War Games Simulator and Supersonic Cruise Missile Unveiled & China’s AIDS Campaign

NEW WAR GAMES SIMULATOR EMPLOYED AT NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY

China’s National Defense University (NDU) has initiated the use of a new situational conflict simulation system in order to train its mid- and high-level military and civilian personnel in operational and crisis decision-making. This “immersion-type strategic confrontation training exercise system” enables instructors and participants to adopt a much broader approach to crises and conflicts by including political, economic and social considerations, in addition to the more traditional military component of past war games (Xinhua, November 29). The new simulator is composed of ten subsystems, including “situational introduction, virtual news, overall posture, video-conferencing, message distribution, model derivation, training-exercise management, and discussion and assistance” (Xinhua, November 29). This computerized interface allows the instructor to abruptly introduce new variables into the situation—appearing in the form of news flashes, directives and announcements—forcing the participants to adapt and modify under a non-static environment. During the very first simulation that was conducted on November 29, 66 students of the NDU adopted various political, military and economic decision-making positions in ministries that would be involved in a crisis or conflict. Following the conclusion of the “confrontational deduction stage” of the simulation, the participants explained the rationale behind each of their decisions, based on their roles, and collectively discussed challenges and solutions for the victory of the “Red side”—the People’s Republic of China.

CHINA UNVEILS NEW SUPERSONIC CRUISE MISSILE

Aviation Industries of China (AVIC-1) unveiled a new air-launched supersonic cruise missile at the recent Sixth China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition (also called Airshow China 2006) held in Zhuhai from October 31 to November 5. The new domestically developed ramjet-powered missile provides the PRC with an additional standoff capability to attack aircraft carriers within a 400 Km radius (Wen Wei Po, November 25). According to AVIC-1 representatives at the exhibition, the missile’s launch velocity is between Mach 0.8 to 1.5, while it cruises at a velocity of Mach 4.0, which is notably faster than the U.S. AGM-84 Harpoon subsonic anti-ship cruise missile. The development of supersonic standoff munitions capable of penetrating sophisticated anti-air systems, such as the U.S. AEGIS system, is consistent with Beijing’s overall anti-aircraft carrier strategy (China Brief, November 22). It should also be noted that the missile is supposedly domestically produced, demonstrating a significant maturation of the Chinese defense industry’s research and development capabilities. In the past, China procured the majority of its advanced anti-ship munitions, such as the SS-N-22 “Sunburn” and SS-N-27B “Sizzler” missiles, from Russia.

CHINA TARGETS HIGH-RISK DEMOGRAPHICS IN HIV/AIDS CAMPAIGN

Alarmed by the soaring number of HIV/AIDS patients in recent years, China has begun an aggressive campaign to prevent and control the spread of AIDS. Their latest demographic targets on the eve of the World AIDS Day on December 1 have been portions of the population that have generally had limited access to health resources—sex workers and migrant workers in urban regions. In Guangzhou, a city with an estimated 40,000 infected individuals, the city’s center for disease control and prevention has led a 180-member task force to distribute free condoms and to provide free training sessions on HIV/AIDS prevention to the city’s sex workers. Over 30 free training sessions have been delivered to some 1,000-sex workers, and 30,000 free condoms have been distributed (Xinhua, November 28). In Beijing, the municipal government targeted its HIV/AIDS campaign at the tens of thousands of migrant workers, who, according to the Municipal Health Bureau, are believed to account for 77% of Beijing’s 633 new HIV carriers this year (Xinhua, November 30). To counter this trend, the government has begun offering free HIV tests, condoms and HIV/AIDS education pamphlets in areas of the city that are primarily populated by migrant workers. Yet, significant hurdles remain in the Chinese government’s response to HIV/AIDS. While the Central Party School, a bureaucratic finishing school for mid and high-level officials, has taken a noteworthy step by including an AIDS prevention lecture in its curriculum, many party officials remain unaware and uninformed of HIV/AIDS. In a survey conducted among 3,000 university educated party officials, more than 60% were unaware that there were no existing AIDS vaccines and about 30% believed that those who were tested HIV-positive should be quarantined for treatment (People’s Daily, November 30).