China: Turning iPods Into Missiles


December22, 2006: In Taiwan, people are feeling less Chinese. In a 1991 survey, 13.6 percent of Taiwanese considered themselves "Taiwanese," compared to about 45 percent today. In 1991, 43.9 percent of Taiwanese considered themselves "Chinese," compared to under ten percent today. It's these numbers that anger the Chinese, and lead to threats of invasion if Taiwanese voters choose to officially declare independence.

December 21, 2006: Chinese attempts to get North Korea to negotiate, the elimination of North Korea nuclear weapons programs, have failed once more. Another round of talks came and went without any progress. China doesn't care, as long as the North Korean government does not collapse and send a flood of refugees into north China. But the North Korean government is getting shakier, and the Chinese continue to have a hard time convincing the North Koreans that they have to reform their economy.

December 16, 2006: China is issuing, and enforcing, more regulations on the quality of manufactured goods. Chinese manufacturing practices are often shoddy, and for a long time, there was no way to force the manufacturer to fix that problem. This sloppiness was found in military goods as well. China has only been successful in exporting of goods because manufacturers were forced to meet quality standards. This has produced two different types of manufacturers. Sloppy ones for Chinese markets, and strict ones for export. The government is trying to drive the sloppy manufacturers out of business, partly to improve the quality of military manufacturing. This will enable China to produce military goods of higher quality and effectiveness. China is already manufacturing many of the electronic consumer goods (iPods, laptop computers, flat screen TVs) used by Americans and Europeans. But these factories are largely run by Japanese and Taiwanese companies, and managers. But year by year, Chinese managers in these plants move up to higher positions, and gain the skills that enable more Chinese plants to turn out world class goods.

December 15, 2006: Three more Chinese have been caught in the U.S., while attempts to get stolen technology to China. This espionage campaign has been going on for decades. China always denies it, but there has been a growing number of spies captured, and prosecuted.


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