17) CHINA Running lots of races against itself in terms of reducing the unprofitable state-run enterprises while not triggering too much unemployment, plus dealing with all that growth in energy demand and accompanying pollution, plus coming pension crisis as population ages. • New generation of leaders looks suspiciously like unimaginative technocrats—big question if they are up to task. • If none of those macro pressures trigger internal instability, there is always the fear that the Communist party won't go quietly into the night in terms of allowing more political freedoms and that at some point, economic freedom won't be enough for the masses. Right now the CCP is very corrupt and mostly a parasite on the country, but it still calls the big shots in Beijing. • Army seems to be getting more disassociated from society and reality, focusing ever more myopically on countering U.S. threat to their ability to threaten Taiwan, which remains the one flash point that could matter. • And then there's AIDS.
There seems to be two sides to this, both with very valid arguments and both very polarized. My question is why do they need aircraft carriers which they seem hell bent on obtaining? 21st century brinksmanship? Will Hillary become the 21st century DDE?
There are a lot better ways to diminish coercion. An aircraft carrier is an offensive tactical weapon, pure and simple.
A ballistic missile is also an offensive tactical weapon, yet the best way to counter an ICBM threat is to deploy ICBMs.
A commercial satellite image appears to have led to revelation of details of the new Chinese nuclear-propelled ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) of the Jin or Type 094 class. The new submarine was initially photographed by the commercial Quickbird satellite in late 2006 and the image was available on the Google Earth web site. Coupled with later satellite photography, the submarine was identified by Hans M. Kristensen, Director, Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, D.C.
The Type 094 submarine has long been expected by Western analysts and intelligence experts. China has previously constructed only a single SSBN, the Xia or Project 092 submarine, launched in 1983. That submarine has twice test fired the JL-1 Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), but is not considered an operational submarine. The improved JL-2 SLBM will probably arm the Type 094 submarine, with that missile expected to become operational between 2007 and 2010, according to U.S. officials....