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Communist Spy Accusations Against Walesa Divide Poland

It is not the first time Lech Walesa, Poland's revered first president of the post-Communist era, has been accused of being a spy for the old regime, having been cleared by a court in 2000. But new accusations yesterday that the now 72-year-old was a paid informant for the Communist authorities in the 1970s, before he founded the Solidarity movement, included potentially damning official documents.

Still for leading liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, the whole thing is "conspiracy nonsense" on the part of the ruling Law and Justice Party and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a man with "a long-standing hatred" of Walesa.

The papers were discovered earlier this week, at the home of the last Communist-era Interior Minister, the late Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak. Among the 279 pages of documents incriminating the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, there is evidence that he agreed to provide information to the Communist authorities under the codename "Bolek," and that he received money for it.

Antoni Dudek, the leading historian at the National Remembrance Institute — a state body that investigates Nazi and Communist-era crimes — said the documents were authentic. But he also said that the evidence would do little to harm Walesa's reputation, unless there was proof that the former Polish leader had continued to work for the Communist regime after he founded the anti-Communist Solidarity movement in 1980.

"There can exist no documents coming from me," Walesa said in a written message from Venezuela, where he is traveling. "I will prove that in court."

For journalist Jaroslaw Kurski, the documents offer a "deeper dimension" of Walesa. They show "a man overcoming his own weakness" and who "first triumphed over himself, then the torturers who want to break him, and finally over Communism in Poland," he writes.

In an interview in French daily Le Monde, which took place just before the new accusations came to light, Walesa said that the current government "needs an enemy ... and wants to have Kaczynski take my place as the top symbol in the battle against Communism."

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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