China, Religion, and Conflict

by Tobi Owoeye-Wise

China's Rise to Greater Economic Power

In 2040 it is estimated China's economic status will reach $123 million, and its per capita income will reach $85,000. China had been struggling under communist rule by its late leader, Chairman Mao, but now has the world's fastest growing economy. Many of the world's luxuries we enjoy today, things such as paper, gunpowder, credit banking, the compass, and paper money, all originated in China. China is also one of the world's top exporters, a member of the World Trade Organization, and one of the biggest consumers of oil, next to the US (also the biggest producer and consumer of coal).

Hinduism Versus Buddhism

Hinduism- understanding Brahma or existence from within their own Atman, roughly soul.
- about finding the Anatman or not soul
Hinduism- Their place of worship is a Temple (Mandir)
Buddhism- Their place of worship are Pagodas, Monasteries, etc, they don't necessarily worship but they do practice deferential respect to the three Jewels (the 3 jewels are Dharma, Sangha, and Buddha).
Hinduism- They do not have a particular founder.
Buddhism- Their founder is Gautama Buddha (born as Prince Siddhartha).
Hinduism- Their principle is to follow Dharma.
Buddhism- Their principe is that "This life is suffering, and the only way to escape from this suffering is to dispel one's cravings and ignorance by practicing the Eightfold Path," (the eightfold path is the path to nirvana , acheived by practicing 1. Right Understanding 2. Right Thought 3. Right Speech 4. Right Action 5. Right Livelihood 6. Right Effort 7. Right Mindfulness 8. Right Concentration).

But both stress on the supposedly fake nature of the world, the role of karma keeping men bound to this world, and the cycles between births and deaths. Both believe in certain spiritual practices, that include meditation, concentration, cultivation and certain states of mind. Lastly, both originated and grew from India.

The Kashmir Conflict

Kashmir Conflict- a territorial dispute between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region, the northwestern most region of South Asia.

This dispute dates from 1947. The formation of the Indian sub-continent and Pakistan was from religious lines (Hinduism versus Islam), and with the location of Kashmir, it could choose either to be Indian or part of Pakistan. But the prince of that time, Hari Singh, chose to be independent. That didn't settle for the muslim nation next to them so they invaded and Singh was forced to appeal to the Indian government for protection, and so Kashmir ceded to become a state of India. Thus started the first Kashmir war from 1947-48. But soon India involved the UN and forced both to cease peacefully. Fighting broke out again in 1965, but a ceasefire was established that September. This created the Tashkent agreement in 1966.Then a third war in 1971 broke out and this created the independent nation of Bagladesh.

The Caste System

Caste members lived, ate, married, and worked with their own group. A person born into one caste rarely changed castes or mixed with members of other castes. At the top of the caste system were the Brahmin and the Kshatriya they were the priests, teachers, and judges who understood dharma. Dharma were the spiritual laws that the people of ancient India believed governed the universe. They were very highly regarded. The Kshatriya were the warrior caste who made everyday decisions and ran the government. The Vaishya were skilled farmers and merchants, they did things like lead local villages. The unskilled workers were of the Sudras caste (members of this caste worked in farms for higher caste members). Foreigners, lawbreakers, people from isolated tribes, and people suffering from contagious diseases were called the untouchables or “outcastes.” They were considered unsuited for other caste members.

China's 1 Child Per Family Policy

The one-child policy restricts urban couples to only one child, while allowing additional children in several cases, including twins, rural couples, ethnic minorities, and couples who are both only children. The policy has prevented more than 250 million births between 1980 and 2000, and 400 million births from about 1979 to 2011. The policy is enforced at the provincial level through fines that are imposed based on the income of the family and other factors. Population and Family Planning Commissions exist at every level of government to raise awareness about the issue and carry out registration and inspection work. Despite this policy, there are still many citizens that continue to have more than one child.