China: October 5, 1999


The big problem with the Chinese armed forces is corruption. The current drive to make the officers divest themselves of their business interests is but the latest attempt by the government to fix the instrument that supports communist power in China. The armed officers are also under orders to cut manpower 20 percent and increase the use of technology. But the true capabilities of the troops are far less than the generals think. The politicians have a better idea of what their troops can, or cannot, do. An amphibious operation is a very complex undertaking, and something likely beyond the capabilities of the Chinese armed forces at the moment. So Taiwan is safe for the moment, particularly because if China tries to cut off Taiwanese ports, the Taiwanese can do the same for Chinese ports using mines delivered by submarine and aircraft.


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