Top Story – CCP backs Russia’s plan for Syrian weapons…and sends naval vessels into Mediterranean to “observe” American forces: The two faces of the Chinese Communist Party were on near simultaneous display. The face of “peace” that the regime likes all to see was mouthpiece Hong Lei praising Russia’s offer to help Syria’s Bashar Assad dispose of his chemical weapons arsenal (Washington Times). The face in which the regime bears its teeth caught the eye of Gordon Chang, who noticed that the CCP sent a warship through the Suez Canal:

Beijing says its ships are heading to Syria’s coast merely to “observe” American and Russian vessels, but a less benign interpretation is that the Jinggangshan is there to augment the Russian fleet and intimidate the US Navy. This sleek-looking Chinese amphibious-landing vessel can carry a battalion of marines and was used earlier this year to stare down the smaller nations surrounding the South China Sea, an area Beijing is trying to close off to other countries.

Chengguan forces conquer military gatehouse in Qingdao: Of course, if said “marines” are anything like the military force described below, we have a lot less to worry about (Epoch Times):

Not even the People’s Liberation Army is safe from the chengguan, China’s notoriously violent urban enforcement officials. On Sept. 4, in a bizarre incident in Qingdao city, Shandong Province, over a hundred chengguan advanced on a military compound in the city’s Laoshan district, where they surrounded and forcibly demolished a security gatehouse after overwhelming the onsite personnel.

In a pair of videos posted on Youtube, the chengguan, some donning riot gear, can be seen clashing with the PLA men in front of the gatehouse, dressed in olive green fatigues. Both sides wielded clubs during the chaotic brawl. Severely outnumbered, the soldiers were ultimately forced to withdraw. The chengguan concluded their victory by demolishing the gatehouse with an excavator they had brought to the scene.

Chengguan is short for City Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau, i.e., the folks sent in to enforce land seizures demanded by the cadres. Clearly, there are serious factional issues within the CCP at Qingdao.

Is Ma Ying-jeou trumping up corruption charges to speed up passage of the cross-straits service trade agreement: The Taipei Times has a slew of stories on the increasingly bizarre trial in public against Wang Jin-pyng, speaker of the Taiwanese Legislature. President Ma Ying-jeou is accusing Wang – a fellow Kuomintang Party member – of “illegally lobbying for Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming” (Taipei Times), when Ker himself was being tried on corruption charges. The particular charge against Wang struck the DPP as particularly odd (Taipei Times):

With regards to the allegations that Ker asked Tseng, Chen and Wang to lobby a prosecutor to refrain from appealing his acquittal in a breach of trust case, (DPP Chairman) Su said the claims were unfounded because Ker had been ruled innocent, so preventing an appeal was unnecessary.

So why is an apparent intra-party fight within the KMT a big deal? Stephen Yates explains (Taipei Times):

Yates said he has a ‘strong guess’ that Ma’s motivation is linked to plans for handling the legislative review of the service trade agreement signed with China in June.

Many analysts think that Wang is not keen to move the review process forward as quickly as the Ma administration would like.

Well, that would certainly explain it, and it would also show that opposition to opening up the island democracy’s entire service sector to the CCP is not just a problem with the DPP and its allies.

This bears further watching.

Finally, in the CCP’s Korean colony, there is celebration about the Viceroy’s impending fatherhood. Sadly, as One Free Korea notes, his victims don’t get nearly the same attention.