Take The Money And Shut Up
August 17, 2011: China has played down the importance of its new aircraft carrier, the Shi Lang, even going so far as to describe the ship as intended for scientific research. At the same time, China announced that it is continuing reforms in its armed forces. This is mainly being done by introducing more modern weapons and equipment, along with higher quality and better trained personnel.
China is also improving its ability to build, and even develop, modern weapons. This is assisted by the theft of much Russian and Western (particularly American) military technology. This is done either by obtaining examples of the technology, or using Internet based espionage to steal technical details. Russian weapons are often for sale by nations that used to be part of the Soviet Union (and inherited such weapons after the breakup). American weapons can be examined via access to lost (usually crashed) American aircraft and missiles. The latest example is a crashed (during the May 2nd raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan) American stealth helicopter. China denies all such espionage efforts, but much evidence indicates otherwise.
Western and Russian Internet security experts have made it quite clear that they believe China has been engaging in Internet based espionage for over five years. China denies everything, but the evidence keeps piling up that many, if not most, of these hacking efforts are coming out of China. There have been several recent major attacks, and the victims are getting increasingly angry at lame Chinese denials. There is increasing talk of striking back, but no one has quite figured out how to do it, especially since any such retaliation is currently illegal.
India is accusing China of supplying tribal rebels in northeastern India (Assam) with weapons. Most frequently mentioned is the Chinese Type 81 rifle. These are obsolete weapons in China, and began getting replaced in the 1990s. Smugglers have been more frequently offering these weapons (which are improved AK-47s) in the black market over the last decade. That said, China claims adjacent Indian lands as part of Tibet. Supporting rebels in neighboring nations is an ancient Chinese tactic.
The recent sea trials of the Chinese carrier Shi Lang elicited complaints from neighboring countries that this is a bad thing. The neighbors (Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan) recognize similar Chinese strategies, which have been used time and again over the centuries. The pattern consists of lots of Chinese complaints (in this case, backing Chinese claims on everything in the South China Sea), followed by a military build-up meant to intimidate the neighbors into backing down. This time, the United States is backing the neighbors, which accounts for the energetic anti-American campaign that has been going on in China for decades. This propaganda about the inevitable future war with the United States is largely kept inside China, and denied when foreigners ask about it. But within China, the military makes no secret of who it is preparing to fight. Little of this stuff every gets translated into English, leaving most Americans unaware of it.
|"The chief aim of all government is to preserve the freedom of the citizen. His control over his person, his property, his movements, his business, his desires should be restrained only so far as the public welfare imperatively demands. The world is in more danger of being governed too much than too little.
It is the teaching of all history that liberty can only be preserved in small areas. Local self-government is, therefore, indispensable to liberty. A centralized and distant bureaucracy is the worst of all tyranny.
Taxation can justly be levied for no purpose other than to provide revenue for the support of the government. To tax one person, class or section to provide revenue for the benefit of another is none the less robbery because done under the form of law and called taxation."
John W. Davis, Democratic Presidential Candidate, 1924. Davis was one of the greatest trial and appellate lawyers in US history. He also served as the US Ambassador to the UK.