People who made the news this week
Kim Jong-Il, the President of North Korea, has met up with Wang Jiarui, the head of the international department at the Central Committee of China’s Communist Party, in Pyongyang on Wednesday. According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, when Wang voiced his explicit dissatisfaction with the DPRK’s failure to meet its nuclear disarmament deadline, Kim said, “The present difficulties are temporary and can be conquered.” Kim also made a baffling pledge that his country “will not betray and break faith with China.” Looks like North Korea is indeed afraid of losing its best friend.
Hu Jia (胡嘉), a prominent civil rights activist, has been taken away by the police after a 223-day house arrest. He has been formally charged for inciting subversion. His wife and 2-month old daughter continue to be under house arrest and all their telephone and internet connections have been cut off. For more information, Global Voices has a good summary, and a 7-part Youtube documentary called Prisoners in Freedom City can be viewed here.
17 year old Gyaltsen Norbu, the boy chosen by Beijing as the 11th Panchen Lama has met with top legislator Wu Bangguo, and according to Xinhua, “vowed to support the (Communist Party of China’s) leadership and make more contributions to the Tibetan economy and social harmony by guiding more religious work to adapt to China’s socialist society”. Even as China continues to defend its rules on lama reincarnations (more here), two monks from the Panchen Lama’s monastery have committed suicide, says RFA.