The Brezhnevization of the CCP continues apace, with more signs of trouble - and more evidence that said signs are being ignored. How long the internal decay will take before becoming a collapse is still up in the air (it took more than two decades in Brezhnev's home - which was in a weaker position to start), but the decay has almost certainly begun.
The largest alarm bell came from the United States, which is now blocking all shipments from Communist China containing milk or products made in part with milk, to prevent melamine from killing Americans (Epoch Times, and the Washington Post); they have also placed an "import alert" (BBC) on all foodstuffs from Communist China. The blow to the cadres' reputation as the world's mass-producer may never recover from this, to say nothing of their market share.
Economically and politically, it comes at a very bad time, as the economic slowdown brings more people into destitution (Epoch Times), and into the streets (Epoch Times). The situation has become so bad that in Shanghai - easily the crown jewel of the Communist "model" - the police have become so hated that a confessed cop-killer is a local hero (Washington Post).
So do the cadres take stock and try to figure out a new course?
Are you kidding?
All we see from Beijing are more arrests (Boycott 2008) and more silencing of the local population (Epoch Times) - the same failed and false strategy that sent the Soviet Union into the grave.
I honestly thought the CCP would be smarter than their Soviet predecessors, and until this point, they had been. Their descent into Brezhnevization is shocking.