|Asia News Digest
EU Wants China To Improve Its Human Rights Record
The European Union wants China to improve its human rights record as a quid pro quo for lifting arms its embargo to China, according to India Daily May 11. The EU delegation was in Beijing and a senior European member of the delegation told Chinese officials that Beijing must issue an amnesty for citizens imprisoned as a result of the 1989 Tienanmen Square protests if it wants the EU to lift the arms embargo in place since the crackdown.
While China does not like the EU butting in to its internal matters, for the time being the matter is being kept quiet. China needs European advanced weapons systems to modernize its military.
Indian Source: Saudis Back U.S. Against Iran
According to an Indian source report, the Saudis have conveyed to Pakistan not to impede any U.S. plan against Iran. When U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca was in the subcontinent earlier this month, she used harsh words against Iran in her interactions with the Indian side, and also in Islamabad.
A diplomatic source pointed out that the Saudis are likely a little shaken up with the steady undermining of the Sunnis in Iraq, and also consolidation of the Shias in Lebanon. But, at the same time, the Saudis want to be discreet, and not openly align with the U.S. vis-a-vis Middle East affairs at this juncture.
Russia May Supply Nuclear Reactors to India
During his recent visit to Russia, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was reportedly told by Russian President Vladimir Putin not to count Russia out as a future potential supplier of nuclear reactors. The Indian Premier had conveyed to Putin that India is planning to respond positively to the recent offer of nuclear reactors by Washington, conveyed through Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Putin pointed out that the Russian reactors were among the top three in the world in performance and safety features.
The source pointed out that Putin praised India's non-proliferation record, and said that it ought to be held up as an example before the world. Putin also clarified that while Russia has no intention of violating the non-proliferation treaty while giving nuclear technology to India, it was also committed to partner with it in the area of critical application of technologies.
EIR Rep Issues Bretton Woods Call in Manila
EIR Asia specialist Michael Billington and Philippine LaRouche Society founder Butch Valdes convened a press conference in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, May 16, to present Lyndon LaRouche's call for a New Bretton Woods monetary accord.
Some 30 journalists attended the press conference, one of whom signed his name to the call immediately after listening to the presentations by Billington and Valdes. The full press conference was carried on the ABS-CBN network, which is the largest news-media network in the Philippines. Five TV stations covered the press conference. A government official attended and several long-time acquaintances of EIR turned out for the occasion. The conference continued a half an hour longer than scheduled.
Anti-China Forces Hail Taiwan VoteDespite Abysmal Turnout
The National Assembly election in Taiwan May 14 was lauded by the international press as a victory for the Democratic Progressive Party of President Chen Shui-bian, despite the fact that the election had the lowest voter turnout ever in a Taiwan electiononly 23%. The coverage in the Taipei Times, the Voice of America, and others played up impression that the election results mean that the pressure for Chen to improve cross-straits relations with mainland China has subsided, and that the stance of refusing reunification with China has now received credible backing.
The results of the elections were as follows: Chen's Democratic Progressive Party attained 42.5% of the vote, giving it 127 seats for the National Assembly. The Kuomintang Party attained 38.9% of the vote, giving it 117 seats. The Taiwan Solidarity Union attained 7% giving it 21 seats; and the People First Party attained 6.1%, thereby giving it 18 seats. These were the largest vote-getters.
Neo-Cons Furious Over KMT/Soong Meetings on Mainland
Response to the Taiwan elections, reflected in the Taipei Times, was twofold. One piece exclaimed, "Finally an election to cheer about"; this one noted that 83% of the vote went to two parties in favor of constitutional reform. Those parties are the Democratic Progressive Party of President Chen Shui-bian, and the Kuomintang. The changes in the Five-Power Constitution that are being discussed, will effect how many legislators there are, how they are decided (which does away with seats allocated by a proportion of the vote), and what branch of government has the power to impeach the President. The one change that stands out, is allowing for the Constitution to be amended by public referendum.
The second Taipei Times piece that showed its true feeling about the vote, saying that this was "power to the people." Both the DDP and the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union (Lee Teng-hui) hailed the outcome of the May 14 election as proof that the people of Taiwan believe the country's fate is in their hands. They also reported that the outcome of the elections conveys that "China fever" James Soong's and Lien Chan's recent visit to mainland China marked nothing significant in the mind of the population.
However that's too polite. In one of the editorial pieces of the Taipei Times, James Soong and Lien Chan are referred to as political puppets. "In order to save themselves from political marginalization, Lien and Soong have dashed to Hu for help, shouting 'One China' and 'One Chinese people' along the way. How is such behavior different from selling out?"
The Epoch Times, known for its opposition to the Chinese Communist Party, features the views of the famous political critic Ling Feng, saying, "I think Kuomintang may become a traitor in history." He was referring to Taiwan history. The Asian Wall Street Journal also had a piece dated April 27, titled "Lien's trip takes Taiwan down the wrong path." This article is also featured on the Dick Cheney/neocon Project for a New American Century website!
Media Spins Taiwan Elections
Now that Taiwan's National Assembly elections are over, some international and Taiwan news agencies are trying to claim that the Democratic Progressive Party's victory means that Taiwan has sent a message to Beijing, that China was the loser, and that the "China fever," and the visit to Beijing of James Soong of the People First Party, and Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan, had minor effects on the voting; and that the pressure is off Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian to improve relations across the Taiwan Straits.
The Taiwan News Online and the Taipei Times, which called Lien and Soong's behavior treasonous in regards to their visit to Mainland China, note that the Kuomintang (KMT) wants President Chen to clarify a few important things. But on the other hand, a rare editorial in the Taipei Times, by Weiming Julian Wang, states, "One can debate the politics of the unfortunate animosity between Taiwan and China all they want, but the fact remains that Taiwan can not live forever indebted to the U.S. and would never be a real winner once war breaks out." The writer also advises Chen, "The best way to show his love for Taiwan is to bring peace and prosperity to the region."
The first initial contact, took place when KMT Vice Chairman Chang Pin Kun met with Jia Qinglin, one of the nine-man Politburo standing committee. This was the first time that a KMT delegation had been on the Mainland since 1949. Lien and Soong's Mainland visit to improve cross-Strait relations, can be used to foil the neo-cons' endeavor to create chaos on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. It is the kind of diplomacy that could improve relations, so that perhaps down the road, the parties can be looking at plans to link coastal cities to islands like Hainan, Macao, and Taiwan by undersea tunnels; this plan was shown at a Sino-Russian engineering technology seminar that was held recently in Beijing.
LaRouche Covered in Chinese Media
Professor Su Jingxiang has published three articles, in recent weeks, about Lyndon LaRouche's views on the international financial system, and the need for a New Westphalia Treaty for achieving peace in China. The articles appeared in the Shanghai Morning Oriental News, the Beijing magazine World Affairs, and the internal Chinese edition of the Economic Daily.
Dr. Su was one of the participants in the Jan. 12-13 EIR seminar in Berlin on "Earth's Next 50 Years."