Aug 3, 2007

The Little Red Book and the Blue Screen of Death

The Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party has been cranking out product in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army. There are twin themes of the campaign. The first is to play up the growing strength of the Chinese armed forces. The second theme -- which is needed to massage the first -- is to assert that the awakened dragon doesn't threaten regional stability.

Whether anyone will buy it remains to be seen, but they are explicitly saying that building the necessary infrastructure for information warfare is featuring prominently in their plans.

China unveiled new measures to attract high-tech talent for military modernization on Friday, two days after President Hu Jintao promised more money for the defense drive.

Hu signed the measures to "attract and retain high-level specialist technical talent", the official People's Daily reported.

Hu is chairman of the Central Military Commission, the ruling Communist Party's body for controlling the two-million strong People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The PLA has been shedding ordinary troops so it can put more money into specialized personnel and high-tech arms, and the new measures seek to advance that program at a time when China's military modernization has neighbors jittery.

Engineers and scientists were "a precious strategic resource for using science and technology for a strong military", the official announcement said.

"They play an important role in military development and preparations for military struggle."

The announcement, widely publicized in state media, comes after Hu's promise on Wednesday to create a military for the information age.

Addressing a meeting on the 80th anniversary of the PLA, Hu paid tribute to the armed forces and promised them more resources.

"We will gradually increase spending on national defense as the economy grows," he said. "We will ... ensure that our armed forces are capable of winning a war in the information age."

The measures promise a recruitment drive for technology specialists and improved pay and living conditions for recruits. More PLA scientists and engineers will be sent for extra training in top-flight Chinese universities, the rules say. ...

In March, China said it would boost defense spending by 17.8 percent to about $45 billion this year, but a Pentagon report in May said Beijing's total military-related spending could be more than double that.

It is interesting to note that China claims that they are not a threat to regional security when the dominant theme of their main regional PSYOP program has always involved coercion and intimidation backed up by the threat of the use of force against Taiwan.

This is, of course, not logically inconsistent in light of the fact that the ChiComs consider Taiwan to be an intrinsic part of China. Thus, an internal matter.

However, the rest of the world might not look at it that way when push comes to shove.

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