Leaked American government reports (Wikileaks) show China is fed up with North Korea, calling its impoverished neighbor a "spoiled child." But there's been an unfortunate blowback from North Korea's recent aggression against South Korea. Reacting to an American suggestion, Japan and South Korea are planning the use of Japanese forces to help defeat another North Korean invasion of the south. This cooperation was long considered impossible, because of Korean hatred for the brutal Japanese occupation from 1905-45. The brief North Korean occupation of South Korea in 1950 left a mark as well, a more vivid one at that. Japan, however, is more concerned with China, and is expanding its navy, and defense ties with Australia and the United States, to improve its defenses against possible Chinese aggression.
While Chinese diplomats are not happy with North Korean behavior, they are unable to coerce the northerners to calm down or enact much needed economic reforms. The secret diplomatic messages also revealed that China no longer considers North Korea necessary as a buffer state between it and capitalist South Korea. For its part, South Korea had pledged China that, once Korea is reunified, American troops, if any remain, will never be allowed to have bases north of where they are now (just south of the DMZ, which is scheduled to become a nature preserve after reunification.)
Other diplomatic messages revealed that the Chinese government has backed Internet based espionage against the West, and neighbors, for most of the decade. Moreover, two senior officials ordered the attacks on Google last year, as part of an effort to coerce Google to comply with Chinese censorship rules. Chinese leaders are very nervous about the Internet, and the risk of foreigners spying on China via the web, and Chinese reformers ending communist rule via Internet activity.
A new Taiwanese cruise missile, the Hsiungfeng 2E, has entered production. Long developed in secret, the Taiwanese missile has a range of up to 1,000 kilometers, well able to hit the many Chinese bases just across the Taiwanese straits. Despite growing Chinese offensive capabilities, Taiwan remains confident that the U.S. will keep the Chinese from invading. Taiwan continues to annoy China by remaining content with the current status of de-facto independence. China wants negotiations for eventual merging of Taiwan back into China. Most Taiwanese want no part of that, at least as long as China remains a communist police state.
Chinese media are playing up the role of military units in disaster relief this year. Some 400,000 troops helped out, especially with the devastating floods (that killed at least 4,000 people).
December 10, 2010: China reinforced its reputation as an insecure bully today when, at the award ceremony (in Norway) for the Nobel Peace Prize, 16 nations were notable by the absence of their official representatives. These nations had been pressured by China not to attend, because the winner was imprisoned Chinese writer and reform advocate Liu Xiaobo. China considers the award a direct attack on the communist government, and responded as such. Most nations thought all this was a bit much. Same with the way Chinese companies are behaving in places like Africa, where the Chinese treat the locals poorly. East Asians tend to be particularly racist, especially by Western standards. Good manners curb many overt expressions of this racism, but when profits are threatened in places like Africa, Chinese will use force and coercion to get the lesser races to obey.
November 30, 2010: Chinese police rounded up 180 suspected computer criminals. The weakness of security on China's growing number of PCs (because of so much pirated software and so many new users) has led to a rapid increase in computer crime. At the same time, the rapid expansion of PC use in the military has created Cyber War opportunities for other nations. Thus the Chinese government has called on its troops to improve their computer security as well.