2008: The global recession is having an impact on China, but not one that is
expected to halt the growth in military spending. Currently, China expects the
growth of its economy will slip, from the 11.9 percent last year, to five
percent or less this year. That would be the lowest annual growth for several
decades, and it might get worse. Nevertheless, the government is spending
hundreds of billions of dollars to soften the blow of lost jobs. A million or
more unemployed workers could cause social disorder that might get out of hand.
and South Korea are forming a joint disaster preparedness organization. The
three would pool information and disaster relief resources, for natural
disasters like widespread earthquakes or typhoons that have an impact on all
three countries. This cooperation would involve purely civilian agencies, as
well as some military ones.
between the president of France and the Dali Lama (the unofficial leader of
those who campaign for Tibetan independence) angered China, and diplomatic
protests were made. France ignored this, but now the French embassy in China is
under hacker attack and largely shut down. The Chinese government denies any
Taiwanese president Chen is being prosecuted for corruption. Chen resigned last
August because of the charges. His family has been investigated for corruption
over the last two years. Corruption is more common in China, but more often
prosecuted in Taiwan.
demanding that the United States cancel arms sales to Taiwan, and refuses to
resume U.S.-China military cooperation and exchanges until those arms sales are
sent over a hundred troops to China for joint counter-terror training. These
exercises are to work out differences in communications and tactics, so that future
joint operations will go more smoothly.
set free a thousand of the those arrested during the separatist riots in Tibet
last March. Hundreds more have been prosecuted and sent to prison. Thousands of
additional riot police remain in Tibet, and the secret police keep a closer eye
on anyone suspected of separatist attitudes. Recruiting of informers in
separatist circles has increased, and Chinese officials in Tibet are under
orders to prevent another uprising, or else (they lose their jobs, or even