China: Army in Desperate Struggle With Battalions of Auditors

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September 12, 2006: The Communist Party is cracking down once more on corruption in its own ranks. Anti-corruption rules for Communist Part leaders, introduced in the late 1990s, were based on the honor systems. Senior party members had to report any unseemly or questionable financial transactions, or ask the advice of the Party before engaging in any questionable business dealings. These rules are no longer on the honor system, and audits of party members have been introduced, and will be increased as more auditors become available. Corrupt officials will find a way around this, including bribing or intimidating auditors. This is what has happened to auditors called in to check shady business dealings. It's dangerous to be an auditor in China, at least an honest one. It's going to be particularly dangerous trying to root out corruption in the military and security forces. All the suspects have weapons, and are accustomed to using them without restriction. The corruption in the military has been the main reason why all the money spent on the military in the last decade has not had a big effect. Taiwan apparently realizes that corruption in the Chinese military is the best way to protect Taiwan from invasion. Some corruption deals in the Chinese military have involved Taiwanese interests making payoffs. This may not be strictly business, but rather another example of the ancient Chinese practice of weakening your military opponent with bribes instead of battles. The ancient Chinese military sage Sun Tsu was a big fan of this tactic. The Chinese government is cracking down on the corruption, not for military reasons, but to forestall a rebellion against Communist Party rule. Opinion surveys and reports from the security services indicate a major irritant for the Chinese people is the growing corruption among Communist Party officials who dominate the government bureaucracy.
September 11, 2006: All foreign news organizations in China must again submit their dispatches for censorship. These new measures will slow down news getting out of China, but won't stop it. China has over 400 million cell phone users, and over 100 million Internet users. Despite government restrictions and eavesdropping on these two technologies, Chinese users still get information around China, and out of the country, quickly.
September 10, 2006: Internet users of programs like Google Earth have been uncovering many previously unpublicized Chinese military installations. These include tunnels for protecting submarines off Hainan island and a mock up, in a Western China desert, of a key Taiwanese air base. Dozens of Chinese military bases are being scoured for information on how the Chinese military operates. Some of this stuff is probably known by Western intelligence, but some may not be. The CIA and MI-6 aren't talking. But they probably are taking notes.

 

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