May Day Greetings from Beijing

Our visit to the People’s Daily commences with this blast from the past: a ceremony in Beijing to honor 3,000 or so “model workers” of the People’s Republic. Among the “workers” is Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, and 800 government functionaries, along with over 1,000 industrial workers and several hundred agricultural wrokers. Capitalism with Chinese characteristics indeed. Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to lose but your chain store contracts.
And (I guess) in honor of May Day, we get a most unusual visit: the Taiwanese opposition party Kuo Min-Tang (“KMT”) leader Lien Chan meets with CPC leader Hu Jin-tao. To be fair, that’s kind of like Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid visiting Fidel Castro, but as everybody seems to note, it’s a start. The KMT, as you will recall, under the late Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek was driven from the Mainland to Taiwan in 1949, and ran Taiwan as a dictatorship until the last few years, when Taiwan emerged as a multi-party democracy. It should come as no surprise that theTaiwanese party with a history of autocracy is the one getting along with the CPC, but given other developments such as, for example, direct flights between Taiwan and the Mainland and ever increasing economic integration, there comes a point when China may ultimately have too much invested to even dream about military conquest of its “renegade province”. We can hope.
Because elsewhere in the region, DPRK’s wildman leader Kim Jong Il’s government has announced that North Korea expects no resuolution of the nuclear issue there as long as George W. Bush is in power. Apparently, Kim seems to have taken offense at Bush’s recent remarks at last week’s televised political info-mercial/press soft-ball tournament, when the President referred to Kim as “a brutal dictator”, mad-man and that sort of thing, reminiscent of where we were, oh, two or three years ago, when the subject was Axis of Evil TM charter member Saddam Hussein, or of course, from time to time, the ayatollahs of Iran. With this kind of name-calling, maybe we are best advised to show up at the schoolyard with our Big Brother (and Sugar Daddy) from Beijing…
Happy May Day, Comrades!