- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 24, 2011


Chinese censors scrubbed the name of U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman from Chinese-language Internet searches after he appeared in online videos near a pro-democracy demonstration in Beijing on Sunday.

A search on the popular microblogging site Sina Weibo for his Chinese name, “Hong Bopei,” returns a stern warning from the Chinese government.

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“According to the relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results cannot be shown,” according to Western reporters in China.

The Chinese government is highly suspicious of social networking sites, fearing dissidents could use them to stir up demands for democratic reforms. The program that censors suspicious websites has been called the “Great Firewall of China.”

Chinese officials refused to belive the U.S. Embassy’s explanation that Mr. Huntsman just happened to be outside a McDonald’s restaurant when he was caught on a cell-phone video near Chinese dissidents who were calling for a “Jasmine Revolution.”

Mr. Huntsman, a former Republican governor of Utah, is planning to resign from the ambassadorship on April 30. Many of his political allies are urging him to run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.


President Obama is expected to select a veteran foreign policy adviser and former lobbyist as his next ambassador to Israel.

Daniel B. Shapiro, senior director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council, would replace Ambassador James Cunningham, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Mr. Shapiro, a former vice president of the Washington lobbying firm Timmons and Co., served as Mr. Obama’s contact to the Jewish community during the 2008 presidential campaign. He accompanied candidate Obama to Israel in July 2008.

In his current position, Mr. Shapiro has traveled with Middle East envoy George Mitchell on trips to Israel and the Palestinian territories to try to revive peace talks. Mr. Shapiro speaks fluent Hebrew.

He first worked at the National Security Council under former President Bill Clinton and served as a foreign policy adviser on the staffs of Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Bill Nelson of Florida.


The United Nations finally got embarrassed by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, after he unleashed waves of terror on unarmed civilians who dared to defy him with demands for democracy.

Libya, a serial abuser of human rights, may have a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, but Libya will not represent the U.N. Development Program (UNDP).

A U.N. spokesman this week stripped Col. Gadhafi’s daughter, Aisha, of her title as good-will ambassador to the UNDP. Since July 24, 2009, Miss Gadhafi has promoted efforts to combat AIDS and violence against women.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appeared genuinely surprised that Col. Gadhafi ignored his pleas for peace in a 40-minute telephone conversation with the Libyan leader earlier this week.

“After such long and extensive discussions and my strong urging - and even appeal to him - he has not heeded,” Mr. Ban told reporters at the United Nations.

“This is not acceptable.”

- Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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