March 28, 2006: China's Communist Party is using nationalism to distract Chinese concern for government corruption. But this is backfiring, especially when it comes to anti-Japanese attitudes. Japan is a major trading partner, and source of investment and technology. While Japan has armed forces only a tenth the size of China's 2.3 million troops, Japan's GDP is larger, and its military technology is far superior. The Japanese are reshaping their armed forces, to deal with possible Chinese military moves. This makes China vulnerable to a highly capable military force right next door.
March 21, 2006: For over five years, the Taiwanese legislature has refused to approve a $20 billion package of submarines, missiles and aircraft to strengthen defenses against China. Basically, the legislators believe the U.S. Navy will defend Taiwan, so why spend the money? While this is probably true, American dedication to Taiwan's defense is hurt by the Taiwanese refusal to help pay for it.