Friday, December 31, 2010

China Watch: missiles, dogs, babies

“He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

-- Confucius 

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles."

-- Sun Tzu

China's military is deploying a new anti-ship ballistic missile that can sink U.S. aircraft carriers, a weapon that specialists say gives Beijing new power-projection capabilities that will affect U.S. support for its Pacific allies.

In May 2010 a team of 15 Chinese researchers announced a successful demonstration of “quantum teleportation” over 16 kilometers of free space. These researchers claimed to have the first successful experiment in the world. The technology on display has the potential to revolutionize secure communications for military and intelligence organizations and may become the watershed of a research race in communication and information technology.

China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7 trillion overseas investment fund. In a fresh humiliation for Europe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said it was one of the most important areas for China's foreign exchange investments. The country has already approached struggling European countries with financial aid, including offering to buy Greece's debt in October and promising to buy $4billion of Portuguese government debt.

The tools that Chinese officials use to enforce the country's one-child policy include "family planning contracts," birth permits, gynecological surveillance, fines that may amount to several years of income, denial of employment and government services, and forced abortions, sterilizations, and IUD insertions. Enforcement is wildly uneven. While women in some parts of the country may get away with bearing an "over-quota" child by paying a fine, elsewhere women in the eighth or ninth month of pregnancy are abducted so their not-quite-born children can be killed and extracted. Population control officials use fines, property seizures, beatings, arbitrary detention, and kidnapping of relatives to whip people into line. 

Thousands of products made from the skins of cats and dogs are being offered on China's largest retail website Taobao. The most popular items were trousers and hats made from dog fur, which is touted for its ability to ward off the cold. 

The Chinese are playing grandmaster chess against an amateur America that can’t see beyond the second move. In a bipartisan display of geopolitical obtuseness, America continues its historic trade policy: It’s free trade, except occasional lapses into protectionism when a whinging constituent must be placated. China is doing a very different thing. The Communist regime sees trade policy as merely one weapon in a war aimed at overtaking the United States as the world’s preeminent economic and, by extension, military power. 

The United States is too reliant on China for minerals crucial to new clean energy technologies, making the American economy vulnerable to shortages of materials needed for a range of green products — from compact fluorescent light bulbs to electric cars to giant wind turbines. So warns a detailed report by the United States Energy Department. The report predicts that it could take 15 years to break American dependence on Chinese supplies.

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