China has been rattling the
saber a lot this year. This has been in the form of numerous live fire
exercises along the coast opposite Taiwan. This is seen as China's way of
warning Taiwan not to go ahead with a referendum, next year, on applying for UN
membership, and to shut down Taiwanese politicians advocating declaring the
island nation sovereign. China considers Taiwan a wayward province. In
the past, training exercises with live ammo were rare. This was an old Soviet
custom, picked up by the Chinese. But it's since been realized that training
with live ammo is more realistic, and effective, and China has been doing more
of it. But all of that seems to be happening where Taiwanese can most easily
notice it. Some of the exercises were undertaken on short notice, just as an
attack on Taiwan would be.
September 11, 2007: France, Germany, Britain and
the United States have all reported major hacker attacks on their computer
networks, and all the attacks have been traced back to China. The Chinese deny
any knowledge or involvement in this activity. But that's all they do. No
cooperation on running down the evidence the victimized nations have uncovered.
These attacks were not the usual spam or automated intrusion attempts. These
were deliberate efforts to get into specific military and government networks,
and transfer classified documents. Hundreds of gigabytes of material was sent
back to China. The victims want to know who, and why, and China is getting
increasing pressure on the issue. If answers are not forthcoming, Cyber War
experts in the victimized nations are urging that a counter-attack be launched.
A secret one, of course, in keeping with the strategy China has adopted.
Several thousand discharged
soldiers rioted over poor conditions in vocational schools established to train
them for new jobs on the national railroad. This happened in three cities.
China is downsizing its army, and discharging career soldiers. These riots
occurred in three cities, and led to injuries and arrests.
September 10, 2007: Taiwan now
believes China has over 900 ballistic and cruise missiles aimed at targets on
the island. The guidance systems on most of those missiles are believed capable
of hitting within 40 meters of the aiming point.
September 4, 2007: China is
upset that the U.S., Australia, India, Japan and Singapore have held joint
naval exercises off the Indian coast, and had earlier held similar exercises in
the Western Pacific. The main reason for all this is learning how to operate
together, the better to perform counter-terrorism (and anti-piracy) duties. But
China sees all this as the formation of an anti-China coalition. Although China
tries to maintain good relations with Russia, the two countries are ancient
enemies, with China seeing Russia's Pacific coast territories as stolen Chinese
land. Thus China sees itself as surrounded, and beset on all sides by enemies.