On the outside, Communist China looks as menacing, powerful, and aggressive as it always has, what with more cyber-espionage (Newsmax), missile deployments (Epoch Times), troop deployments on the border with North Korea (Epoch Times), and even plans to scoop up pieces of General Motors and Chrysler (The Truth About Cars title is a bit overblown).
The regime looks every bit as threatening as Brezhnev's Soviet Union did in the 1970s. Their Korean colony even managed to spook the elected government of South Korea (One Free Korea).
Yet inside Communist China, it's an entirely different story: taxi drivers on strike (Washington Post), botched medical procedures (Epoch Times), the melamine fiasco (Epoch Times), corrupt hospitals getting rich off an earthquake (Epoch Times), and the continuing effects of the economic slowdown (BBC).
In other words, the regime is just as rotten one the inside as Brezhnev's Soviet Union.
Even the troops on the Korean border reveal the cadres' weakness as much as their strength. As an unnamed British intelligence source told Gordon Thomas (Epoch Times), "The problem we have is trying to decide that if Kim dies, who will take over? And during that process could there be a 'palace revolution' which in turn could lead to conflict beyond North Korea’s border if there is an uprising within North Korea."
In other words, the viceroy's successors might decide they don't want northern Korea to be a colony anymore.
What does this mean for the free world? It means we must remember the lessons of the 1970s and 1980s. When European Communism fell, it tried to prevent its demise by taking as much as it could from its enemies. By the early 1980s, the democratic world got wise, and from then it was only a matter of time.
As Chinese Communism suffers the same fate, the cadres are hoping their better PR with the democratic world can enable it to take more from us than the Soviets could. Once our leaders get wise, the end is nigh. Until then, however, blood and treasure remain at risk.