China: Big Brother Goes to a Training Camp


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April 11, 2006: China is increasing the training of up to twenty combat divisions (infantry and mechanized), upgrading equipment and personnel as well. A special combat training center, modeled on the American National Training Center, has been established, and these elite combat divisions will start rotating through the training center. Only a few years of this kind of training will give China a powerful, by world standards, combat force. Such an increased level of training will cost over a billion dollars a year.

April 10, 2006: China and the United States will exchange students and staff between their military academies. This is part of a growing military exchange program, that strives to build better relations between the armed forces of the two countries. To be eligible for the exchange program, cadets and officers must speak English and Chinese.

April 8, 2006: Taiwan is rethinking its development of anti-missile defenses. Right now, China has 700 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. To defend against this, Taiwan is buying U.S. Patriot missiles. But these are expensive, and to defend against 700 ballistic missiles would require buying nearly three billion dollars worth of Patriot missile equipment. The Taiwanese legislature would not spend that kind of money on anti-missile missiles, leaving the military to decide how they are going to deal with a Chinese missile attack.

April 5, 2006: Shenzhen, a booming city of 11 million, has only 18,000 police and a soaring crime rate. This is embarrassing for a communist dictatorship which, if nothing else, is expected to maintain order. So, taking a page right out of Big Brother, the city will install over 200,000 security cameras in the subways and major thoroughfares. There are already some 20,000 security cameras in the city, but these are largely devoted to private security. Such a widespread deployment of cheap vidcams, and a system for storing lots of hours of surveillance and retrieving it as needed, will serve as a model for the rest of China. The equipment for this system is already made in China, mainly for export.

March 31, 2006: The governments ongoing campaign to crush the Falungong religious movement has extended to the United States, where several raids on pro-Falun gong writers, by thugs who appeared to be Chinese, have occurred. China is also engaged in ongoing jailings of Falungong members inside China. Many of the Falungong leaders are fleeing China, and keeping up a publicity campaign outside the country. Falungong is not a political operation, and was targetted mainly because the government does not tolerate nationwide organizations it cannot control. With Falungong, this is backfiring, and the government appears to be rising to the challenge by having overseas agents go after Falungong activists abroad. The government is also waging an extensive propaganda program, at home and abroad, against this new religion (which is a combination of Buddhism and several other beliefs.)


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