China: Communists Seek Safety By Protecting Microsoft


July 31, 2007: The most ominous developments in the Chinese military are the ones that get little media attention. These include improvements in training, recruiting and logistics. None of these are headline grabbing subjects, but all go to the very basics of what it takes to create more powerful armed forces. Training has become more frequent and realistic. Training is expensive, and necessary for developing more effective troops. In the past, there was a lot less training because it was expensive (especially the cost of fuel, and wear and tear on vehicles, aircraft and ships). There are now higher recruiting standards, and that's one reason for the spiffy new uniforms everyone in the military were recently issued. The most ominous developments are in logistics, which were long the major shortcoming of the Chinese military. No more. Now China is increasingly able to sustain military operations inside the country, and in nearby areas.

July 25, 2007: The U.S. military commander in the Pacific pointed out that American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have no practical effect on the U.S. ability to defend Taiwan. For that, warplanes and warships are needed. Few of these are engaged in the Iraq and Afghanistan fighting, and are available for any operations around Taiwan.

July 24, 2007: Facing U.S. import restrictions, China finally allowed major software counterfeiters to be shut down. Nearly ten million dollars in CD manufacturing equipment was seized, along with nearly 300,000 CDs, many packaged to appear identical to the real thing (various Microsoft, and other major publishers, products). Ironically, this rampant piracy has prevented the Chinese government from getting most civilian Chinese PC users to switch to Linux. With the pirated Windows software available, the Linux price advantage largely disappeared. There was more application software available for Windows, thus it was much more popular than Linux. However, this makes the Chinese economy much more vulnerable to attack via the Internet. This is just what the American military, and many civilian agencies, are calling for. The U.S. wants to establish a policy for retaliating, on a massive scale, for increasing Chinese Internet based espionage operations. China would like to force Chinese to pay full price for Microsoft products, thus forcing more people to use Linux. But because of the shortage of business and game software for Linux, most people still prefer Windows, and will continue to support counterfeiters. Looks like hard times ahead for the software pirates.


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