China: Getting To Know You

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August 10, 2007: Nearly 7,000 troops from Russia (2,000 troops), China (1,600) and several Central Asian nations, are conducting training exercises. The main purpose of all this is to make sure the communications and combat procedures of the different countries can be used cooperatively, with a minimum of confusion. All this is to make it easier for troops from the member nations (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can carry out counter-terror operations efficiently, or at least without a lot of friendly fire casualties. The exercises are being held in China and Russia. Later this year, Chinese troops will hold similar "getting to know you" exercises with Indian troops, at a Chinese training area.

August 7, 2007: Taiwan has set aside $4.6 billion to buy six Aegis destroyers from the United States. Such ships carry a powerful radar (the Aegis system) and software that can launch anti-aircraft, or anti-missile missiles. These ships could make a dent in a Chinese missile attack, but not stop such an operation. That's because China has over 600 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan, with dozens more entering service each year. That's more missiles that a force of six Aegis destroyers has anti-missile missiles. But the six ships could make a large dent in the Chinese air and naval forces.

August 2, 2007: While corruption continues unabated, the senior leadership are trying to scare straight the top hundred or so officials in the country. These guys get plenty of legitimate fringe benefits, and don't need bribes to live the good life. But at least half of these men are dirty, and half a dozen have been convicted, or are being prosecuted. The top leaders are trying to send a message, but it will be a few years before one knows if the message was heard and obeyed. Meanwhile, the corruption at the local and provincial level continues to be a major problem. Despite efforts to control information, the state security monitors report Chinese are increasingly using the Internet and cell phones to complain about the abuse they get from corrupt officials.

August 1, 2007: Over a million Chinese have studied at foreign universities in the last thirty years, when such a practice became common. Currently over 100,000 Chinese students go to a foreign university each year. More than half of them go to North America.

 

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