That’s right, after six years (with various attempts at trying to structure the events of the day as columns), I’m going back to the tried but true NOTD posts. The C e-L used to be not just about opposing the CCP, but informing the democratic world about it – and now, it will be again.

The Big Story – Xi Jinping and Obama prepare for weekend summit in SoCal: Chinese Communist regime boss Xi Jinping is currently on a charm offensive in the Caribbean and Central America (Epoch Times), trying to win over some of America’s close neighbors on his way to meet President Obama tomorrow. As one would expect, Xi – like every Communist boss before him – is looking for concessions and respect from the US. Michael Young and Matthew Robertson (both from the Epoch Times) provide further analysis on what Xi is hoping to get from the summit. While the president has taken it on the chin from critics regarding an apparently less active foreign policy than his predecessors, East Asia is the one place where he has been arguably more assertive geopolitically. Meanwhile, Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren expressed her hope that the president raises the issue of Tibet’s occupation (CNN). The democratic Republic of China (a.k.a., Taiwan) may – and probably will – also be on the list of topics (Taipei Times).

Tiananmen remembered – speculation on the Tank Man, and a Duck Ban: Stephen Gregory (Epoch Times) contemplates the fate and impact of the anonymous Beijing citizen who refused to make way for a tank column in June 1989, while Max Fisher (WaPo) notes that the regime is still so skittish over the events in the Square that they resorted to cracking down on…rubber ducks.

Most of the water – and the air in over 75% of cities – is polluted in Communist China: Once again, the CCP’s disastrous record as steward of the piece of earth on which they reign was revealed (Telegraph, UK).

Just 27 of the 113 largest Chinese cities enjoyed ‘safe’ air last year while nearly one third of China’s most important rivers were polluted or severely polluted, according to the report.

Meanwhile, government officials found that 60 per cent of groundwater was of ‘bad’ or ‘extremely bad’ quality.

The environment ministry report described an even bleaker situation in rural China where it admitted ‘increasing pressure from mining’ and ‘heavy pollution from livestock farming’ was wreaking havoc.

One thing to keep in mind about the CCP economy is that it is still largely regime-dictated (I refer to it as “Communist corporatism”). The result is resource deprivation and ecological damage that no free market would accept.

Hong Kong news: Benny Lam photos the crammed travails of the less fortunate in the city (Macleans, Canada).

North Korea news: On the one hand, the Communists’ colonial regime offers talk with democratic Korea (Epoch Times). On the other, it props up the brutal Assad regime in Syria (Telegraph). Meanwhile, the folks in Zhongnanhai continue to talk out of both sides of their mouths (Washington Examiner).

International news – Burma: Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed interest in running for president of the country (New York Post). Whether or not the regime in place allows her the opportunity to upend it remains an open question. Burma – also known as Myanmar, the name the regime gave the country – has been slowly opening itself up to political reform, but not yet to the extent that it would allow Suu Kyi to run the place. The CCP is one of junta’s strongest allies.