A few moves on the big chess board today from sundry China players. First, and most unsettling, is a report that China may (repeat, may) be developing more nuclear weapons and ICBMs to carry them. A report in Jane’s Intelligence Review cites satellite data that China is making more big bombs. As unsettling is the suspiciously well-timed piece in state media that appeared on the same day, saying that a nuclear arms race in Asia is "unlikely." However, even if true, no cause for hysteria; China does not have a fraction of the missiles available to the US or Russia, and the Bush Administration’s emphasis on missile shield development in Japan had the probably-not-accidental effect of decreasing the leverage of China’s own nuclear deterrent. However, this news is counterbalanced by the continuing warming of cross-strait relations. Wu Poh-hsiung, chairman of Taiwan’s Kuomintang, met with President Hu Jintao in Beijing yesterday, raising hopes that fancy weaponry will be mooted by a strategy emphasizing better diplomacy and closer economic ties. On the strictly-business front, Citigroup has decided to stick to its original strategy of growth in China and India. Despite the company’s newly imposed US$5.5 billion stress test obligation, Citigroup says that since doing business China was a good idea before, it plans to continue doing it. Where they will find that US$5.5 billion is a separate question.
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