Britain China And HK Equation Since 99-Year Lease End

Britain China And HK Equation Since 99-Year Lease End

After looking at Britain’s announcement of citizenship for Hong Kong citizens amidst draconian Chinese ‘Security Law’ and Britain’s involvement in their history since opium wars, let’s take a look at what happened after the lease of HK ended and it became a part of China.

Crux of the Matter

Lease End
On 2 February 2021, the UK opened a ‘special visa scheme’ for hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens. The scheme provides a chance to HK citizens to shift to the UK and eventually get British citizenship.

Read the first part of the article:: Britain-China History Amidst Possible Hong Kong Exodus


‘Sino-British Declaration’

  • 1984: UK and China signed the ‘Sino-British Joint Declaration’ for Hong Kong.
  • As per the deal, HK became a part of China from 1 July 1997 onwards.
  • However, it’d retain its “social and economic systems” for at least 50 years.

‘1 country, 2 systems’

  • The arrangement of HK retaining its systems while being considered as Chinese territory was known as “1 country, 2 systems”.
  • Allowed HK to continue as a capitalist economy.
  • Granted free speech, press, etc not provided in mainland China.
  • Relations between HK and China have been strained from the start but conflict not full-blown.
  • China still effectively approved HK leaders.

2014 Onwards

  • Intensified conflict since 2014, when China passed a law regarding the Chief Executive’s election.
  • Earlier it had promised completely democratic election for HK by 2017.
  • The law effectively allowed only Chinese approved candidates to run for the elections.

Protests have been going on in HK since 2019 when China attempted to bring the Extradition law. The final straw came in June 2020 when it passed the ‘Security Law’ in HK. It legalizes extradition and ‘hyper-surveillance’ in HK while cutting down on most of the civil rights in HK.

Read more on the Hong Kong Security Law: What Is Hong Kong Security Law And It’s History?

Curiopedia
  • Admiral Charles Elliot was a British Royal Navy officer, diplomat, and colonial administrator. He became the first Administrator of Hong Kong in 1841 while serving as both Plenipotentiary and Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China. He was a key founder in the establishment of Hong Kong as a British colony.
  • Unequal treaty‘ is the name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed between the Qing dynasty and various Western powers, Russia, and the Empire of Japan during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The agreements, often reached after a military defeat, contained one-sided terms requiring China to cede land, pay reparations, open treaty ports, or grant extraterritorial privileges to foreign citizens.
  • The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and China on 29 August 1842. It was the first of what the Chinese later called the ‘unequal treaties’.

Britain-China History Amidst Possible Hong Kong Exodus

Britain-China History Amidst Possible Hong Kong Exodus

As Britain has announced citizenship for Hong Kong residents amidst a new draconian law brought by China, let’s take a look at why Britain is offering citizenship and why this can be understood by going back in the imperial ages.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Opening
On 2 February 2021, the UK opened a ‘special visa scheme’ for millions of Hong Kong citizens. The scheme provides a chance to HK citizens to shift to the UK and eventually get British citizenship.

Around 5 million people (out of total 7 million) are eligible to move to the UK (also counting dependents) as per BBC. The scheme has come months after China imposed ‘national security law’ in HK which cuts on HK’s pro-democracy demands.

Read Summachar’s coverage on the national security law: What Is Hong Kong Security Law And It’s History?

Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson had called the security law “serious” violation of the “Sino-British Joint Declaration” of 1984.

To understand why the UK specifically is providing citizenship to HK, we need to go back to the Opium wars.

First Opium War

  • The British illegally imported opium to China (from then-colony India) for massive profits.
  • 1839: Chinese crackdown on its import started after addiction caused economic and social chaos.
  • 1842: British attack occurred after crackdown – China lost and ceded Hong Kong to it.

Second Opium War

  • Another opium war broke even before the first war was able to resolve the opium issue.
  • British (with French aid) won again – took Kowloon Peninsula’s southern region (near Hong Kong).
  • In 1898, Britain signed a treaty with China to lease HK, Kowloon and other islands for 99 years.

HK was considered a part of ‘4 Asian Tigers’ along with Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan due to its rapidly growing economy in the 1970s.

Curiopedia
  • Admiral Charles Elliot was a British Royal Navy officer, diplomat, and colonial administrator. He became the first Administrator of Hong Kong in 1841 while serving as both Plenipotentiary and Chief Superintendent of British Trade in China. He was a key founder in the establishment of Hong Kong as a British colony.
  • Unequal treaty‘ is the name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed between the Qing dynasty and various Western powers, Russia, and the Empire of Japan during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The agreements, often reached after a military defeat, contained one-sided terms requiring China to cede land, pay reparations, open treaty ports, or grant extraterritorial privileges to foreign citizens.
  • The Treaty of Nanking (Nanjing) was a peace treaty which ended the First Opium War (1839–1842) between the United Kingdom and China on 29 August 1842. It was the first of what the Chinese later called the ‘unequal treaties’.

On 14th Dalai Lama And Chinese Interference

On 14th Dalai Lama And Chinese Interference

After looking at the selection process of the Dalai Lama, let us look at the current one’s life and Chinese interference in his life and Tibet.

Crux of the Matter

The Current One

  • On 6 July 1935, the 14th (current) Dalai Lama was born as Lhamo Dhondup.
  • On 22 February 1940, he was enthroned as the Dalai Lama at the age of 4 and a half and renamed Tenzin Gyatso.

Chinese Invasion

  • 1950: China invaded and annexed Tibet.
  • March 1959: Protests started against Chinese rule – thousands of protesters killed by Chinese troops.
  • April 1959: Dalai Lama escaped to India and established Tibetan Government-in-exile in Dharamshala.

Aftermath

  • 80,000+ Tibetans live in India in exile.
  • Refuge to Dalai Lama one of the reasons for the 1962 India-China war.
  • Dalai Lama has been advocated Tibetan autonomous rule within China instead of independence from it.
  • 1987: Proposed ‘5-point plan’ for establishing Tibet as a zone of peace amidst protests in Lhasa against large settlements of Han Chinese in Tibet.
  • 1989: Won Nobel Peace Prize.

Read about the winners of Nobel Prize 2020 here: Nobel Prize: What Is It & Who Are The 2020 Winners

Missing Panchen Lama

  • 1995: Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was identified as the Panchen Lama reincarnation (2nd most senior figure) by the Dalai Lama.
  • China arrested Nyima in the same year – forcibly appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as Panchen Lama afterwards.
  • Nyima was 6 years old when arrested – called by Human rights groups ‘the youngest political prisoner of the world
  • Nyima has been missing since then.

Dalai Lama-China Equation

  • Dalai Lama has had ‘on and offtalks with China in 1993, 2002, etc.
  • 2011: Chinese Government claimed that its approval is compulsory in appointing the next Dalai Lama.
  • China continues to call him “wolf in monk’s robes” and ‘separatist’.
  • Criticizes any leaders meeting him – most recently Obama in 2016.

Next Dalai Lama?
Several possibilities stated by the Dalai Lama like:

  • Dismantling of the Dalai Lama institution.
  • Appointment of reincarnation by him – would be the first such case.
  • Reincarnation outside Tibet if he himself dies outside.

Curiopedia
  • Time magazine named the Dalai Lama one of the “Children of Mahatma Gandhi” and Gandhi’s spiritual heir to nonviolence.
  • The Potala Palace is a dzong fortress in the city of Lhasa, in Tibet. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, has been a museum since then, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1994.
  • McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala, India. It is known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” because of its large population of Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.
  • The name “Dalai Lama” is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning “ocean” or “big” and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning “master, guru”. The Dalai Lama is also known in Tibetan as the Rgyal-ba (“Precious Conqueror”).

US Signs Law Against Chinese Interference In Tibet And Taiwan

US Signs Law Against Chinese Interference In Tibet And Taiwan

With outgoing US President Trump approving measures to bolster the position of Tibet against China, let us look at the measures approved as well as at Taiwan, which would be another beneficiary of the move.

Crux of the Matter

New Law By US – For Tibet And Taiwan
US President Donald Trump has passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act along with the Taiwan Assurance Act.

US-Taiwan Relations Strengthened
The Taiwan Assurance Act supports the inclusion of Taiwan in the UN, WHO, and other international bodies. Currently, Taiwan is not a part of such organizations as most of them recognize mainland China as the sole representative. It also calls for “regular sales and transfers of defense articles to Taiwan in order to enhance its self-defence capabilities”.

For more details on Taiwan and China read: History of Taiwan

Relief For Lhasa
The Law passed by Trump recognizes the “absolute right” of Tibetans to choose the next Dalai Lama, and levies sanctions on Chinese interference in the process. It also demands a US consulate in Lhasa (capital of Tibet).

Backdrop
The ‘Tibet Policy and Support Act’ of the US came amidst:

  • Reports of China increasing forced labour in Tibet.
  • The imminence of ‘reincarnation’ of the Dalai Lama.
  • Continued strain in US-China relationship.

Reactions

We urge the U.S. side to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs and refrain from signing into law these negative clauses and acts, lest it further harms our further cooperation and bilateral relations.

Wang Wenbin, Spokesperson, Foreign Ministry of China

This legislation sends a powerful message of hope and justice to the Tibetans inside Tibet and bolsters US support for the protection of Tibetan people’s religious freedom, human rights, environmental rights and exile Tibetan democracy like never before.

Lobsang Sangay, President, Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Curiopedia
  • Time magazine named the Dalai Lama one of the “Children of Mahatma Gandhi” and Gandhi’s spiritual heir to nonviolence.
  • The Potala Palace is a dzong fortress in the city of Lhasa, in Tibet. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, has been a museum since then, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1994.
  • McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala, India. It is known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” because of its large population of Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.
  • The name “Dalai Lama” is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning “ocean” or “big” and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning “master, guru”. The Dalai Lama is also known in Tibetan as the Rgyal-ba (“Precious Conqueror”).

China Set To Control The Weather Now Via Cloud Seeding

China Set To Control The Weather Now Via Cloud Seeding

Recent reports suggest China is expanding its weather modification project on a large scale so that it is able to cover half the country in artificial rain by 2025. Let’s understand the process of cloud seeding that China will use for its artificial weather project and the process’ global outreach.

Crux of the Matter

What Is Cloud Seeding?
It is a method to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, via dispersal of substances into the air that serves as cloud condensation or ice nuclei. This alters the microphysical processes within the cloud.

How Is It Carried Out?
Rain starts to form when water molecules in a cloud condense on dust particles,
forming small cloud droplets. These droplets grow as they collide with other droplets.
Cloud seeding speeds up this process via chemicals like AgI (Silver Iodide). Once the droplets become big enough, they begin to fall as rain.

Has It Been Used By China Before?
Yes. China has the largest cloud seeding system, with a workforce comprising of 35,000+ employees. They even used it in Beijing, before the 2008 Olympics, which forced anticipated rains to fall before the actual event started.

What Are Their Future Plans?
China’s State Council has said that the project will encompass 3.7 million sq miles, i.e it will cover 56% of the country’s surface area by 2025. The project claims to help alleviate disasters such as drought and hail on an international scale and facilitate emergency responses to forest or grassland fires.

They had earlier allocated $30 million to its cloud seeding project in June 2016. A year later, they spent an additional $168 million for equipment used in the project, including 4 aircraft and 897 rocket launchers.

What About India?

  • Cloud seeding operations were conducted during a severe drought in the years 1983, 1984–87, and 1993-94, by the Tamil Nadu government.
  • In 2003 and 2004, Karnataka initiated cloud seeding via Project Varuna.
  • Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are making future plans.

Curiopedia
  • A storm in 1859 that caused the loss of the British ship Royal Charter inspired Robert FitzRoy, a British navy officer, to develop charts to allow predictions to be made about the weather, which he called “forecasting the weather”, thus coining the term “weather forecast”.
  • The Weather Channel broadcasts weather forecasts and weather-related news and analysis, along with documentaries and entertainment programming related to weather. It was founded by television meteorologist John Coleman, who was a famous meteorologist and broadcaster.
  • Barometer readings are a famous way to predict the weather. The larger the change in pressure, the larger the change in weather can be expected. If the pressure drop is rapid, there is a greater chance of rain. Rapid pressure rises are associated with improving weather conditions, such as clearing skies.