Top Story – Did the CCP’s Korean colony kill 30,000 political prisoners? That’s the question asked by the Washington Post and Josh Stanton (One Free Korea), both of whom find “Yes” to be too likely the answer. Whether or not the free world will even try to hold the Viceroy accountable – let alone his colonial masters in Zhongnanhai – is another matter entirely.

Taiwan arrests tech executive for handing secrets to Communist China as trade-service debate heats up: As President Ma Ying-jeou continued to insist that the island democracy would be better off opening up service industries to Communist China (Taipei Times), Chien Chih-lin took that to an entirely different level – for which he is now under arrest (Epoch Times):

(Chien) has been arrested for stealing company trade secrets and cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party, according to HTC chairwoman Wang Hsüeh-hung. Chien is being detained by the Taipei District Prosecution Office.
. . .
According to the Taiwan-based China Times, Wang said that Chien, deputy general and manager of HTC’s Innovation Research and Development Center, Director Wu Chien-hung, and designer Huang Hung-yi embezzled over 10 million Taiwan dollars (US$334,140) under the guise of using outsourced labor for the design of the new HTC One smartphone. Chien Chih-lin has also been suspected of stealing the HTC Sense 6.0 User Interface software and other trade secrets.

Nothing like a case of Communist-inspired industrial espionage to throw the whole openness argument into question.

Other Taiwan News: Summer recess is over for Taiwan’s parliament, and the partisan sparring has already begun (Taipei Times). The United States will not allow Taiwan to conduct live-fire missile tests (Taipei Times). Finally, the editors of said Taipei Times lament what they see as growing mainland influence in Taiwanese media, leaving some news sources “silent on the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre, Tibet, China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the Falun Gong movement.”

Japanese Defense Ministry asks for biggest budget since 1992: The Ministry says the budget hike is needed to “focus on safeguarding remote islands as a sovereignty row with China refuses to fade” (Wall Street Journal). Yet analysts told Time that Japan may even need to go bigger to protect itself and its interest against the CCP.

Washington has little trust for CCP-allied Pakistan: The depth of American concern over Pakistan was revealed in the Washington Post. No mention is made of Zhongnanhai, but it is Pakistan’s oldest and closest ally.

Yahoo withdraws from Communist China: One of my old anti-Communist buddies, Ethan Gutmann (author of Losing the New China) wrote about how one of the most profitable industries in Communist China was helping businesses get out and minimize their losses. Yahoo joined the list of firms taking the exit this week (Epoch Times).

Head of regime-owned-enterprises bureau fired for corruption: Jiang Jiemen “previously spent decades in the state-run oil sector, and was most recently the head of China National Petroleum Corporation, an oil behemoth” (Epoch Times). It is malfeasance at CNPC that led to his firing, and likely future arrest. Another member of the “petroleum clique” (Voice of America) – Zhou Yongkang – is also under the cadre’s anti-corruption spotlight. Remember 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.

What the CCP has wrought – new, gleaming cities with no residents: The regime’s mad construction boom has created such a market disconnect that “a ton of abandoned cities and massive ruins — most of which are brand new” now cover the country (IO9 – with pictures – h/t Andrew Vincent).

Hong Kong inflation zooms higher as mainlanders flock to pharmacies in the city: The Epoch Times did not put the two stories together, instead citing high rental cost as fueling the price hike. However, the flood of visitors looking for drugs that are cheaper in the city than in the corruption-stained mainland is leading locals to express concern about potential shortages (which usually means higher prices are almost inevitable).