China: Are We At War?

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September 12, 2007: China has been rattling the saber a lot this year. This has been in the form of numerous live fire exercises along the coast opposite Taiwan. This is seen as China's way of warning Taiwan not to go ahead with a referendum, next year, on applying for UN membership, and to shut down Taiwanese politicians advocating declaring the island nation sovereign. China considers Taiwan a wayward province. In the past, training exercises with live ammo were rare. This was an old Soviet custom, picked up by the Chinese. But it's since been realized that training with live ammo is more realistic, and effective, and China has been doing more of it. But all of that seems to be happening where Taiwanese can most easily notice it. Some of the exercises were undertaken on short notice, just as an attack on Taiwan would be.

September 11, 2007: France, Germany, Britain and the United States have all reported major hacker attacks on their computer networks, and all the attacks have been traced back to China. The Chinese deny any knowledge or involvement in this activity. But that's all they do. No cooperation on running down the evidence the victimized nations have uncovered. These attacks were not the usual spam or automated intrusion attempts. These were deliberate efforts to get into specific military and government networks, and transfer classified documents. Hundreds of gigabytes of material was sent back to China. The victims want to know who, and why, and China is getting increasing pressure on the issue. If answers are not forthcoming, Cyber War experts in the victimized nations are urging that a counter-attack be launched. A secret one, of course, in keeping with the strategy China has adopted.

Several thousand discharged soldiers rioted over poor conditions in vocational schools established to train them for new jobs on the national railroad. This happened in three cities. China is downsizing its army, and discharging career soldiers. These riots occurred in three cities, and led to injuries and arrests.

September 10, 2007: Taiwan now believes China has over 900 ballistic and cruise missiles aimed at targets on the island. The guidance systems on most of those missiles are believed capable of hitting within 40 meters of the aiming point.

September 4, 2007: China is upset that the U.S., Australia, India, Japan and Singapore have held joint naval exercises off the Indian coast, and had earlier held similar exercises in the Western Pacific. The main reason for all this is learning how to operate together, the better to perform counter-terrorism (and anti-piracy) duties. But China sees all this as the formation of an anti-China coalition. Although China tries to maintain good relations with Russia, the two countries are ancient enemies, with China seeing Russia's Pacific coast territories as stolen Chinese land. Thus China sees itself as surrounded, and beset on all sides by enemies.

 

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