China keeps increasing its efforts to battle government and military corruption. The numbers look impressive, but they are not really having a widespread impact. Last year, 115,000 Communist Party officials (all important government jobs are held by Party members) were punished for corrupt practices. But the Communist Party is huge, and those punished accounted for less than one fifth of one percent of the entire party membership. It's estimated that a third, or more, of party officials are corrupt. Moreover, of those punished, only ten percent were expelled (and 70 percent of that group, or 7,279, were prosecuted.) There have been more high ranking Party officials taken to court, and convicted. But the majority of crooked officials are basically being told to be more discreet, not to stop stealing. A little more effort has been made to curb corruption in the military, but that still remains a problem. The people have taken note.
December 10, 2006: Despite a major corruption scandal, the independence party in Taiwan held its own in local elections. The pro-China KMT party made some gains, but not enough to reassure Chinese politicians. Public opinion in Taiwan continues to move towards a declaration of independence. The threat of Chinese invasion does not appear to be stopping down this trend.
December 9, 2006: Chinese generals say they have no plans for military intervention in North Korea. Meanwhile, more Chinese troops are sent to the North Korean border each month, in anticipation of a political collapse across the border. That would bring a huge wave of refugees, and the growing army of Chinese soldiers are prepared to stop as many of the refugees as possible.
December 1, 2006: China is now checking all imported software to make sure it is not "indecent" (that includes politically "indecent", in addition to the usual sexual angles.) This new policy is applied to games and "entertainment" products.
November 30, 2006: Criminal gangs continue to use phony military trucks to avoid police scrutiny, and paying tolls on the many new highways. A recent spot check by police found that 89 percent of "military" vehicles were fakes. The vehicles either have fake military plates, or are military type vehicles, sometimes driven by a gangster in uniform. Several criminal gangs specialize in making the fake military plates.