China: Firewall Follies

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February 20, 2006: China's GDP hit $2.2 trillion last year. By the end of the decade GDP growth will move into the China into fourth place, behind the U.S.. Japan and Germany, and just ahead of France and Great Britain. China's per-capita income (about $2,000) is still very low by Western standards, but high and rising rapidly by Chinese standards. The average Chinese is feeling good about China, and optimistic about their prospects. Most Chinese ignore politics and world affairs, and concentrate on making the most of the abundant economic opportunities.

February 16, 2006: Taiwan increasingly believes that China intends to use ballistic missiles as its principal weapon in any attempt to take Taiwan by force. For example, in less than a year, China has increased the number of ballistic missiles on its southeast coast (within range of Taiwan) from 706 to 784. Taiwan has no anti-missile defenses, and these missiles enable China to hit targets without worrying about superior Taiwanese fighters and anti-aircraft systems.

February 10, 2006: China has 110 million Internet users, and will have 130 million by the end of the year. Most of these users don't care about the government Internet censorship efforts. Those who do, have an easy time finding ways to get around the "Great Firewall of China." The Internet censorship effort has become a large government bureaucracy and make-work program. If you are a government official, and want to get a job for a wastrel cousin, send him off to work on the Great Firewall.

 

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