Asia Essential Topics

By: Mackenzie, Ryone, and Carlisle

China's Economic Rise

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in China expanded 1.60 percent in the first quarter of 2013 over the previous quarter. Historically, from 2011 until 2013, China GDP Growth Rate averaged 2.01 Percent reaching an all time high of 2.50 Percent in June of 2011 and a record low of 1.50 Percent in March of 2012. China's economy is the second largest in the world after that of the United States. During the past 30 years China's economy has changed from a centrally planned system that was largely closed to international trade to a more market-oriented that has a rapidly growing private sector. A major component supporting China's rapid economic growth has been exports growth.
2013 Global Economic Forecast: Jan Hatzius, Goldman Sachs

Hinduism vs. Buddhism


  1. Not founded by one person.

  2. Believes in the Efficacy and Supremacy of the Vedas.

  3. Polytheistic

  4. Trinity of Gods

- Brahma

- Vishnu

- Shiva


  1. Founded by buddha

  2. Do not believe in the Vedas

  3. Does not believe in the existence of souls as well in God.

  4. Meditation

  5. Nirvana

  6. The middle way

The Kashmir Conflict

The Kashmir Conflict is a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the most northwestern part of South Asia. Both countries believe that they have rights to the land and neither plan on giving it up. The two countries have fought at least three wars from 1947-1999 over this region of land. The area was formerly a part of India, but now there is controversy as to whether or not the Kashmiri people wish to be with India or Pakistan, or even independent. Pakistan believes that the popular Kashmiri insurgency demonstrates that the Kashmiri people no longer wish to remain within India. Pakistan suggests that this means that Kashmir either wants to be with Pakistan or independent. Pakistan has noted the widespread use of extrajudicial killings in Indian-administered Kashmir carried out by Indian security forces while claiming they were caught up in encounters with militants. These encounters are commonplace in Indian-administered Kashmir. The encounters go largely uninvestigated by the authorities, and the perpetrators are spared criminal prosecution.

The Caste System

The Caste System is a sort of social class used mainly in ancient India. It was founded my Hindus.There are five levels of the caste system: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Shudra, and Harijans. Within each of these levels are the actual castes where people are born, marry, and die. This system is meant to prevent chaos among society and the people there accept and respect it. This system is mainly seen in India where it still plays a role. A person who is born into one caste rarely, if ever, mix with people of other castes. Brahmin are people such as priests, teachers, and judges. They usually lived in temples away from other people. Kshatriya was the warrior caste who made everyday decisions and ran the government. The Kshatriya had most of the power in everyday life, but their decisions could be overruled by the Brahmin. (This is almost similar to the US government in some ways.) Vaishya were skilled farmers and merchants. They occasionally had leadership positions in local villages. Shudras were often unskilled workers that worked on farms of people of higher castes. Foreigners, lawbreakers, people from isolated tribes, and people suffering from contagious diseases were called the untouchables or “outcastes”. Untouchables were hired to do work that members of the caste system would not do. These jobs included killing or disposing of dead cattle or working with their hides. They were also not able to enter places such as temples, schools, and other places where cast members commonly went. Many of the untouchables converted to other religions such as Islam, Christianity, or Buddhism. Members of castes were vegetarian and therefore not able to eat meat.

China's 1 Child Per Family Policy

China has one of the largest populations of any country. They have a population of $1.3 billion and they are trying to limit this number as much as possible. With their population continuing to grow rapidly, they have a large problem because their supply of resources is quickly diminishing.They have implemented a family planning guide called the "one child per family policy". The idea is that every family is limited to having no more than one child. However, the policy is being strongly resisted, especially in more rural areas. The government is willing to be more flexible for those areas, because they need the children to work on agricultural land and boys to be the heir to their land. For this reason, this policy is mainly enforced on urban families. There are also certain cases where exceptions are made. For example, twins, rural couples, ethnic minorities, and couples who are both only children themselves do not have to follow this rule. This idea was first enforced in 1978 and has prevented more than 250 million births since then. There are many issues with this policy. Many government officials don’t follow this policy regardless of fines and therefore are able to have more children. It also obviously violates many human rights laws and doesn’t seem quite fair. However, it is reported that the focus of China on population control helps provide a better health service for women and a reduction in the risks of death and injury associated with pregnancy.