HEADLINES

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Weekend Warnings: Taiwan, Iran, N. Korea

FLASHPOINT TAIWAN: As previously reported by China Confidential and confirmed today by remarks made by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, the self-ruled island democracy will continue to apply for United Nations membership. But from now on, Taiwan will apply as Taiwan and not as the Republic of China. Chen will also push for a constitutional name change, from ROC to Republic of Taiwan (despite the less than appealing initials ROT ). Analysts expect a sharp reaction from Beijing, which has vowed to attack Taiwan if it moves toward formalizing its de facto independence (recognized by 24 UN member states). China's Communist Party rulers can be counted on to exploit tensions across the Taiwan Strait in order (a) to whip up nationalist sentiment, and (b) to pressure Taiwan's ally, the United States, at a time when it desperately wants Chinese help in curbing Iran's nuclear development program and bringing missile mad North Korea back to the multiparty bargaining table for nuclear disarmament talks....

NORTH KOREAN NUKES: The US State Department is plainly worried about China's Stalinist vassal. North Korea's mass murdering Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, one of the world's truly psychotic heads of state, is reportedly bent on conducting an underground nuclear bomb test. His regime is a declared nuclear power, and a menace to the civilized world, but has yet to test a weapon. North Korea depends on China for most of its food and fuel; and the Chinese and North Korean armies are quite close. China will not support any truly tough or meaningful sanctions against its vassal (a country that boasts concentration camps and actual gas chambers, in which whole families have been murdered). Nor will China support tough sanctions against nuclear developing Iran, which has followed China's advice in attempting to buy time for its disputed uranium enrichment program by offering "serious negotiations" to a divided Western world. China's strengthening and deepening ties with Islamist Iran constitute the Communist regime's most important relationship in the Muslim world....

AMERICAN APPEASEMENT: As for the US, it will bend over backwards to avoid public criticism of China over the North Korean and Iranian issues. In fact, Washington will go to great lengths to avoid angering Beijing over any issue now that it seems to be rewarding US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson with a mysterious upward creep in the relative value of China's manipulated currency, the yuan. The fabulously rich former investment banker--he made 70 trips to China as chairman of giant Goldman Sachs--is a fierce advocate of accommodating (appeasing) China's rise. He and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have sidelined the administration's China critics, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.