Logistics: March 4, 2005


China appears to be building up logistics capabilities for military operations along its border with North Korea. This can be seen by the pattern of logistical facilities and operations along the Chinese coast. China is no longer the closed, Stalinist police state is was a few decades ago. Tourists, especially Chinese tourists, are all over the place. You still cant wander onto a military base without permission. But you can drive by and notice what is going on. Thats how this pattern of logistical activity was noted. Most of it, of course, is concentrated on the coastal area facing Taiwan. But many similar bases and military storage installations are concentrated up the coast, halfway between Taiwan and North Korea. China seems to be covering its bets, and preparing for the possible large scale use of troops along the North Korean border. This would most likely happen if there were a revolution in North Korea, or simply a total collapse of order in that country. North Korea has suffered a decade of famine and economic decline. For the last few years, an increasing number of desperate North Koreans have been sneaking across the border into China. But civil disorder in North Korea could send millions of Koreans headed for China. In the last year, China has dispatched thousands of additional troops to the border, to increase patrols and discourage illegal border crossers. There is nothing to indicate that the situation in North Korea will calm down.


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