Much hay has been made of late regarding the upcoming Beijing Olympics, China's abysmal human rights record, and the political reaction to the 2008 International Olympic Torch Run. Yes, many assorted malcontents, professional protesters, agitators, and at least one possible plant made a swipe at the torch in recent days.
The upshot is that China wants to be treated, and viewed, as a respectable and important member of the international community. For the ChiComms, this is what the 2008 Games are all about-- a sort of grand 'coming out' party.
However, the PRC is being repeatedly caught selling guns and doing business with some very unsavory people. It's not just one or two 'isolated' incidents. It's the unswerving behavior of a totalitarian regime who seems very disinterested in peace, and much more interested in making money, enriching its own cronies, and propping up friendly dictatorships around the world. And no, I'm not talking about what China is doing in Tibet.
Here is the list of shame:
1. Chinese arms company NORINCO (owned by the Chinese military) was recently revealed to have been trying to sell half a million AK47s and 10 million rounds of ammo to Libya, via middlemen in the Italian mafia. The AK47 is an elderly weapon (60+ years old), and even the Libyans wouldn't use it to equip their armed forces nowadays. And 500,000 guns would way oversupply the Libyan military, which is only 100,000. The likely end customers? Various revolutionary groups (i.e. terrorists) in Africa and around the world. In other words, Gaddafi is up to his usual mischief and China is all too willing to oblige him, for the right price of course.
2. New Chinese bomber aircraft are showing up in Sudan, no doubt violating one toothless UN resolution or another. Improved bombers will allow the Khartoum regime to better kill their own people in Darfur and elsewhere in the country. China doesn't care, as long as they are paid and the oil keeps flowing.
3. Last week a Chinese merchant vessel full of weapons for the detestable regime of Robert Mugabe in (landlocked) Zimbabwe showed up in Durban, South Africa for unloading. The contents of the Chinese shipment include, according to the Guardian (UK):
... 3.5m rounds of ammunition for AK47 assault rifles and for small arms, 1,500 40mm rockets, 2,500 mortar shells of 60mm and 81mm calibre, as well as 93 cases of mortar tubes
These supplies will naturally allow Mugabe's thugs to better brutalize and terrorize his own people, who are languishing under nearly 30 years of Mugabe's tyranny. Mugabe's continued rule is at least in part underwritten by his backers in Beijing. The dockworkers in Durban, to their credit, refused to handle or offload the cargo.
The Chinese ship is now reportedly en route to Mozambique, the country with an AK47 on their flag, and where the dockworkers will presumably be more cooperative.
4. China's covert cyber war against the entire planet (with the possible exception of Russia) continues. Late last week, hackers traced back to China took down the CNN website here in east Asia for several hours. Apparently, CNN coverage of the anti China protesters surrounding the aforementioned Torch Run have angered the government-sanctioned hackers in the Middle Kingdom.
The bottom line is that these events are part of a larger trend. How can the current regime in power in Beijing ever be treated as a 'respected' part of the international community, when they act as such? The Games should have never been awarded to Red China in the first place.