Top Story – Was their a hidden message to Jiang Zemin sent in the Bo Xilai trial? Chen Pokong (Epoch Times) seems to think so. Apparently, current boss Xi Jinping is not happy with being known as Jiang’s man, and used the Bo trial – and the specific Jiang-related charges – to get his former patron to “step back.” If so, it could be a sign that Xi is attempt to consolidate power around himself within the Chinese Communist Party in a way not seen since Mao.

Obama’s “pivot” to Asia undercut by spending reductions in defense: A Heritage Foundation panel expressed concern that the president’s defense budgets may not be enough to ensure his shift toward Pacific issues would have “any teeth” (Taipei Times). That could be especially problematic for Taiwan.

Other International News: An American diplomat calls for more democracy in Hong Kong, and the Communist Chinese regime responds with a temper tantrum (Washington Times). Venezuela’s President “signed away a big part of his country’s development projects” to the Communists (Washington Times). The Communist military begins major drills in both China proper (Free Beacon) and occupied East Turkestan (Washington Times, second story).

Taiwan-CCP cross-straits services pact could increase Communist espionage: So says the president of the Taiwan Association for China’s Human Rights (Taipei Times).

Other Taiwan related News: The civil war within the KMT continues (Taipei Times), while the opposition continue to take aim at the Special Investigation Division (Taipei Times).