China's R&D and Arms Industry

From eWeek.com comes this item on US R&D opening up in China.

Hewlett-Packard Co. opened a research lab, HP Labs China, in November, joining Microsoft Corp. and IBM and other IT companies that have set up research labs in the country to tap the increasing number of technical graduates Chinese universities are turning out.

By itself this may not be too interesting, but Defense Industry Daily reports on a RAND report on the Chinese defense industry increasing its quality and overcoming its weaknesses. Drawing from a WindsOfChange.net posting last year and updated today, the information on both the DID and Winds posts are enlightening. A suggested read.

Now, consider a growing China and consider American corporations so hungry to get into the market they would do nearly anything to do so. Besides opening up R&D facilities right on our competitor's turf, stress between enterprise and our security may be greater than Boeing's attempt to sell to China during the Cold War. Microsoft has spent a few years getting in with China because of the size of the market and piracy.

This month, Microsoft censored a blog at the request of Chinese authorities. Is this ethical? What will happen in future conflicts when US corporations have a greater stake to prevent (or worse allow) certain political actions, including war, that is in the best interest of the United States? Is this taking the Liberal Democratic theory to the next step? Democracies / liberal market countries do not fight each other? This would actually turn that theory since China's openness may still be questionable at the time any conflict occurs. Looming resource conflicts may be altered by US corporate interests less concerned about big industry.