First, there was the fact that the economic crisis that started with a Wall Street panic has reached Guangdong (Epoch Times):
According to an Eastern Daily report, the Association of Foreign Investment
Enterprises estimates that by January2009, about 9,000 factories out of the 45,000 factories in Dongwan, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou will be forced to close down due to their orders being reduced sharply as a result of the current financial tsunami.
About 2.7 million mainland Chinese workers could lose their jobs by next year as a result.
Rest assured, the Communists were responding with a rescue package for - Pakistan (Canada Free Press):
China is quietly working to provide Pakistan a soft loan of $1.5 billion to overcome its financial crisis in addition to more than $3.7 billion to be invested in the telecom and power generation sectors in the next two to three years, Chinese officials told The News here on Friday.
That news may come as a surprise to some, but for those of us who have been watching the CCP operate, it's par for the course. Even as the massive closures were being reported, Communist Premier Wen Jiabao feted foreign leaders and basked in the glow of their admiration (Washington Post), rather than admit that the financial problems which brought them together have afflicted his countrymen, too.
In part, this may be driven by simple denial, but I suspect there is more to it than that. The CCP has always focused more on foreign approval than on the fate of the Chinese people. This is especially true in the aftermath of the Tiananmen massacre, when radical nationalism became the regime's sole justification for its continued existence - and thus evidence that the CCP was advancing Chinese "honor" became the gold standard for propaganda aimed at the Chinese people. This is why the melamine scandal was largely ignored until the poison surfaced off the mainland (BBC, Epoch Times, and Taipei Times).
There is a lesson to be learned here - not for the Chinese people (who are already sure to be aware of it) - but for those who are coveted by the regime, namely the people of Taiwan and possibly Korea. Their future can be found not in Beijing's flowery words but in its thuggish actions - be it on the mainland, where homeowners who refuse eviction are murdered (Epoch Times), or Macau, where the "one country, two systems" chicanery continues to melt away (Epoch Times).
The people of Taiwan may very well be listening (BBC and Epoch Times). Of course, no one in northern Korea can do much against the colonial viceroy (One Free Korea), but South Koreans should take heed, and remember that Beijing has no interest in Korean reunification (the Vietnamese might want to be careful, too, all niceties from Beijing notwithstanding - BBC).
Meanwhile, the Chinese people continue to be silenced, abused, and closely watched to make sure they say nothing about their plight (Voice of America via Epoch Times). After all, the Communists drive to get and keep power never had anything to do with them in the first place.