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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

China Defence and Security Report Q4 2008

December 12, 2008

PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) - Wien,Austria
2008-12-10
 
The Beijing Olympic Games and the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) relationship with Taiwan have continued to shape the security situation in China over recent months, yet it is only the latter that can be said to have shown any significant shift.
 
Despite indications from President Hu Jintao that the Olympics would give the PRC a friendlier face, including actions to allay fears over its human rights record and restriction of press freedom, non-sporting events in the run up to and during the Games indicate the difficulties in, if not necessarily the unwillingness of China’s leaders to meet these objectives. The ‘detention’ of six western ‘demonstrators’ as the games drew to a close and unfulfilled promises to allow protest in dedicated zones set up in Beijing during the Olympics indicate the degree to which China is willing to bend to international pressure on human rights issues.
 
The most significant developments pertaining to the general security situation in China remain in its rapprochement with Taiwan following the election of Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang (KMT) party in late March 2008 on a platform emphasising improved relationships with the PRC – a subject that was covered in detail in our last report. Economic cooperation between the old enemies has moved on apace, although the impact Ma’s election will have on the geopolitical landscape has yet to play out.
 
Relations with Tibet have not changed since our last report, the most recent indication of which is the Dalai Lama’s at-time-of-writing unverified claim that during the second week of the Games Chinese troops fired on Tibetan protestors, killing 140 of them, and that 10,000 Tibetans have been detained since China cracked down on unrest in the region and neighbouring territories in March. Unrest continues not only in Tibet but also in the autonomous region of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan provinces.
 
Unrest in the Uighur Muslim-dominated Xingjian province in north west China has presented itself as another threat to internal security, not least with the news in early August of a series of explosions assumed to have been committed by separatists campaigning for the creation of ‘East Turkestan’. The Uighur situation was cited by China as a major risk during the Olympics, but information about other developments has been sparse at best.
 
The economic situation in China continues to be a threat to security, with consumer price inflation, particularly in the cost of basic foodstuffs, heightening the PRC’s rural-urban divide, but newsflow on this subject is scarce.
 
The Chinese arms industry continues to boom, however, with strong economic growth supporting the modernization of the armed forces. China has also begun competing in the global defence market although as we have said in previous reports arms companies are dogged by over-staffing, inefficiencies and being based far from major manufacturing centres.
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