The news and events continue to pour in - or to be more precise, pour down upon the Chinese Communist Party. The regime is clearly in a "rough patch," as it were.
The extent of the economic slowdown is becoming unavoidable; the coal and coke industry appear to be in a full-fledged recession (Epoch Times) - a word that strikes terror in the heart of a regime that needs economic growth of at least 7% just to keep up with the population. It might also explain the impetus behind the massive "economic stimulus" (Epoch Times) the cadres announced over the weekend, although the success of that plan is debatable, at best. More likely, it will simply mean more incentives for the cadres to steal land and build useless factories while the economy sinks beneath the waves (Epoch Times) and the ecology worsens (EnGadget).
Meanwhile, Tibet continues to be a headache (Epoch Times), and worse, India's center-left government appears to have finally gotten wise about the danger from Beijing (Epoch Times).
The cadres will do their best to ignore all of this, and choose instead to continue expanding their influence abroad (Epoch Times), crush dissent at home (Boycott 2008 and Epoch Times), use the Korean colony to maximum effect (BBC and Newsmax), and enjoy some Taiwanese schadenfreude (BBC, CNN, and the Washington Times). Those who remember the First Cold War will remember this phase of Communism well: the Brezhnev phase.
Leonid Brezhnev's solution for the problems faced by the Soviet Union - ignore them and increase the aggressive behavior abroad - worked so well that the USSR couldn't outlast him by as much as a decade, even though no American President seriously challenged his regime until just before he died. That should bring hope to all anti-Communists. Even if Obama becomes the "second Carter" his critics fear he will be, Hu Jintao seems determined to be the second Brezhnev.
Bismark is reported to have said, "God has a special providence for fools, drunks, and the United States of America." He continues to be more right than he could have possibly imagined.