Despite its rapid modernization, China’s People’s Liberation Army has not been in a war since 1979 (border conflict with Vietnam, got thumped). Its last battle-hardened troops retired years ago, and the near total lack of combat experience is a serious potential weakness. And I can’t see this helping…
In case you missed them: the HK Free Press update on (and copy of) the Hong Kong Police’s New Improved Evidence against the HK National Party, and a recent column on the whole Andy Chan/FCC saga in which the key word is ‘redefining’.
Among international media covering this story is the Irish Times. Its reports on it and on Xinjiang prompted the Chinese ambassador in Dublin to pen a Peeved Panda Rant about how the stories ‘presumptuously ignored and arrogantly distorted facts’. Another foreign correspondent has just been ejected for Xinjiang coverage. (Here’s another report on what is happening there.) As human rights campaigners constantly complain, hardly any government in the world is paying much attention to this story. You wonder what sort of outraged hyperreactive mouth-frothing language Beijing would use if they did.
And Taiwan considers making English an official language – though not everyone is convinced. From a Mainland Chinese point of view, this would look suspiciously like de-Sinicization. (The guy behind the idea first pushed it as mayor of Tainan. I was there around a year ago, and like all visitors, I was amazed at how every man, woman and child in the city is fluent in the tongue of Shakespeare, oh yes.)