Asia

By Ryan Cole

China's Economic Advance

Until 1978 China maintained a very strictly ruled command economy; however, in 1978 Chinese officials Li Xiannan and Deng Xiaping began putting the country through major economic reforms, leading to even greater growth. Since 1978 China's GDP has grown nearly 10% annualy causing the economy to double in size each decade.

What Caused the Growth

China's economic reforms focused on moving the country toward a free market system. In 1978 Chinese officials recognized the effectiveness of the market economy and the global trade system. Their relatively self sufficient country began to move toward the interdependence that came from being a large player in the global market, and the economy boomed. Their lax environmental standards allowed the country to become a center for production for many major exporters and rapid industrialization occurred.

The Kashmir Conflict

Kashmir

Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim to own the land and administer to it while neither truly has full control in the area. Rouge militant groups have sprung up several times in Kashmir to fight for the Independence of the land, however none have been fully successful. Conflict in the areas had ceased for several years until 2009 and 2010 when small skirmishes began to be fought in the area once more.

Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda is an avid supporter of Pakistan in this conflict and cites America's support for India as yet another reason to be angry with America. The terrorist organization has been known to support both Pakistan and militant groups in the territory.

Hinduism Vs. Buddhism

Hinduism

Hinduism has been around for thousands of years, long before Buddhism came about. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion, which depending on the branch, can have thousands of gods. There is no official clergy in Hinduism but many people follow priest or priestesses along with nuns and monks. Hindus believe that people are born and reincarnated in a constant cycle until they reach enlightenment.

Buddhism

Buddhism almost resembles a way of life as much as a religion. Buddhism was formed by a Hindu prince who was travelling outside his castle home for the first time. He recognized all the terrible things that happened in the real world and felt that if this happened under Hinduism, it couldn't possibly be good and righteous He formed Buddhism, which has no gods, but does have a clergy of teachers who are priests. Buddha tought many people how he felt that they should live life, with a great respect for others, while still focusing on oneself. Buddhism is not truly viewed as a religion, it is a way of life, and the teachings of Buddha.

China's 1 Child per Family Policy

1 Child per Family

The 1 child per family policy was instituted in 1979 by the Chinese government to relieve the heavy stress on its urban centers. The policy only applies to Chinese families living in urban areas. In the early years of the policy, enforcement was very strict, but in recent years the Chinese government has been more lax and is considering repealing the law, or changing it to two children per household.

Issues with the Policy

Many people find the family planning aspect of the policy morally wrong, and the policy advocates forced abortions for any women who become pregnant with an illegal second child. Many critics of the policy also claim that the advertised 500 million person growth stopped by the policy is a far exaggerated number. Despite this, in a recent poll it was shown that 76% of Chinese citizens support the policy.

India Caste System

India Caste System

The Indian Caste system was a social hierarchy that was traditionally used in Hindu cultures for a very extensive period of time. Brahmin, or priests were the highest of this order, followed by Kshatriya the warriors. Vaishya were the middle class of the caste system working more menial tasks and the Sudra were servants. The untouchables were as the name implies, untouchable. They were the outcasts and rejects of society and could not touch anyone else. People of different Castes could not marry or associate with others much, especially when eating or drinking. In recent years the Indian government has rejected the caste system and thrown out the social hierarchy that it entails for a much more western styled society.