India and China are into their ninth round of negotiations to settle
their border dispute. The territory in question is a frozen wasteland, high in
the Himalaya mountains. China and India fought a brief war there in the 1960s.
India lost, China took the favorable (from a military standpoint) and now both
nations are trying to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement. Further to the
west, India has a similar dispute with Pakistan.
1 6, 2007: China has managed to come down hard on drug dealers, and has
kept drug addiction from becoming a major problem. But the kids found another
way to get high. It seems that about two million Chinese teenagers are Internet
addicts, and the number is growing. The kids spend all their time online,
mainly playing games. A similar affliction has been noted in South Korea and
Japan. What's worse about the situation in China is that there are only about
18 million teenage Internet users (about 14 percent of all Chinese Internet
users). Young men will steal to pay for access to the Internet (at the
thousands of Internet cafes found throughout the country.) Thus teenage crime
has risen 68 percent in the last five years. Laws have been passed that force Internet
Cafe owners to restrict access to you young men, but this is not always
enforced. The money is too good, and it's not a good idea to aggravate young
Internet junkies who need their fix. The government notes that these
addicts tend to be some of the most talented young men, and their addiction is
a great loss to the country, and especially the military. Young fellows with
Internet skills are much in demand for military Cyber War units.
however, the police say crime is under control. This is because the Chinese
have made a special effort to go after organized crime. Last year, the police
broke up 1,347 gangs by arresting members, and prosecuted 296 gangs (as
criminal conspiracies). China still has the death penalty, and uses it
liberally, and in public, against gangsters.
11, 2007: Although the first squadron of Chinese made J10 jet fighters entered
service in early 2005, the aircraft was officially "revealed" this
week, with great fanfare. The J10 was declared to be the first modern jet
fighter designed and built in China. The aircraft is an attempt to create
a modern fighter-bomber that could compete with foreign designs. The experiment
was not completely successful. Work on the J10 began twenty years ago, in an
attempt to develop an aircraft that could compete with the Russian MiG-29s and
Su-27s, and the American F-16.
the first prototype did not fly until 1998. There were problems, and it wasn't
until 2000 that the basic design flaws were fixed. By 2002, nine prototypes had
been built, and flight testing was going forward to find, and fix, hundreds of
smaller problems. It was a great learning experience for Chinese engineers, but
it was becoming apparent that the J10 was not going to be competitive with the
Su-27s/30s China was buying from Russia.
J10 looks something like the American F-16, and weighs about the same (19
tons). Like the F-16, and unlike the Su-27, the J10 has only one engine.
Originally, the J10 used a Russian AL-31FN engine, but China has been working
for a decade to manufacture their own version of this, the WS10A. China has
been striving for decades to develop the ability to manufacture
high-performance jet engines. The WS10A is something of an acid test for them,
as it is a powerful military engine, and a complex piece of work. Russia
refused to license China to produce the AL-31FN, so the Chinese stole as much
of the technology as they could and designed the WS10A. This engine has been
tested, but apparently still has quality control and performance problems.
no accident that the J10 resembles the F-16, because Israel apparently sold
them technology for the Israeli Lavi jet fighter. Israel abandoned the Lavi
project, because of the high cost and availability of cheaper alternatives (the
F-16 and F-15 from the United States.) But the Lavi was meant to be a
"super F-16," and incorporated a lot of design ideas from the F-16
(which the Israelis were very familiar with, as they used them, and had
developed new components for them.)