Top Story – Communist China thwarts US effort at “code of conduct” in Pacific, and challenges US on Senkakus for good measure: Efforts by the Association of Southeastern Nations (ASEAN) and the United States to establish a “code of conduct” for naval forces in the South China Sea ran into the brick wall of the Chinese Communist Party (Taipei Times), who just happens to have running disputes with a number of ASEAN members on South China sea territory. Meanwhile, a regime mouthpiece used typical CCP wordplay to tell the US to stay out at the Senkaku Islands dispute, which happen to involve Zhongnanhai and close American ally Japan (Epoch Times).

CCP stands up for Syrian ally and client: The regime also “blocked a resolution in a closed-door session of the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to authorize force in response to the use of chemical weapons” (Washington Post). Communist China is the heaviest arms supplier to the Assad regime this side of Russia (which also vetoed the resolution.

Was Bo Xilai supposed to meekly accept conviction? That seemed to be the plan, according to the Washington Times. Instead, Bo turned the tables, leaving the regime to scramble in response by creating an internet version of tape-delay for the proceedings and omitting from transcripts various Party embarrassments (Taipei Times). For review, here are my Three Rules for Interpreting Corruption Charges in Communist China: 1) The charges are politically driven by factionalism; 2) Despite that, they’re probably true; and 3) The cadres pushing the prosecution have done (or are doing) far worse than anything the defendant did.

More cadres stashing ill-gotten gains abroad: For all the CCP’s bashing of the United States, we are still one of the preferred parking lots for Communists’ corruption money (Epoch Times).

Toddler killed via bulldozer in land seizure dispute: Cadres in Fujian were so eager to seize Hong Bingsheng’s land that they sent in a bulldozer to take it, killing Hong’s daughter. A cadre flatly told Hong that “Land acquisition is more important” than the child’s life (Epoch Times).

Regime makes clear that neither political nor economic reform are in the cards: Regime boss Xi Jinping is admonishing in exhausted Stalinist language about the dangers of ‘Western constitutional democracy,’ ‘universal’ human rights, ‘neo-liberalism,’ and ‘nihilist’ criticisms of past Communist Party problems” (Washington Times). Meanwhile, high-ranking cadres are making it clear that serious economic reform – such as the selling off of state-owned-enterprises – is not happening either (Epoch Times).

Cross-services trade deal with Communist China still roiling Taiwan: A number of civic groups are so concerned that the Taiwanese government hasn’t been forthcoming on the deals details that they fear even a debate on the subject will be useless (Taipei Times). Meanwhile, Professor Liu Ching-yi (National Taiwan University) raises some serious questions about the agreement, Communist China, and the internet (Taipei Times). Finally, a recall effort spurred in part by this deal get panned by the Kuomintang Party, the deal’s biggest backers and thus the recall effort’s biggest targets (Taipei Times).

US de facto Ambassador praises Taiwan: Raymond Burghardt spoke to the Taipei Times about relations between the United States and the island democracy.

Korean Viceroy executes his mistress: Kim Jong Un, ostensibly the leader of “North Korea”, decided his mistress wasn’t worth the hassle (New York Post, National Post, and Epoch Times). Yours truly will hereby refer to all such future killings as Pyongyang Breakups.

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