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
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
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.