helping the poor of Latin America.

But their views are based on propaganda dispersed by Fidel Castro’s communist regime, said author Humberto Fontova, who revealed in his book Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him, that Che was in fact a ruthless executioner who enjoyed killing, an opportunist and an abject failure as Cuba’s economy minister.

“They think he’s a rock star. They have no idea who he was,” said Fontova in a telephone interview from his home in Louisiana.

The irony of it is, said Fontova, that the very people who look up to Che today would have ended up in prison in Che’s Cuba. During his time as Fidel Castro’s second-in- command, El Che instigated a campaign against young people who had long hair and listened to American rock music.

“Most of the people singing his praises nowadays would be thrown in the labor camps by Che Guevara himself. He was a totalitarian. He was not a libertarian. He praised Stalin and he idolized Stalin and he tried to reproduce Stalin’s Russia,” he said.

Che’s campaign also included gays, religious believers, and authors—he burned books and signed death warrants for writers who disagreed with him. In 1960, at a town named Guanahacabibes, he initiated Cuba's concentration camp system.

Exposing the Real Che Guevara is based on scores of interviews with former revolutionaries and Cuban refugees as well as Felix Rodriguez, the Cuban-American CIA operative who was the last person to talk to Che shortly before the Bolivian government executed him in 1967.

Although portraying himself as an “austere idealist” and man of the people, Che was actually a hypocrite who desired material wealth and lived in one of the most luxurious mansions in Cuba, according to the book.

“The Cuban Revolution has been romanticized to the point where few people know about the actual origin of it,” Fontova said.

“Everything that you read in the modern media regarding the Cuban revolution is not just wrong—it is the opposite of the truth.”

Fontova, who has a degree in political science from the University of New Orleans and a masters in Latin American Studies from Tulane University, lived in Havana before escaping to New Orleans at age seven with his family in 1961.

“Che was not a doctor—he dropped out of medical school,” he said. “He was a hobo, a vagabond, mooching off women and pan-handling in Mexico City [when] he met Raúl and Fidel Castro.”

According to Fontova, Raúl and Fidel, like all revolutionary leaders, needed an executioner to transform Cuba into a “Stalinist state.” Lenin used Felix Dzerzhinsky, Stalin had Lavrenty Beria, and Hitler’s man was Henrich Himmler. The Castros too required a “puppet” to “execute thousands of defenseless and innocent people,” which is why they hired Guevara, he said.

“That’s what his role was. He was too stupid to do anything else. … He was a sadist. Some of the boys he executed were 17 and 18 years old. He executed them personally.”

In his book Che Guevara: A Biography, Daniel James writes that Che admitted to ordering "several thousand" executions in 1959, the first year of the Castro regime when he was put in charge of La Cabaña prison. Cuban journalist Luis Ortega writes in Yo Soy El Che! that Guevara sent 1,897 men to the firing squad.

Che's “firing squad marathons” at La Cabaña “decapitated literally and figuratively the first ranks of Cuba's anti-Castro rebels,” according to Exposing the Real Che Guevara.

While Guevara excelled as an executioner, he did not do so well as Cuba's Minister of Economics or as Minister of Industries. During this period the Cuban economy saw the near-collapse of sugar production, factories closed and rationing was introduced—all in what had been one of Latin America’s most successful economies.

Fontova is scathing in his criticism of two Hollywood films depicting Che as a heroic figure—The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) and Che: Part One and Che: Part Two (2008).

In both movies, which are said to be based on Che’s personal diaries, the commandante is portrayed as a savior of Cuban civilians. But Fontova said director Steven Soderbergh (Che) and executive producer Robert Redford (The Motorcycle Diaries) actually worked from diaries written by Fidel Castro and edited by the propaganda ministry of the Cuban regime.

“The movie [Che] is a complete farce. They have taken a script written by Fidel Castro, a dictator, and turned it into a movie that people are accepting as a legitimate movie around world.”

Kai Chen, a top player on China’s national basketball team in the late 1970s and now a political and human rights activist living in Los Angeles, said Hollywood has a history of making “leftist” films.

“There’s a culture in America, in American entertainment, that’s anti-America, anti-establishment. They should probably spend a few months in one of China’s labour camps—then they can talk about what’s in a communist country,” he said.

Having witnessed the legacy of Chairman Mao’s atrocities growing up in communist China, Chen is currently on a campaign to stop Mao’s Kitchen restaurants in California from selling T-shirts and other paraphernalia adorned with Mao’s image.

He said “power hungry” Guevara was an admirer of Mao, who during his reign was responsible for the deaths of more than 70 million Chinese, according to Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang.

“Che idolized Mao. I think they both influenced each other. Mao looked at Che as a young form of Mao; through Che Mao could see himself in his youth. But Che idolized Mao for what he had achieved—unlimited power over his own people.”

Chen sees the marketing of Che items around the world as “very damaging. It makes people think that communism is okay, and even like a form of entertainment. Because people don’t know the atrocities, the misery, they think it’s somehow funny.”

Perhaps the greatest irony is that Che, who despised capitalism, is himself now a capitalist brand, his likeness adorning key chains, lighters, hoodies, mugs, infant wear, tank tops, bandannas, baseball caps, wallets, toques, bags, posters, blue jeans and, of course, the ubiquitous T-shirts.

Last Updated
Feb 23, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009



Repost on the Bicentennial Anniversary of Lincoln's Birthday

By Kai Chen 作者: 陈凯

2005-07-03 09:55:44

China's communist party turned 84 and more and more young people are joining in as the government media claims. Does anyone believe that? If it is true, what do you think it is behind their motive to join the communist party? Do they truly believe in Communist ideology whose only purpose is to destroy Capitalism? Or do they join only to advance their career in making more money or gaining more power in climbing the political and social ladder? If the communist party's policy of "one country, two systems" stands, do you see the contradiction? Who is the "one country"? What are the "two systems"?

President Abraham Lincoln was an idiot, according to today's wise and smart Chinese communist party elite. Deng was smarter than Lincoln in his calling for "one country, two systems". Why fight a bloody war to preserve the Union if Lincoln was smart enough as the Chinese today. We can just compromise to have a big happy family and everybody can just go on with their own business, slavery or not, the Chinese will assert. And indeed China was the main sponsor of the first pure modern slave state — Pol Pot's communist Cambodia in the late 1970s. In that communist state, there was no money, no capitalism, no free movement of people. There was only unabated pure slavery of individuals for the benefit of the state. There was only murder and bloodshed as millions were slaughtered. As far as exploitation of labor goes, I have not seen any capitalist states taking more than half of an individual's income as tax as in the case of Yao Ming with the non-exploitative, good hearted socialist China.

Should Lincoln adopt a policy like China's, there would have been no American Civil War. Then again, there would not be an America as we know today for the American Constitution with its fundamental moral values of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" for every citizen of the country would cease to exist. We would end up with a meaningless entity no one knows how to define, as today's China is.

Yet, the "one country, two systems" can only be adopted and proposed by those morally invalid and rationally inadequate. I bet the southern slave holders would have no trouble in accepting such a proposal if President Lincoln initiated it. The purpose of the southern slave holders would be happy to have accepted "one country, two systems" as a doctrain for coexistence. It would be to win them more time to survive and regroup till they would be strong again. This is exactly what motivated Deng and the Chinese communist regime to propose "one country, two system", for they never believed that such a scheme would ever work. But by deceiving the Chinese masses with their already weak sense of rationality through thousands of years of moral and intellectual degradation, the communists think they can get away with it and indeed for a large part they did get away with it. So now the Chinese communist party is successfully postponing its own demise, though they know somehow they will never prevent it. Sooner of later, they will be history. That is why they are hoarding money in overseas banks for themselves and sending their kids abroad just in case one day China collapses.

Many leftist thinkers in America and in the West in general also have proposed such a scheme of "one world, two systems" with free countries coexisting with despotic regimes. "Appeasement" during W.W.II and "detente" during the cold war are only two examples. Yet, it only led to disaster, war and human misery. 9/11 showed us that Clinton administration's detente with the world despotism, culminated by the rise of Islamic Fundamentalists, would only lead to unprecedented tragedies. I applaud President Bush's foreign policy of "spreading freedom around the world", for at least some of us have learned something from that tragic morning in September, 2001. There should be no compromise with communism and world despotism in mankind's search for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. If you don't actively attack the dark forces fostered by human evils in their thirst for power and domination regardless of universal human values, the evil dark forces, like cancer cells or AIDS virus, will advance and swallow the world. There will never be "one country, two systems", nor will there be "one world, two kinds of values". Mankind can only advance with "one world with one value and one direction" that is human freedom.

To accommodate evil is to postpone the demise of evil. In China today it is the evil that is dictating the terms and formulating vocabulary for the Chinese masses. Sadly the Chinese masses are not wise enough and alert enough to reject such a scheme. The anemic world opinion and Western leftists are of no help either. They are deceiving themselves into thinking good and evil can coexist together peacefully, freedom and slavery can coexist without conflict, law and order can coexist with chaos and irrationality without creating confusion and misery, democracy can coexist with tyranny without human suffering and bloodshed... Wake up, people! Take your action and make your choice. Action or inaction will always have consequences even if you don't admit it.

President Lincoln was not wrong in attacking evil to preserve good. People of the world should learn from his courage and wisdom in advancing human freedom and pushing history forward. We are all in debt with him and we all owe him our gratitude. America indeed is "one country, one system, one value and one direction". The world's future will not diverge from the American experience and example.

--原载:《America Online》, July 03, 2005

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dark Humor: Nothing is Wasted in China 黑色幽默: 出名的中国式节约

Dark Humor: Nothing is Wasted in China 黑色幽默:出名的中国式节约


Back to the ’08 Olympics, &c. 重温北京奥运的教训

By Jay Nordlinger (Editor of National Review)

One of my great complaints — regular readers have heard it for a long time — is that no one ever goes back: No one ever reviews what was said, takes stock, etc. For example, a senator says, “If Ronald Reagan deploys those Pershings, we will have nuclear war!” Well, did we?

This is the great power of Mona Charen’s book Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First. She cites chapter and verse; and everyone is on the record, accountable. (To read my review of that book — published in a March 2003 National Review — go here.)

Why am I bringing all this up? Well, advocates of granting the Olympic Games to China all said that having the Games would force the PRC to liberalize. It would be good for human rights, people said. Even Chinese authorities themselves said that the Games would cause them to liberalize!

That was the great selling point.

And what happened? Not only did the Games not have a liberalizing effect; they had the opposite — moving the PRC to crack down all the more. I documented this extensively in a five-part series on this site last August. You can find it in my archive, here.

And just the other day, I saw this headline, from the Falun Dafa Information Center: “Fueled by Olympics, Falun Gong Persecution Escalated Sharply in 2008.” You’re darn right it did (and the relevant article is here).

Now, there’s nothing wrong with guessing, or arguing, and being wrong. It may have happened even to me one time. And it was possible that the Games would have a liberalizing effect (although I always thought that was a foolish guess, for reasons I detail in the above-mentioned series). In any case, the granting of the Games to Beijing set the cause of human rights back.

And it would be nice if some of the advocates of those Olympics — and there were millions of them — would simply say, “Oops: Turned out to be wrong.” Why should they say this? Because I think there should be Mao-style self-criticisms? No. Because I like to say “I told you so”? No. It just seems to me that, before we glide on, we should review, take stock, so as to prevent similar errors or misjudgments in the future.

Isn’t that elementary? (And elementary, as you know, is one of the specialties of this column.)

A grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini has said some interesting things — and the Middle East Media Research Institute, as usual, has relayed them (here). An interviewer asked Hossein Khomeini, “In your opinion, is the regime ruling Iran today exactly the same Islamic republic that Ayatollah Khomeini wished for?”

And he said, “No, we certainly did not want such a thing. The religious people did not want this, and the non-religious did not either. Only people who are mentally deviant could possibly want such a thing. Nobody else would want a regime that, in the name of Islam, challenges all the rights of the people, and, in many cases, tramples those rights underfoot.”

Of course, Ayatollah Khomeini planned a nightmare, for all of us: for as many as he could lay his hands on. And he plunged many millions into that nightmare. Still, interesting, what the grandson said.

On Saturday, I spotted a headline that said, “Good news on the ocean front for a change.” I thought, “Boy, Obama moves fast: He has been in office less than a month!” The article said,

Some Pacific Island countries are successfully protecting their reefs, haddock and scallops are recovering in New England waters, and a few types of whales are even making a comeback.

“The news today is that there is good news” for the oceans, Nancy Knowlton of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.

That doesn’t mean that people no longer need to be concerned about the future of the oceans and sea life, but she said it is time to move beyond the obituaries and recognize there is also progress.

Well, he said he would heal the waters, and lo . . .

In many music reviews for the New York Sun (2002–08), I decried the practice of shushing in concert halls. Someone would clap at an inappropriate moment, or a cellphone would go off, and others would immediately shush: which I’ve always found worse — more disruptive, more annoying — than the original offense.

With this in mind, an old colleague from the Sun sent me an article from the Guardian, here. It begins, “Museum attendants should be stopped from ‘shushing’ children and displays should be hung low enough for youngsters to see properly, according to a manifesto to make museums more family-friendly published today.”

I dunno. I’ll have to think about it. Probably some children in museums deserve to be shushed . . .

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Khmer Rouge genocide trial opens in Cambodia 红色高棉共产罪犯审判开庭

Khmer Rouge Trials Set To Start

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Khmer Rouge genocide trial opens in Cambodia 红色高棉共产罪犯审判开庭


The chief of a prison where some 16,000 men, women and children were tortured before being killed appeared Tuesday before Cambodia's genocide tribunal in its first trial over the Khmer Rouge reign of terror more than three decades ago.

Kaing Guek Eav _ better known as Duch _ is charged with crimes against humanity and is the first of five defendants scheduled for long-delayed trials by the U.N.-assisted court.

They were among a close-knit, ultra-communist clique that turned Cambodia into a vast slave labor camp and charnel house in which 1.7 million or more died of starvation, disease and execution.

Duch, who headed the S-21 prison in Phnom Penh for the Khmer Rouge, is the only defendant to have expressed remorse for his actions, and on Tuesday he again voiced regret for what he did and sought forgiveness.

"Duch acknowledges the facts he's being charged with," his French lawyer Francois Roux, said at a press briefing after Tuesday's court session. "Duch wishes to ask forgiveness from the victims but also from the Cambodian people. He will do so publicly. This is the very least he owes the victims."

This week's hearing establishes the schedule for the trial, which is expected to begin in late March. The prosecution said it will present 33 witnesses over 40 days, while the defense said it seeks to have 13 witnesses testify over 4 1/2 days.

Duch's professed sentiments have no direct legal ramifications, and seem unlikely to change public attitudes.

"It is not only me wanting justice today. All Cambodian people have been waiting for 30 years now," said Vann Nath, one of less than 20 survivors of S-21, who attended the hearing in a courtroom packed with some 500 people. "I look at Duch today and he seems like an old, very gentle man. It was much different 30 years ago."

Vann Nath, who survived by painting and sculpting portraits of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, described Duch as a "very cruel man."

Duch, 66, is accused of committing or abetting a range of crimes including murder, torture and rape at S-21 prison _ formerly a school _ where suspected enemies of the Khmer Rouge _ men, women and children _ were held and tortured, before being executed.

"This first hearing represents the realization of significant efforts to establish a fair and independent tribunal to try those in leadership positions and those most responsible for violations of Cambodian and international law," presiding judge Nil Nonn told the chamber.

But the tribunal has drawn sharp criticism.

Its snail-slow proceedings have been plagued by political interference from the Cambodian government, allegations of bias and corruption, lack of funding and bickering between Cambodian and international lawyers.

Some observers believe Prime Minister Hun Sen _ a former Khmer Rouge officer himself _ is controlling the tribunal's scope by directing the decisions of the Cambodian prosecutors and judges.

Duch has made no formal confession. However, unlike the other four defendants, he "admitted or acknowledged" in some of the 21 interviews by investigating judges that many of the crimes occurred at his prison, according to the indictment from court judges.

Duch has been variously described by those who knew him as "very gentle and kind" and a "monster." Continued...

"Duch necessarily decided how long a prisoner would live, since he ordered their execution based on a personal determination of whether a prisoner had fully confessed" to being an enemy of the regime, the tribunal said in an indictment in August.

In one mass execution, he gave his men a "kill them all" order to dispose of a group of prisoners, indictment said. On another list of 29 prisoners, he told his henchmen to "interrogate four persons, kill the rest."

After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Duch disappeared for two decades, living under two other names and converting to Christianity before he was located in northwestern Cambodia by a British journalist in 1999.

Taken to the scene of his alleged crimes last year, he wept and told some of his former victims, "I ask for your forgiveness. I know that you cannot forgive me, but I ask you to leave me the hope that you might."

The trial comes 30 years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, 13 years after the tribunal was first proposed and nearly three years after the court was inaugurated.

Many victims feared that all the Khmer Rouge leaders would die before facing justice, and getting even one of them on trial is seen as a breakthrough. But there are concerns that the process is being politically manipulated and that thousands of killers will escape unpunished.

The Cambodian side in the tribunal has recently turned down recommendations from the international co-prosecutor to try other Khmer Rouge leaders, as many as six according to some reports. This has sparked criticism from human rights groups.

"The tribunal cannot bring justice to the millions of the Khmer Rouge's victims if it tries only a handful of the most notorious individuals, while scores of former Khmer Rouge officials and commanders remain free," the New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a release Monday.

Others facing trial are Khieu Samphan, the group's former head of state; Ieng Sary, its foreign minister; his wife Ieng Thirith, who was minister for social affairs; and Nuon Chea, the movement's chief ideologue.

All four have denied committing crimes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mrs. Clinton Goes to Asia/National Review 克林顿国务卿亚洲行/评论

Mrs. Clinton Goes to Asia/National Review 克林顿国务卿亚洲行/评论

Mrs. Clinton Goes to Asia

The secretary of state has important business in four different countries.

By Dan Blumenthal (National Review 2/16/2009)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s decision to make Asia the destination of her first official trip sends a positive signal to the region. It indicates the Obama administration’s realization that Asia will become the center of gravity of international politics in the decades ahead. Assuming Asian countries resume their strong economic growth after the current recession, within decades they will account for more of the world’s economy than do Europe and the United States combined. In addition, Asia simmers with political and security competition.

The trip began yesterday, and will include stops in Japan, South Korea, China, and Indonesia. In Tokyo, Clinton will meet a Japanese leadership wary of Chinese military growth — often on display near Japanese shores — and threatened by North Korean nuclear power. The Japanese have less confidence in the American security commitment than they did when six-party denuclearization talks with North Korea began. And North Korea, the very definition of a failed state, has demonstrated its continued relevance by threatening to test a Taepodong long-range ballistic missile during Clinton’s trip.

In South Korea, Clinton will find leaders ready to stand tough against North Korea’s belligerence and demand more reciprocity in denuclearization talks. She will also find that while South Korea enjoys the benefits of trade with China, it is nervous about China’s approach to an increasingly unstable North Korea and long-term designs on the peninsula.

In Beijing, Clinton will encounter a leadership trying to put its best face on a boiling witch’s brew. These leaders are attempting, through a Leninist political system, to govern a population with rising expectations in the face of a serious economic downturn. The Chinese people increasingly protest the corruption and injustice of their government, and the government is responding with increased repression. This is not a formula for political stability.

Clinton’s itinerary includes Indonesia. It is an underappreciated success story — a consolidated Muslim democracy. But with Islamic extremists still a threat, Washington and its allies cannot become complacent about Jakarta’s future. By attending to Indonesia’s political development and security concerns, the U.S. will not only strengthen its relationship with the world’s largest Muslim country, it will solidify its alliance with Australia, Indonesia’s neighbor, with an interest in Indonesian growth and stability.

In fashioning her Asia policy, Secretary Clinton has a chance to make a clean break with her predecessors, who tended to view every Asian challenge in isolation. The United States can begin to view Asia as a whole, with interconnected problems and multilateral solutions.

Clinton can articulate a broad vision for an Asia that is prosperous, peaceful, and free, with a future that does not look like its past — which is characterized by the depredations of imperial powers and the domination of an Asian hegemon. An Asia converging on a common set of liberal, democratic values and institutions is more likely to dissolve historic animosities, settle territorial disputes, and remove barriers to trade.

Autocratic China is the country most likely to stand in the way of this vision. But Asia is not just China. The other countries Clinton will visit are prosperous democracies proud of their political development. Clinton should not shy away from strengthening ties to these democracies. They may want to focus on solving the human-rights crisis in Burma, finding a common vision for the Korean peninisula’s reunification, or establishing a free-trade area of the Pacific that includes Taiwan. It is doubtful that Beijing wants any of these things, but China does not have veto power over the region’s agenda.

To be sure, there is important business to accomplish with the Chinese government — from dealing with the global recession to countering proliferation. But Clinton should not allow Beijing to set the agenda. Nor should Washington continue to make the mistake of thinking that China is the Chinese Communist Party. Numbering over a billion, the Chinese people are not blindly following the dictates of their rulers. Many want their country to make democratic reforms. Should Clinton articulate a regional vision for peace, prosperity, and democracy, she will be speaking not only to Asians already living in democracies, but to the Chinese people as well.

Shengxue - a fighter for justice 盛雪 - 一个勇敢的女作家

Chinese-Canadian poet and journalist Sheng Xue.

Shengxue - a fighter for justice 盛雪 - 一个勇敢的女作家

The Struggle of Three Books Writer’s travails under publication control of Chinese regime

By Helena Zhu
Epoch Times Staff Nov 3, 2008


The Chinese regime’s absolute monopoly over print and internet publications presents frequent challenges for Chinese writers, and renowned Chinese-Canadian poet and journalist Sheng Xue is no exception.

The Beijing-born writer is a member of PEN Canada, Canadian correspondent for Radio Free Asia, and recipient of the Canadian Association for Journalists Award for Investigative Journalism in 2000.

Nonetheless, throughout her writing career Sheng has been threatened, verbally abused, placed under surveillance, and even detained by the Chinese regime.

Since moving to Toronto in 1989, shortly after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, Sheng has published numerous news reports and commentaries in many Chinese-language media.

She has also published three books in Chinese: Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case, Seeking the Soul of Snow, a personal poetry collection, and her most recent, a collection of essays called Lyricism from a Fierce Critic.

The story of notorious smuggler Lai Changxing, Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case became a bestseller in Chinese communities overseas and caused a stir both inside and outside China. It was immediately banned by China's Propaganda Ministry.

Prior to publishing the book, Sheng said she got a call from a man who offered her $1 million for the rights to the book in order to prevent it from being published. The man said he was phoning on behalf of the Chinese regime.

She later learned that several individuals who had attempted to produce copies of the book in mainland China after buying it in Hong Kong were sent to prison.

Sheng said the Chinese Communist Party is afraid of the book because it reveals some “very high-level inside facts” on the regime.

The cover of Sheng Xue's Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case, which became a bestseller in Chinese communities overseas and caused a stir both inside and outside China. It was immediately banned by China's Propaganda Ministry. (Sheng Xue)

“The Chinese government is very fragile. On one hand, the regime appears to be rather strong, as it controls every aspect in China. However, on the other hand, the regime is very weak; it cannot undertake any kind of challenges.”

In 2006, Sheng tried to publish Seeking the Soul of Snow in Beijing because she had a lot of readers in mainland China, but without success. Because her name was on the regime's blacklist, the publisher would lose its license and be shut down if it printed her book.

“My essays, a lot of them, of course criticize the Chinese government. I want people to know and to learn more about the truth of China.”

However, through a friend’s help, the United Writer Press in Hong Kong agreed to publish the book.

Soon after, a document referring Sheng as “hostile” was issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), and an extensive search was conducted for the book all over China, including in the entire media and school system.

In China, every publication has to go through GAPP, which has the legal authority to screen, censor, and ban any Chinese literature intended for sale on the open market.

“Something for sure is that I never believed in the Communist Party, even when I was small,” said Sheng.

“My essays, a lot of them, of course criticize the Chinese government,” said Sheng. “I want people to know and to learn more about the truth of China.”

During the Cultural Revolution, when she was five years old, Sheng and her younger sister were sent to live with relatives in the country for three years. She was humiliated and discriminated against at school because her family was labeled under the communist’s Five Black Categories blacklist.

“What I remember was being cold and hungry, and there was discrimination, bullying, and humiliation,” said Sheng. “Life was so miserable, so hopeless. I didn’t know what I could do; I didn’t know what was the meaning of my life. So I started to write poems for myself. It was like I got someone to talk to.”

Both of her parents were expelled from their jobs. Her father was dismissed from his university teaching position and was continuously persecuted. Her grandfather, who was the principal of Northeastern University before the communists took power, was forced to flee to Taiwan.

Sheng’s third book, Lyricism from a Fierce Critic, was published on August 8th, 2008, the day of the Beijing Olympics’ opening ceremony. She chose this particular day because she felt the Games were “a tool” used by the Chinese government to gain attention and power in the world.

However, on arriving in Hong Kong on August 6 to promote the book, she was detained by customs and questioned for a night. She was then sent back to Taipei, Taiwan, where she had her flight transfer.

Sheng said many Chinese people viewed the Olympics as something they could be proud of since they have little else to give them hope.

“Nothing can make them feel confident; therefore they take the athletic event as a way to display the glamour of a great nation. And many Chinese people want to use this glamour to satisfy their own glory. It’s so sad. I mean we can see that the Chinese society has lost its confidence … and lost beliefs.”

She said the blame for this, and for such things as the current poisoned milk scandal and the Chinese peoples' worship of money can be laid squarely at the feet of the Chinese Communist Party.

“Under the Chinese Communist Party, the worst in Chinese society over the past thousands of years all erupted, this is the significance. Because the Chinese Communist Party restrains compassion, persecutes compassion, and denounces compassion. The party wants the evil elements to bloom.” Last Updated

Jan 13, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Molokai - the Story of Father Damien 神父迪安民的动人故事

Molokai - the Story of Father Damien 神父迪安民的动人故事


-- excerpted from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Missionary priest, born at Tremeloo, Belgium, 3 January 1840; died at Molokai, Hawaii, 15 April 1889.

His father, a small farmer, sent him to a college at Braine-le-Comte, to prepare for a commercial profession; but as a result of a mission given by the Redemptorists in 1858, Joseph decided to become a monk. He entered the novitiate of the Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary at Louvain, and took in religion the name of Damien. He was admitted to the religious profession 7 Oct. 1860. Three years later, though still in minor orders, he was sent to the mission of the Hawaiian Islands, where he arrived 19 March 1864. Ordained priest at Honolulu 24 May of the same year, he was later given charge of various districts on the island of Hawaii, and, animated with a burning zeal, his robust constitution allowed him to give full play to the impulses of his heart. He was not only the missionary of the natives, but also constructed several chapels with his own hands, both in Hawaii and in Molokai.

Statue of Father Damien on Molokai

On the latter island there had grown up a leper settlement where the Government kept segregated all persons afflicted with the loathsome disease. The board of health supplied the unfortunates with food and clothing, but was unable in the beginning to provide them with either resident physicians or nurses. On 10 May 1873, Father Damien, at his own request and with the sanction of his bishop, arrived at the settlement as its resident priest. There were then 600 lepers. "As long as the lepers can care for themselves", wrote the superintendent of the board of health to Bishop Maigret, "they are comparatively comfortable, but as soon as the dreadful disease renders them helpless, it would seem that even demons themselves would pity their condition and hasten their death." For a long time, however, Father Damien was the only one to bring them the succour they so greatly needed. He not only administered the consolations of religion, but also rendered them such little medical service and bodily comforts as were within his power. He dressed their ulcers, helped them erect their cottages, and went so far as to dig their graves and make their coffins. After twelve years of this heroic service he discovered in himself the first symptoms of the disease. This was in 1885. He nevertheless continued his charitable ministrations, being assisted at this period by two other priests and two lay brothers. On 28 March 1889, Father Damien became helpless and passed away shortly after, closing his fifteenth year in the service of the lepers.


What this bio doesn't mention is that the hardest fight Father Damien had to fight was not against the poverty and disease of these abandoned people, but against the greed, denial and obstinacy of the catholic bishops and the government. Father Damien finally prevailed when the shameful conditions on Molokai could no longer be hidden from the world. But Father Damien' s dedication and selflessness became legend.

The History of Saint Valentine's Day 情人节的历史故事/瓦林太神父

The History of Saint Valentine's Day 情人节的历史故事

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.

The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feaSt. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.


St. Valentine's Story 瓦林太神父的自述

Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support that law!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favourite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

从群体认同到个体品行 From the Collective Identity to the Content of Individual Character

从群体认同到个体品行 From the Collective Identity to the Content of Individual Character


从群体认同(国家,种族,阶级)到个体自由是一个从表象到内在,从肉体到精神,从对个体责任的逃避到对个体责任与品行的确立的过程。 个体品行的内容是每一个自由社会鉴别良莠的唯一标准。 --- 陈凯

From a collective identity (nation, race, class, gender...) to an individual identity is a progress from the superficial to the substantial, from a physical existence to a spiritual existence, from an evasion of individual responsibility to a conviction of taking individual responsibility. The content of personal character is the only criterion for us to judge a person's worth. --- Kai Chen


Dear Visitors:

Today I attended a Freedom Center event. Ward Connerly gave a spirited speech and then he had a book signing. His new book's title is "Lessons from My Uncle James -- Beyond skin color to the content of our character".

I have followed Ward Connerly in his fight to abolish Affirmative Action during his stay in the UC Regency. His courage and conviction has greatly moved and impressed me. Throughout his crusade Ward Connerly exhibited an extraordinary courage, personal integrity and moral character. He is no doubt one of my heroes. I hope you read his book and absorb the moral strength from it.

Skin color, nationality, age and gender should no longer play a role in judging an individual's character and worth. We came too far to backtrack. Obama, as I asked Ward of his opinion on the 2008 election, will definitely prolong the insidious policy of Affirmative Action, therefore backtrack to the old policies of judging a person's worth by his appearance (skin color, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, etc.).

I urge you to firmly establish your own individual identity with a great moral character and in doing so advance this great country into the future.

Best. Kai Chen


Supplemental Article in Chinese:






  一方面,到处都是脱衣舞俱乐部,另一方面,在办公室说个黄段子都可能被起诉,这里面有矛盾吗?其实没有。去脱衣舞俱乐部是一个成人的自由选择,但在办公室听到黄段子,不是一个人的自由选择,当一个人的自由可能伤害他人的自由时,他就必须征得对方的同意,而且是“信息充分前提下的同意” (informed consent)。自由的真谛,恰恰在于这种“同意精神”,而不是为所欲为。试想如果一个人开车想怎么闯红灯就怎么闯红灯,喜欢哪个美女直接就把她拽到家里去,他倒是自由了,但代价却是别人的不自由。所以,自由的悖论恰恰在于,自由的保障,来自对自由的限制。


  2007年3月,“菜单食品”公司发布了一个收回令:收回它在宠物粮市场上的6000万罐猫狗粮,原因是已经确认有16只猫狗死于它所生产的一种宠物粮(实际死亡数量可能达上千只,但难以确证)。该宠物粮食的一种原料是从中国某公司进口的麦麸,这些麦麸中含有一种会导致动物肾衰竭的元素。“菜单食品” 总部在加拿大,但是美国是其主要销售对象。这事越闹越大,最后有100多个品牌的动物食物被“收回”。美国FDA(食品药品管理局)积极参与了调查,连参议院都于5月2日通过议案,要求对动物食品的生产程序和标签内容做出更严格的规定。中国政府也逮捕了相关责任人。






Wednesday, February 11, 2009

China's CCTV network gets little sympathy after hotel fire 央视大火,民众庆贺

China's CCTV network gets little sympathy after hotel fire 央视大火,民众庆贺

Alexander F. Yuan / Associated Press

Fire engulfed this building in CCTV’s new headquarters complex in Beijing. It was to house the Mandarin Oriental hotel.
Public anger had been simmering over the TV network's spending and government-slanted news coverage. The fire at the Mandarin Oriental site in Beijing offers an outlet for the rage.

By Peter Spiegel
February 11, 2009

Reporting from Beijing -- Even before it was revealed Tuesday that an unauthorized fireworks display organized by China Central Television caused the spectacular fire that destroyed one of Beijing's new glass-and-steel landmarks, the state-run broadcaster was already the subject of its own firestorm on the Internet.

The inferno at CCTV's new, still-unoccupied headquarters complex laid bare simmering anger and resentment toward the network both for spending public money on grand construction projects and for continuing to broadcast government propaganda.

"As long as there aren't any injuries, let it burn. They don't need so many buildings [in]the first place," wrote one typical anonymous poster at the popular news portal "CCTV enjoys too much luxury already. They will always have enough buildings, even though this building is down."

Jeremy Goldkorn, editor of a website that tracks Chinese media, said that among China's young, educated and urban, the stodgy network has long been a subject of ridicule, both for its low production values and its propagandistic news coverage.

But the fire -- which engulfed what was to be the Mandarin Oriental hotel, a dramatic, angular tower that stands next to the now-iconic CCTV building -- provided a new touchstone for critics, prompting the government to move quickly to mute the outrage.

By Tuesday morning, Beijing's propaganda ministry had ordered all Chinese news media to stop reporting their own versions of the fire story and to use only the account provided by the official New China News Agency.

Newspapers were told not to use photos of the fire, or to do any in-depth reporting.

A similar notice went out to news websites, which were told to shut down blogs and discussion groups on the subject.

"Many people were very happy and rejoiced at the fire. Some said it's good that it burned," said Li Datong, a former editor at the Communist Party newspaper China Youth Daily, who was fired three years ago for criticizing government censorship. "The government isn't happy with these kinds of emotions, so they strictly controlled all reports."

Many websites quickly deleted critical postings, but the government's blunt tools were unable to completely stem the deluge.

One independent blogger named Zola posted an online poll in which 30% supported the statement "I hate CCTV, not just for this day. It has been fooling us for many years. It's definitely good for it to be self-immolated."

Forty-three percent supported a more subdued view, expressing sadness for the loss of state property.

In the afternoon, CCTV took the rare step of issuing a public apology for the fire, saying it was "deeply distressed" by the damage to state property and the disruptions caused to those living and working near the complex.

"CCTV expresses its sincere apology," the network said in a letter read on air by an anchor.

Beijing authorities said an investigation was underway, including a review of CCTV's own videotapes of the incident. The network said it would cooperate.

According to city fire officials, the blaze erupted after CCTV's large-scale fireworks display, for which government permission had not been obtained, erupted into a fireball, sending flames down the face of the asymmetrical building.

State-run news media on Tuesday also released more information about the lone person to die, 30-year-old firefighter Zhang Jianyong. He was among the first on the scene and died of smoke and gas inhalation, the media reported. Five other firefighters and one CCTV employee were injured, but hospital officials told the state-run media that none of the injuries were life-threatening.

Witnesses said firefighters arrived long after the blaze began and did little to battle it until it reached the lower floors because they lacked equipment to reach the upper stories.

In its apology, CCTV appeared to lay the blame on a mid-level official responsible for the site's management, who hired the fireworks company for Monday night's show.

The display was timed for the close of the Lunar New Year.

Fireworks are normally banned in the capital, but they are allowed for the New Year festival, and the skies of Beijing were aglow Monday night.


Eliot Gao and Nicole Liu of The Times' Beijing Bureau contributed to this report.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

America Is Out of Touch on China/Kai Chen 美对华政策的败笔/陈凯

Kai Chen on Freedom 陈凯论自由

America Is Out of Touch on China/Kai Chen 美对华政策的败笔/陈凯

America Is Out of Touch on China

- On American Failure to Address Its Moral Principles since the Cold War -

By Kai Chen February 10, 2009

I have monitored America’s China policy since I came to this country in 1981. I can’t help but to deplore, in witnessing the decline of American moral values, the increasing confusion and failure in American China policy-making. I have to say that the incremental corruption and neglect of the principle of individual freedom that America was founded upon let to today’s failure in American foreign policy-making. In today’s LA Times the article by Nina Hachigian “A to-do list for China” (article pasted below) advising Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s upcoming trip to China has clearly shown that America China policy is going toward a nihilistic cliff. A disaster is brewing on the horizon.

Both parties failed to address the fundamental principles upon which America is founded.

During the Cold War, both major political parties, Republicans and Democrats, had a consensus on what America is about – a beacon of freedom for mankind under the threat of tyranny. Since Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech that brought forth the collapse of despotism/communism around the world, no such moral clarity has been exhibited and articulated by American politicians, either from right or from the left. The recent presidential debate between Obama and McCain over domestic and foreign policies of America focused only on the material and economic issues. It was as if when the evil gets well fed and dressed, it will change its ways.

Both parties and their representatives have somehow duped themselves into a morally relative “group think”. We as human beings are no longer individuals in their eyes. Therefore morality is only a relative thing according to each individual’s group identity. An unprecedented tidal wave of moral nihilism has washed up the shore of America, in large part, due to the China phenomenon.

The gutless Republicans and morally confused Democrats are now both engaged in racing toward compromises with evil forces around the world hostile to freedom. What left is only the faceless members of certain groups, be they defined by race, class, ethnicity, language, heritage, culture…, begging the government(s) for a better, more comfortable material life. Meaning has been cast aside. Sadly it seems I have lost the America I came to admire and live my dream with. Does this great country founded by the likes of Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, George Washington exist any longer? The rhetoric of the modern day American politicians contrasts sharply with their policy making: Somehow we are not spiritual beings experiencing a material world. We are only material beings having spiritual illusions. We are here only to be saved by our government, by compromising politicians.

China has never been a legitimate country with its communist government.

Failing to understand the nature of a government/regime only dooms any attempt by America to advance the cause of freedom in the world. That is if advancing the cause of freedom is still the purpose of this country at all.

Some people have the illusion that naming the evil by its name will harm American interest around the world, for that will shut the door for conversation with the evil government(s). But naming the evil by its name was exactly what President Ronald Reagan did toward USSR. And by doing so not only did he open the door for concessions by the enemy, he helped the world understand the principle and the purpose of this great country, thus he put America at a moral high ground to engage its enemy. The result was an American triumph, was victory of freedom over tyranny. I am very disappointed today in America there is a lack of morally clear politicians to articulate the purpose of this country. In blindly pursuing material gain and economic advancement, somehow China has become the model for America, not the opposite. Time and again I read columns by some writers from the left wing, espousing what China is and represents – a morally nihilistic, oppressive regime gaining power by not only plundering the world of its material resources, but eliminating its moral compass. Nowadays, somehow China, a country in deep moral and spiritual crisis on the verge of collapse both economically and politically, becomes an acceptable form of government - “kinder and gentler” despotism in the eyes of America. Who is having an illusion?

The issue of China’s government’s illegitimacy, both morally and politically, has never been adequately addressed by both parties in American politics today. Yet the so-called intellectuals from left to right take a cowardly position, constantly calling for the world to accommodate a regime that has killed and murdered more than 70 million of its citizens since it took power 60 years ago. China’s history book is only a tool by the communist regime to distort history and brainwash its own citizens, handicapping them into some kind of moral and spiritual zombies without souls. Many Chinese students who come to America to study have yet to learn that Korea War was started by the communist North invading the South. And still many students today in China have yet to learn Tiananmen Massacre indeed happened.

China is a major source of instability in the world. A new cold war has already begun.

Americans in recent years have exhibited an appalling moral confusion toward China. Besides a “moral affirmative action” toward China, tolerating a “yellow communism” instead of the “white communism” by USSR, there is an illusion that free trade is morally one way – for the US to change China toward the direction of freedom. Americans fail to understand the open trade also opens the door for China’s moral AIDS to invade America, as illustrated by American businesses being corrupted by China’s party-state and its nihilistic culture. Google is only one such case, among many, that Americans have compromised their moral principles for a few bucks. And this invasion of souls have also infected many American politicians, making them virtual spokespeople or advocates for despotism in American political arena.

Since China joined the WTO, and not without America’s help, a new form of cold war with not missiles but a more potent, more dangerous, highly contagious and more deadly mutation of spiritual/moral AIDS has quietly and stealthily entered the world, as the orgasmic Beijing Olympic opening ceremony manifested. The virus has quickly spread around the globe in a form of short-cut economic ecstasy. The perversion of moral nihilism has already deeply penetrated America, eroding its principles and purpose by providing it with a fantasy culminated by multiple orgasms.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government, sensing its success in numbing the world of its senses, in blinding it from impending catastrophe, has started its own insidious brainwash program world-wide. It has established more than 1,000 Confucian Institutes in many countries to spread its own version of despotic philosophy. It sends out its eunuch artists like Zhang Yimo to stage operas like “The Qin Emperor” and design the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. It controls all the overseas Chinese student associations on various campuses in the West and sends them out like attack dogs for its agendas. Jack Cafferty of CNN was only one among many such victims of the rampant Chinese nationalistic fervor around the globe. It provides all the Chinese language schools overseas with political propaganda materials. It utilizes overseas Chinese businesses, by intimidation and bribe, to stage intelligence gathering in the West. It manipulates Chinese businesses overseas to corrupt and sabotage Western especially American political process. It trains computer hackers to interrupt/destroy American economic and military operations. The list goes on.

Globally, the Chinese government secretively funds the terrorist organization, selling them weapons to combat American troops, to distract America from facing the true evil behind. It supports all despotic regimes in the world, from Venezuela to Sudan to Zimbabwe, from North Korea to Burma to Iran to Cuba, with despotic philosophies such as Maoism, and the Chinese mode of economic development – a form of bureaucratic mercantilism, with weapons and technologies to combat the forces of freedom. It plunders all the natural resources and destroys not just its own environment but pollutes the world. It combines forces of tyranny from the former USSR to offset American agendas of peace and development, of advancing liberty and justice in the world.

Domestically, China’s tyrannical government continues to suppress all dissent, from religious group like Falungong, to underground Christians, to Tibetans, to democratic reformers. It continues to silence all voices f conscience. It continues to maintain one party rule and brainwash the population to accept it as some kind of legitimate form of governance with unique Chinese characters, as against values of democracy and freedom. It continues to ban all type of free speech and strictly controls the internet with its thousands of internet police and millions of 50 cents amateur internet political counselors.

America must wake up from its own moral stupor and face its responsibility.

With the upcoming Clinton trip to China, America must wake up to its moral responsibilities and its founding principles. American must face up to the issue of China’s illegitimate despotic its global agenda to combat forced of freedom championed by America. America must stop talking about “cooperation”, “collaboration”, or “strategic partners” with a government viewed by its own people as illegitimate and evil. America must avoid the failure to appreciate the fragile nature of despotism and tyranny, as in the case that at the eve of the collapse of USSR, America was not prepared, assuming it was stronger than ever. American conservative and liberal wings must review their respective policies toward China, realizing the despotic and illegitimate nature of the government with which they are dealing, realizing the collapse of the communist dynasty is only numbered by years, not decades. America must hold up its founding principles of individual freedom, not being distracted by only the economic interests and security issues. “Those who want to give up freedom for security deserve neither freedom, nor security”. America must resist the temptation of shedding its own moral responsibilities, of compromising its founding principles, even at risk of joining the enemy’s camp. America must win the new cold war by China to corrode its own moral values.

America must stand up in a world gradually sinking into a nihilistic blackhole. “A shining city on the hill with its beacon to light the path toward freedom for mankind”, I only hope there will be more Ronald Reagan types with their moral clarity, with their simple but profound common sense. I only hope American people will wake up as responsible free beings to bear the torch of freedom in search of meaning of existence that makes life worth living.


Kai Chen is a free lance writer and author of “One in a Billion – Journey toward Freedom”

You can contact Kai Chen: . or


A to-do list for Clinton's China trip

The secretary of State should push for Beijing's help on the economy, nuclear proliferation, climate change and pandemic disease.

By Nina Hachigian
February 10, 2009

The debate about whether to engage China is over -- we are now about 20 years into a common-law marriage. The debate about whether China will join the international community is also over. Beijing has been signing up for multilateral forums as if they were going out of style. The great challenge for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when she visits Beijing next week is to influence China to play a larger role in preventing global catastrophes in these areas: the economy, nuclear proliferation, climate change and pandemic disease.

China deserves high marks for acting quickly on the global economic crisis. Beijing turned on a dime from trying to cool down its economy last summer to enacting potentially potent stimulus measures over the last months. Some measures, such as a plan to invest $123 billion in universal health insurance over the next three years, could lay the foundation for a social safety net that will help establish a broad Chinese middle class, which would support the growth of the American middle class by fostering a robust market for U.S. exports. Moreover, working with the International Monetary Fund, Beijing is helping to bail out Pakistan, whose economic stability the United States is concerned about, to put it mildly.
The politically challenging issues of currency, intellectual property protection and the potential "Buy American" provisions of the U.S. economic stimulus package remain and could get worse, but they have proved manageable through regular consultation with Congress and steady dialogue with Beijing.

On efforts to prevent potential nuclear catastrophes, China's record is mixed. Beijing is playing an invaluable leadership role in hosting the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program and has been instrumental in breaking specific logjams. But Beijing still cares much more about stability on the Korean peninsula than it does about North Korea's nukes (which are not aimed at China, after all). Whether and under what conditions Pyongyang would give up its weapons, and how much arm-twisting China would be willing to do, are unclear. Clinton is sure to make a strong pitch for more Chinese pressure, but here Beijing and Washington have at least agreed on a path forward.

In contrast, on nuclear catastrophe scenario No. 2 -- Iran's program -- China and the U.S. sharply diverge. China has repeatedly blocked U.S. efforts in the U.N. Security Council to impose tough sanctions on Tehran. Beijing does not want to see a Middle East made even more dangerous by complicated nuclear dynamics, but China's immediate and pressing lust for energy supplies will leave its anti-proliferation policies compromised at best. Prospects for Clinton to make headway on this issue seem dim.
That brings us to climate change. Global warming will demand the most creative and intense diplomacy the Obama team has to offer. China's energy demand is mind-blowing in scale. From 2001 through 2007, China's consumption increased by an amount equal to energy use in all of Latin America, according to Asia energy expert Mikkal Herberg.

China is firmly opposed to hard targets for reducing its ballooning greenhouse gas emissions, arguing, with reason, that the West caused the global warming crisis and bears the burden of responsibility. But without China on board, the world will not be able to reduce greenhouse gases to the level that scientists think is necessary to avoid catastrophic effects.

You know things are bad when avian flu seems like a bright spot. But there's reason for guarded optimism that China will handle outbreaks responsibly: A Chinese doctor heads the World Health Organization, more money is headed for rural healthcare in China, and Beijing learned from the SARS crisis earlier this decade that the potentially devastating effect of a pandemic is exacerbated when its early cases are covered up.

What tack, then, should Clinton take in her first trip abroad as secretary of State to maximize the chances of progress in preventing these global catastrophes?

First, while making plain our differences (on human rights, China's military buildup, currency, Darfur, Tibet and other issues), she should make clear that China is a strategic partner in crucial areas and that the United States welcomes China's integration into the international system as a responsible, respected and engaged stakeholder.

She also should pave the way for new, bold initiatives based on "strategic collaboration." One potentially fruitful area is clean energy research, with the United States and China, or a group of the major energy consumers, joining forces.

In her confirmation hearing, Clinton indicated that in dealing with other nations she would maintain her focus on the entire relationship and not allow single issues to set the tone and direction. That is the right approach, but that does not prevent her from prioritizing U.S. interests around these four challenges in her talks in Beijing. It is in the nature of our deeply interdependent relationship to have a long list of issues that we want action on from China, but we are likely to see more progress if we can be clear about which are most important.

Negotiating with China is never easy. But neither China nor the United States can prevent these catastrophes alone.

Nina Hachigian is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Not So Funny in China 一个美国漫画家对中国人们的印象

Kai Chen on Freedom 陈凯论自由

Daryl Cagle is a political cartoonist and blogger for He is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society and his cartoons are syndicated to more than 800 newspapers. His website is

Not So Funny in China 一个美国漫画家对中国人们的印象

By Daryl Cagle | Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I just got back from a speaking tour in China as part of a cultural exchange through the U.S. State Department, talking to college audiences about my political cartoons and what it’s like to be an editorial cartoonist in America.

The best measure of political freedom is political cartoons and whether cartoonists are allowed to draw their own leaders. Chinese cartoonists almost never draw their leaders, and my Bush-bashing cartoons seemed very foreign to Chinese audiences, who seemed genuinely concerned for my safety; they thought I was in danger from the politicians I lampooned. The questions were the same, wherever I went:

Q: Do your cartoons hurt your personal relationships with the politicians you draw?

A: No, I don't have personal relationships with the people I draw.

Q: Do you worry that your drawings will hurt the reputation of someone you have drawn?

A: No, if one of my cartoons hurts the reputation of a politician that I am criticizing, then I am pleased. (Sometimes the crowd murmurs when I say this. It doesn't seem to be what they expect me to say.)

Q: Do you ever apologize for your cartoons?

A: Sometimes, but only if I make an error or if the cartoon is misunderstood. Usually the people who are angry about a cartoon are the people I intend to make angry, and I am happy to make them angry. (The crowd murmurs at this answer, too.)

Q: Do you ever draw cartoons that are supportive of China?

A: No, I don't draw cartoons that support anything. I just criticize. In America we have a special term for positive, supportive cartoons, we call them: “greeting cards.”

Q: Now that you have visited China, and have learned more about China, will you be drawing cartoons that support China?

A: Probably not.

Q: What do you think about the terrible things that Jack Cafferty from CNN said about China? What can be done to make CNN apologize for these remarks?

A: Most Americans don't know Jack Cafferty and haven't read about his remarks, but most Americans have a negative view of China and would probably agree with Jack Cafferty's remarks. I wouldn't expect CNN to apologize. (The students murmur.)

It’s interesting that CNN’s Jack Cafferty is a big, continuing issue in China; the students all seem to know about the guy and seem personally insulted by him.

The students ask whether I am excited about the Olympics (no, I’m not) and what I think about the earthquake (it was terrible, but I wish President Bush had responded to Hurricane Katrina as quickly as the Chinese government responded to the earthquake).

I learned what the Chinese think are funny -- pigs and homosexuals. If I ever give a speech in China again, I’ll be sure to show all of my cartoons that feature pigs and homosexuals.

I didn’t show cartoons about China. I just wanted to show how I draw disrespectful cartoons about American leaders. That was enough to shock these audiences and show how different our press freedoms are. I was always asked how China is depicted in cartoons, and I answered that there are four symbols of China in international editorial cartoons: a panda bear, a Chinese dragon, the Great Wall, or the guy standing in front of the tank in Tiananmen Square –- the audience gasps –- many of the students have never seen the famous photo, and the subject of the Tiananmen Square “incident” is rarely discussed. At one speech, I mentioned the four symbols, the audience gasped, and one student jumped up, saying, “Oh! Oh! What kind of dragon?!”

I explained to the college kids about "censorship" in America, and that the government never censors cartoonists, but that freedom of the press belongs to the guy who owns the press and cartoonists often complain about their editors. This seemed to be a difficult distinction for them to grasp, in a country where the government owns or controls the press.

The Chinese have embraced capitalism; the country is booming, but the Chinese are eager to prove that economic freedom and political freedom are separate matters that don’t go together. The willingness of the Chinese to accept the restrictions on their press is shocking to my American sensibilities - just as my cartoons were shocking to the Chinese.


Daryl Cagle is a political cartoonist and blogger for He is a past president of the National Cartoonists Society and his cartoons are syndicated to more than 800 newspapers. His website is

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Honoring Cuba’s Heroes 纪念古巴的反共英雄们

Castro's legacy: The Cuban Memorial in Miami.

Honoring Cuba’s Heroes 纪念古巴的反共英雄们

By Humberto Fontova | Friday, February 06, 2009

You'll often find people with itchy noses and red-rimmed eyes ambling amidst the long rows of white crosses at Miami’s Tamiami Park on Coral Way and 107 Avenue. It's a mini-Arlington cemetery called the Cuban Memorial, and it stands in honor of the tens of thousands of murder victims of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. It is a tribute, too, to those who fell while trying to free Cuba from the barbarism that the two imposed with their Soviet overlords while America’s “best and brightest” dithered, bumbled and finally betrayed the Cuban people. The tombs are symbolic. Most of the bodies still lie in mass graves.

Some of these Cuban Memorial’s visitors will be kneeling, others walking slowly, looking for a name. You may remember a similar scene from the opening frames of "Saving Private Ryan." Many clutch rosaries. Many of the ladies will be pressing their faces into the breast of a relative who drove them there, a relative who wraps his arms around her spastically heaving shoulders. Try as he might not to cry himself, he usually finds that the sobs wracking his mother, grandmother or aunt are contagious. Yet he's often too young to remember the face of his martyred uncle, father or cousin – the name they just recognized on the white cross. "Fusilado" – firing squad execution – it says below it.

There are 14,000 crosses in all, symbolizing those executed on the orders of the man being swamped and feted by U.S. trade delegations from Louisiana to Nebraska to Maine. Even many of the older men walking among these crosses will be red-eyed, choked up. No denying it, we Cubans are an emotional people and not ashamed to show it, at the proper time.

The elderly lady still holds a tissue to her eyes and nose as they wait to cross the street after leaving the memorial. Her red-eyed grandson still has his arm around her. She told him about how his freedom-fighter grandfather yelled "Viva Cuba Libre!" and "Viva Cristo Rey!" the instant before the volley shattered his body. They cross the street slowly, silently, and run into a dreadlocked youth coming out of a music store. His T-shirt sports the face of her husband's cowardly executioner, Che Guevara. They turn their heads in rage toward the store window. Well, there's the murderer's face again, on a huge poster, $19.95 it says at the bottom, right next to the inscription "Fight Oppression!" You, friends, tell me how she might feel.

Another woman will go home after placing flowers under her father's cross – a father she never knew. "Killed in action, Bay of Pigs, April 18th, 1961" reads the inscription on his cross. She was 2 at the time. "We will not be evacuated!" yelled her father's commander into his radio that day, as 41,000 Red Troops and swarms of Stalin tanks closed the ring on her father and his 1,400 utterly abandoned Band of Brothers. "The Best and Brightest" all had important social engagements that day.

"We came here to Fight!" her father's commander kept yelling at the enraged and heartsick CIA man offering to evacuate them from the doomed beachhead. "Let it end here!" was his last yell, barely audible over the deafening blasts from the storm of Soviet artillery. Her 23-year-old father – an accountant in Cuba a year before, a dish washer in a Miami Hotel only two months before, and now grim-faced, thirst-crazed and delirious after three days of continuous ground combat – heard the order from his commander: "No Retreat! We Stand and Fight!" and rammed in his last clip. By then he'd long realized he'd never see his daughter's graduation.

His ammo expended, he fell among the bodies of 100 of his comrades, after mauling his communist enemies to the score of 20 to one. "Wimps! Yes, Wimps!" the woman hears Michael Moore label her father and his Band of Brothers in one of America's best-selling books. "Crybabies too!" Again, friends, you tell me how she might feel.

Castro murdered her relatives, shattered her family and plunged a nation – which had double Japan's per capita income in 1958, plus net immigration from Europe – into a pesthole that repels even half-starved Haitians. He jailed, tortured and murdered more political prisoners than pre-war Hitler, and about 20 times as many as Mussolini. He asked, pleaded and finally tried to cajole Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, the “Butcher of Budapest,” into a nuclear strike against America. Failing there, he tried to blow up Macy's, Gimbel's, Bloomingdales and Grand Central Station with more TNT than used by the Madrid subway terrorists.

Yet Fidel Castro is still hailed as "One Helluva Guy" by Ted Turner; as "Very likable, a man I regard as a friend!" by George McGovern; and "Way Too Cool!" by Bonnie Raitt, among dozens upon dozens of other accolades by dozens of other liberal scoundrels and imbeciles. Today the U.S. is his biggest food supplier.

Tens of thousands of Cubans (and dozens of Americans) fought him. "We were fighting for Cuba's freedom as well as America's defense. To call us mercenaries is a grave insult," says Alabama Air Guard officer Albert Persons about his and his Alabama comrades' heroism during the battle of The Bay of Pigs. The Kennedy administration might abandon our comrades out, they snorted. We sure as hell won't.

It was more than bluster, too. Four U.S. volunteers – Pete Ray, Riley Shamburger, Leo Barker and Wade Grey – suited up, gunned the engines and joined the fight. These were Southern boys, not pampered Ivy Leaguers, so there was no navel-gazing. They had archaic notions of right and wrong, of honor and loyalty, of who America's enemies really are. Their Cuban comrades – men they'd trained and befriended – were being slaughtered on that beachhead. Knowing their lumbering B-26s were sitting ducks for Castro's unmolested jets and Sea Furies, all four Alabama air guard volunteers flew over the doomed beachhead to lend support to their betrayed brothers in arms.

All four were shot down. All four have their names in a place of honor next to their Cuban comrades on The Bay of Pigs Memorial, plus streets named after them in Little Havana, plus their crosses at the Cuban Memorial. When Doug MacArthur waded ashore on Leyte, he grabbed a radio: "People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil – soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples." Cuban soil was similarly consecrated.

"My hatred of Bolshevism and Bolsheviks is not founded on their silly system of economics or their absurd doctrine of an impossible equality," wrote Winston Churchill. "It arises from the bloody and devastating terrorism which they practice in every land into which they have broken, and by which alone their criminal regime can be maintained." Sir Winston Churchill did not lose a single family member or close friend to that "bloody and devastating terrorism." Yet to this day his every utterance and note is revered as an exemplar of judiciousness and heroism. But let a Cuban-American who lost half his family to Communist firing squads and prisons express the identical sentiment and he's promptly denounced by liberals as a "screaming, irrational hothead!" "Disgusting!" spat Bryant Gumbel while watching Cuban-American demonstrators in front of Elian Gonzalez's uncle's house six years ago.

Some very dedicated and selfless folks are holding a memorial service, including a Mass and vigil at the Cuban Memorial in Miami's Tamiami Park this weekend. The service is open to the public. Attend and you'll be surrounded by a sea of crosses, many heroes and heroines, along with their surviving friends and kin. If ever a group merited a memorial service, it's those here honored. Even if you're not related to any of these folks, even if their story is new to you, attend and you'll honor heroes who fought America's most rabid enemy – and for good measure poke a sharp finger into the eye of the establishment Left.