Asia Essential Topics
By: Mia Harp and Kiley Wecker
-China's rise economically and growing influence around the world
-Hinduism vs. Buddhism
-The Kashmir Conflict (also Islam vs. Hinduism)
-The caste system
-China's 1 child per family policy
China's Rise Economically
Economic Rise and Growing Influence Around the World
Before the economic reforms and trade liberalization 34 years ago, China had policies that kept their economy very poor and centrally-controlled. Since opening up to foreign trade and investment and implementing free market reforms in 1979, China has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies, with real annual gross domestic product (GDP) averaging nearly 10% through 2012. In recent years, China has emerged as a major global economic and trade power. China is currently the world’s second-largest economy, largest merchandise exporter, second-largest merchandise importer, largest manufacturer, and largest holder of foreign exchange reserves.
China continues to affect every country around the world. With exporting, importing, manufacturing, and trade power, China could control many countries economy with their power. The largest trading partners of China are the EU, the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and many more. These countries depend on the products the China exports to them, allowing China to gain and grow their influence around the world.
Hinduism vs. Buddhism
Comparing and Contrasting
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy with a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices while Hinduism is the predominant religious tradition of the Indian culture. Buddhism was started by Gautama Buddha. The start of Hinduism is not created to one person. The place of origin of Buddhism is in Nepal, India, while the Hindu's place of origin is the Indian Subcontinent. One of the scriptures that Buddhists view as holy is the Tipitaka. The holy scriptures of Hinduism are the Vedas, Upanishad, Puranas and Gita. Also, Buddhists do not worship but they do pay obeisance to the Three Jewels, while Hindu's place of worship is a temple.
The Kashmir Conflict
History and What it's Like Today
The Kashmir conflict is an ongoing disagreement between India and Pakistan over the land of Kashmir. In 1947, when the British rule finally came to an end, the two countries stood where there used to be one. Pakistan divided from India in the hopes of being the nation for Muslims of India and the rest of the world. Kashmir was the land between the two nations that was still under British rule until they were given the choice between Pakistan and India. Eventually, in October of 1947, the ruling prince of Kashmir decided in India’s favor. This decision was viewed as fraudulent, unfair, and inhumane by the Pakistani government thus starting the Kashmir conflict. Ever since then, there has been three major wars between the two countries because of the disagreement (1948, 1965, and 1971).
As of today, the Kashmir conflict is still in full effect. India is continuously fighting hard to gain control of Kashmir, and shows no sign of backing down. The main root of the problem is the religious aspect of the conflict. The disagreement between Muslims and Hindus is why the conflict has burned for so long. Muslims believe that India should be in control of Kashmir so they can complete their nation of the Muslims. But, Hindus also believe they should have control like they always have.
The Caste System
Summary and Soical Class Sytem
The caste system originated about 2,000 years ago. At birth, depending on who your parents are, you are trained to be a certain job, of a certain wealth class. Egypt was a good example, with slaves at bottom, and pharoh at top. It's a hierarchy, and in caste, one is stuck at it’s job or wealth class forever and are trained to do it forever. The four primary castes are: Brahmin, the priests; Kshatriya, warriors and nobility; Vaisya, farmers, traders and artisans; and Shudra, tenant farmers and servants. Some people were born outside of (and below) the caste system. They were called "untouchables." While the Hindu scriptures do endorse the caste system, none of them endorse caste-based discrimination. Because of this, the Indian Constitution has outlawed caste-based discrimination, while keeping with the democratic principles that founded the nation. Nevertheless, the caste system, in various forms, continues to survive in modern India because of a combination of political factors and social beliefs and behavior.
China's 1 Child Per Family Policy
Summary and Issues of the Policy
China’s one child per family policy was established by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to limit communist China's population growth. Since China is so heavily populated, this was one of the only ways to consolidate the continuous growth. But, citizens living in rural areas and minorities living in China are not subjected to the law. However, the rule has been estimated to have reduced population growth in the country of 1.3 billion by as much as 300 million people over its first twenty years.
Today, a special provision allows millions of couples to have two children legally. The issues of the policy are starting to show, causing many to worry. One example of an issue is before the law was established, people were allowed to have as many children as they wanted. Now, those people are growing old, and ever since the law has been set in place and there is only one child, that one kid is going to have to grow up and take care of their many elders on their own, which could pose as a problem.