China: Cluster Bomb Gold Mine In Sight


March 2, 2007:   Renewed international efforts to ban cluster bombs was welcomed by Chinese arms manufacturers. When landmines were banned by international treaty, a document China did not sign, China instantly got a much larger share of the landmine  market. They expect the same thing to happen if the cluster bomb treaty is signed. 


March 1, 2007:  Taiwan asked the U.S. to sell it 218 AMRAAM long range air-to-air missiles, and 235 Maverick air-to-ground missiles. These missiles would be added to AMRAAM and Maverick stockpiles Taiwan already has. These missiles give Taiwan an edge in any air war with China, and the ability to quickly destroy ground targets on the Chinese coast. 


February 26, 2007: China does not yet have an edge, and good chance of success, in attacking and conquering Taiwan. But the Chinese plan for the long term (and make no secret of this in published statements). In another ten years, Taiwan will be much more vulnerable, even if China and Taiwan engage in an arms race.


February 18, 2007:  It took more than a month to repair the under water communications cables that were damaged by a December 26th earthquake south of Taiwan. When the cables went out of service, East Asia found its Internet access to the rest of the world greatly diminished. This was a live example of what might happen in wartime, and now everyone knows how long it would take to repair the damage. But the experience of doing these repairs has indicated measures that could be taken to get the repairs down more quickly in the future. In wartime, China would be tempted to cut these cables, as Taiwan is more dependent on the Internet, although that is changing.