Current Affairs October 30 , 2021

Why is conflict between Taiwan and23 china?

  • The U.S. wants to deepen its relationship with Taiwan, the self-ruled island that has become a major point of conflict in the strained U.S.-China relationship, and will work to counter Beijing’s “malign” influence
  • The U.S. support for Taiwan comes as tensions between China and the island are now at the highest in decades, with Beijing stepping up its military harassment by flying fighter jets toward Taiwan. China has not ruled out force to reunify with Taiwan, which split from the mainland during a civil war in 1949.
  • Washington has supported Taiwan with arms sales to boost the island’s ability to defend itself, and also routinely navigates the waters around the island in what it calls freedom of operation movements.

Why conflict between Taiwan and china?

  • The first known settlers in Taiwan were Austronesian tribal people, who are thought to have come from modern day southern China.
  • The island seems to have first appeared in Chinese records in AD239, when an emperor sent an expeditionary force to explore the area – something Beijing uses to back its territorial claim.
  • After a relatively brief spell as a Dutch colony (1624-1661), Taiwan was administered by China’s Qing dynasty from 1683 to 1895
  • From the 17th Century, significant numbers of migrants started arriving from China, often fleeing turmoil or hardship. Most were Hoklo Chinese from Fujian (Fukien) province or Hakka Chinese, largely from Guangdong. The descendants of these two migrations are now by far the largest demographic groups on the island.
  • In 1895, Japan won the First Sino-Japanese War, and the Qing government had to cede Taiwan to Japan. After World War Two, Japan surrendered and relinquished control of territory it had taken from China.
  • The Republic of China – one of the victors in the war began ruling Taiwan with the consent of its allies, the US and UK
  • But in the next few years a civil war broke out in China, and the then-leader Chiang Kai-shek’s troops were beaten back by Mao Zedong’s Communist armies
  • Chiang and the remnants of his Kuomintang (KMT) government fled to Taiwan in 1949. This group, referred to as Mainland Chinese and then making up 1.5m people, dominated Taiwan’s politics for many years
  • Having inherited an effective dictatorship, facing resistance from local people resentful of authoritarian rule and under pressure from a growing democracy movement, Chiang’s son, Chiang Ching-kuo, began allowing a process of democratisation.
  • President Lee Teng-hui, known as Taiwan’s “father of democracy”, led constitutional changes towards a more democratic political layout, which eventually led to the election of the island’s first non-KMT president, Chen Shui-bian, in 2000.
  • Relations between China and Taiwan started improving in the 1980s. China put forward a formula, known as “one country, two systems”, under which Taiwan would be given significant autonomy if it accepted Chinese reunification.
  • This system was established in Hong Kong to be used as something of a showcase to entice Taiwanese people back to the mainland.
  • Taiwan rejected the offer, but it did relax rules on visits to and investment in China. In 1991, it also proclaimed the war with the People’s Republic of China on the mainland to be over.
  • There were also limited talks between the two sides’ unofficial representatives, though Beijing’s insistence that Taiwan’s Republic of China (ROC) government is illegitimate meant government-to-government meetings couldn’t happen.


India and EU

  • India-EU friendship, particularly in areas such as trade, commerce, culture and the environment,”
  • “India has a key role to play in green transition.
  • India and EU discussed global health and fighting the pandemic,, the situation in Afghanistan and the Indo Pacific,”
  • cooperation on climate including on innovation & technology
  • India-EU cooperation in covering political and security relations, trade and investment

The annual Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference

  • Surat won the award for the city with the best public transport system, while Kochi was judged the city with most sustainable transport system by the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
  • The awards were given out by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri at the end of the day-long Urban Mobility India conference
  • The annual Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference and Expo
  • The annual Urban Mobility India (UMI) Conference and Expo is a flagship event held under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India.
  • The event is inaugurated by Hon’ble Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs.
  • The genesis of UMI is from the National Urban Transport Policy of the Government of India, 2006 (NUTP), which lays a very strong emphasis on building capabilities at the State and city level to address the problems associated with urban transport and undertake the task of developing sustainable urban transport systems.


  • The primary objective of the conference is to disseminate information to the cities, whose officials attend the conference, and to help them keep up-to-date with best urban transport practices.
  • The conference provides an opportunity for key decision makers and delegates to interact with other professionals, experts, academia, industry, civil society, technology, services providers and other stakeholders in Urban Transport both domestic and international so that the delegates can carry home ideas to develop their urban transport along a sustainable path.
  • It is also a forum to discuss key issues relevant to the sector and suggest measures to address them.

 Evergrande and china’s economy

  • China’s construction giant, the Evergrande Group, was in the news about a month ago as it ran out of money, had no options to get more loans or overdrafts, and had almost $310 billion worth of liabilities and several angry lenders, suppliers and homebuyers wanting clear answers that did not seem to come from anywhere.
  • It began in January 2021 when regulators in China changed lending regulations with an aim to “strengthen [the] anti-monopoly push and prevent disorderly expansion of capital” which brought in more curbs in lending to big private businesses.
  • While this was a delayed structural reform, it also marked the beginning of the end for Evergrande
  • since 2014, China’s housing sector has been labelled as a “bubble waiting to burst”
  • China’s spectacular rise thus far is based on two pillars of exports and infrastructure.
  • There is a realization now that this has led to what was called “unbalanced and inadequate growth”
  • Recently, exports have slowed down and are not as profitable as before.
  • The infrastructure sector, on the other hand, is at the centre of the guanxi (social network) induced corruption and cronyism, and is adding to the country’s debt problem.
  • China needs companies such as Evergrande to operate because the country has ambitious twin targets of expanding urbanization and increasing domestic consumption as was highlighted in the Dual Circulation strategy.
  • Today, China’s construction sector directly accounts for 7% and along with allied industries accounts for close to 17% of the country’s GDP.
  • So, the role of the construction sector is critical in terms of employment, wealth creation, contribution to tax, and in terms of the overall expansion of the urban middle class.
  • China consumes 50% of the global steel and cement production. So the Evergrande crisis does have global implications.


Pollutants in Firecrackers

  • Chemicals and metals are added to firecrackers for their light-producing qualities and emit pollutants when burst.
  • All crackers were found to have chemicals listed in Schedule I ‘List of Hazardous and Toxic Chemicals’ of the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
  • Twelve of the 28 firecrackers had barium, a metal banned by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2018 when SC had also directed National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to develop green crackers, which do not use barium.
  • Presence of lead, phosphorus and chromium in some crackers, which have been identified as dangerous metals by the World Health Organization.
  • “Significant proportion of chemical content was found present in all tested cracker results. These chemicals also form oxides, some of which are extremely toxic to human health including sulphur trioxide, vanadium pentoxide, potassium oxides and copper oxides,”