Once again, the world is turning a troubled eye to the Chinese Communist Party. It's military ambitions are causing neighbors to respond, fueling an Asian arms race (London Telegraph). It's foreign diplomacy has allowed the Burmese junta to continue to practice grotesque policies, including the "recruitment" of child soldiers (Int'l Herald Tribune).
At the same time, within the walls, the regime is facing serious headaches. A landslide caused by illegal but cadre-approved business operations has led to the ouster of the governor of Shanxi (CNN), although there are no reports of the party boss - the real leader of the province - getting axed. Another baby milk scandal has arisen, the sick number over 1,200 (CNN), and according to the BBC, local cadres were warned weeks ago and did nothing. Meanwhile, the post-Olympic hangover is starting to kick in (Boycott 2008).
Normally, Communist China responds to troubles within by exporting them, i.e., causing trouble for everyone else. Things are bit trickier, though, with the Korean colony in flux (BBC, One Free Korea, and the Washington Times), but only in the short run. Ditto the current moves by Taiwan to once again gain some entry into the United Nations apparatus (Washington Times).
For more worrisome for the cadres is the fact that their bellicose behavior has driven their lead regional rival (India) and their lead global rival (the U.S.) closer together (London Telegraph). Heading off this budding alliance would require a more conciliatory attitude from Beijing, but that flies in the face of the radical nationalism that the regime needs to justify its existence in the wake of continuing repression and corruption (such as the Shanxi and baby-milk fiascoes).
Such contradictions, in the long run, can crush a totalitarian regime.