South Asian Conflicts
China's Economic Growth
China has come a long way since switching from a centrally planned to a market based economy. The country now has the second largest economy in the world. China has been growing its economy at a rapid pace for several reasons. One important one is that China has invested a lot into education. Studies show that higher educated workers are more productive than uneducated workers. Workers with better educations are able be more efficient and do the job better. From 1979 to 1994, productivity gains were the driving force that were responsible for more than 42% of China’s growth. These productivity gains were a direct result of more educated workers. With workers like this, the economy is able to grow quickly.
One of the biggest effects of China's huge economy is that Americans can get products made for a lot lower price than they could elsewhere. This effect also works the other way around. The growing middle class of China is beginning to desire American made products.
One bad effect of China's cheap labor is that it results in a loss of jobs here in the U.S.
Because manufacturing is so cheap there, we would rather have our products produced there.
Hinduism vs. Buddhism
-Goal of Hinduism is to break the cycle of birth, death, and reincarnation, and attain salvation.
-Hinduism characterized by the belief in reincarnation.
-Hinduism was not founded by any particular person.
-Hindus believe that a single sole is passed through many lives and its next incarnation depends on how the previous life was lived.
-Founder of Buddhism was a Hindu.
-Buddhists don’t really believe in a god- they are more focused on how they live and what they do when they’re alive versus their afterlife.-Siddhartha Guatama founded Buddhism. Seeing suffering humans on the streets troubled Guatama and in general how humans inevitably suffer. While meditating under the bodhi tree, he was enlightened and began to spread his new spiritual understanding.
-Goal of Buddhism is to attain enlightenment or Nirvana.
-Buddhists believe a problem is human suffering caused by the attachment to and desire for things.
-Both began in India.
-Both believe in the concept of karma.
-Both emphasize non-violence towards all living beings.
-Both believe in gods.
-Both believe in spiritual practices like meditation and concentration.
The Kashmir Conflict
The Kashmir Conflict began in 1947 after the partition of the Indian subcontinent. The partition of the Indian subcontinent created India, Pakistan, and 650 states. These states were run by princes and had the option of joining one of the two countries or staying independent.
Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, was Hindu while most of his subjects were Muslims. This was a problem so Singh decided to stay independent. This didn’t last very long because Pakistan soon sent in Muslim tribesmen. In response to this, Maharaja Hari Singh fled to India and signed the Instrument of Accession, which ceded Kashmir to India on October 26, 1947.
All of this led to India and Pakistan fighting a war over Kashmir. This continued until 1948, when the UN asked both countries to withdraw their forces. However, Pakistan ignored this.
Over the past decade, there has been improvement over the conflict. For example, in 2003 both countries agreed to ceasefire across the Line of Control. Pakistan also began to stop funding for militant operations in Kashmir.
The Caste System
Kshatriya- ruler, warrior
Vaishya- merchants, landowners
Shudra- artisans, agriculturalists
Harijan- outside of the caste system
Many consider the system to be racist because the people often face a lot of discrimination. However, others argue that, because the castes are not races, any type of discrimination cannot be considered racial discrimination.
China's One Child Per Family Policy
China's one child per family policy was introduced in 1978 in order to try and limit its population growth. In addition to limiting population growth, the policy was also introduced to try and preserve scarce resources.
Because of the policy, many children in China don't have any siblings. One bad thing about this is that children with siblings tend to share more social and academic experiences. This is an important trait that an only child lacks.
Another effect of children with no siblings is that they rely on their parents more. This is because they got a lot of attention when they were young.
There are some good effects though. Research shows that an only child in China tends to be more academically superior than kids with siblings.
There have been 330,000,000 abortions in China since the policy was introduced.
An example of something common that would happen is a family selling a newborn baby for grain.
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