Taiwan President Rejects China’s “One Country, Two System” Formula

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen rejected the political formula given by China by saying, “we would not accept a ‘one country, two systems‘ political formula that has been suggested to unify the democratic island; it has already failed in Hong Kong.

Crux of the Matter
  • Taiwan considers itself as an independent country called the Republic of China whereas China claims Taiwan as its territory and is trying it got under its control by force if necessary.
  • In the on-going election campaign, President Tsai vowed to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, saying her government would build a mechanism to safeguard freedom and democracy.
  • After anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong, the fear of China has become a major topic in the election campaign.
  • Referring to the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong President Tsai considers ‘one country, two systems’ as the government’s abuse of power which is not feasible in Taiwan.
  • Taiwan parliament passed an anti-infiltration law on December 31 to combat threats from China.
  • The law aims to protect Taiwan’s democracy and cross-strait exchanges will not be affected amid worries that the legislation may damage business ties with China. 
  • Though President Tsai denies seeking independence and reiterated that she would not unilaterally change the status quo with China; it is suspected that her Democratic Progressive Party is pushing for the island’s formal independence.

Taiwan–China relationsare complex and controversial due to the dispute on the political status of Taiwan after the administration of Taiwan was transferred from Japan at the end of World War II in 1945 and the subsequent split of China into the above two in 1949 as a result of civil war, and hinges on two key questions: whether the two entities are two separate countries or two “regions” or parts of the same country that were split by civil war with rivalling governments, and whether the transfer of Taiwan to the Republic of China from Japan after being forced to give up Taiwan in the aftermath of World War II was legal. More Info

Hong Kong witnesses Heavy protests on Christmas Eve

Protesters in Hong Kong called for a series of protests over the Christmas period, and on Christmas Eve thousands came out on the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok one of the busiest shopping areas.

Crux of the Matter
  • Hong Kong riot police fired teargas at thousands of anti-government protesters to disperse them and clear the traffic.
  • Demonstrators inside the malls threw umbrellas and other objects at police.
  • The traffic was blocked outside the malls and luxury hotels like the Peninsula, in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district of Kowloon.
  • There was a heavy police presence into the night with hundreds of officers standing guard on the roads as thousands of Christmas shoppers and tourists, some wearing Santa hats, looked on.
  • About 100 protesters vandalised a Starbucks in Mira Place mall. Police also reported that a bank was also vandalised and set on fire.
  • Protests started in June against a draft bill that allowed extraditions from Hong Kong to mainland China.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 is a bicameral and bipartisan American legislation that reintroduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in light of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill proposal and the ensuing protests against it. The act “directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law.” Read More

General Pervez Musharraf Sentenced to Death in High Treason Case

A three-member special court in Islamabad on December 17 has convicted General Pervez Musharraf of violating the constitution by unlawfully declaring emergency rule while in power. The special court sentenced Musharraf to death in absentia for treason for imposing emergency rule in 2007.

Crux of the Matter
  • According to the High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973, the punishment for high treason is death or life imprisonment. 
  • The high treason case related to Musharraf’s suspension of the constitution is pending since 2013.
  • The special court ruled the death sentence by a two to one majority.
  • The decision to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule had sparked protests after which he resigned in 2008 to avoid the threat of impeachment. 
  • It is argued that he declared an emergency in a move to extend his tenure. 
  • General Musharraf shifted to Dubai in 2016 after a travel ban was lifted and after which he refused to appear before the court citing security and health concerns.
  • In 2014 he was accused of five charges, including three counts of subverting, suspending and changing the country’s constitution, firing Pakistan’s chief justice, and imposing emergency rule.

Syed Pervez Musharraf is a Pakistani politician and retired four-star general of the Pakistan Army, who was the 10th President of Pakistan from 2001 until tendering his resignation, to avoid impeachment, in 2008. Born in Delhi during the British rule Musharraf was raised in Karachi and Istanbul. He studied at the Royal College of Defence Studies. Musharraf was commissioned to the Pakistan Army in 1964. In the 1990s, Musharraf was promoted to major general and assigned an infantry division, and later commanded the Special Services Group. Musharraf rose to national prominence when he was promoted to four-star general by then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 1998, making Musharraf the head of the armed forces. After months of contentious relations between Sharif and Musharraf, Sharif unsuccessfully attempted to remove Musharraf as the army’s leader. In retaliation, the army staged a coup d’état in 1999, which allowed Musharraf to take over Pakistan as President in 2001. More Info

Newly Elected Finland PM Sanna Marin Becomes the Worlds Youngest PM

On 10th December 2019, Sanna Marin was elected as the Prime Minister of Finland who at age 34, is the world’s youngest sitting Prime Minister and Finland’s third female to become the Prime Minister. The coalition government is in power with 4 other parties whose leaders are also women under the age of 35.

Crux of the Matter
  • Social Democrat Party in coalition with four other parties have a comfortable majority of 117 seats in the 200 seat parliament.
  • Sanna Marin who is an elected MP from the electoral district of Pirkanmaa was chosen by her Social Democratic party on December 8.
  • Her all-women cabinet comprises of Katri Kulmuni, Maria Ohisalo, Li Andersson and Anna-Maja Henriksson who are the leaders of the coalition parties.
  • She replaced the outgoing prime minister Antti Rinne as he lost the confidence vote.
  • She belongs a modest background and has encountered a lot of stigmas when her mother was in a same-sex relationship. She now also has a 22-month-old daughter.
  • Sanna Marin after becoming the PM said, “I want to build a society in which every child can become anything and in which every human being can live and grow old with dignity.”

Sanna Mirella Marin is a Finnish politician who became the Prime Minister of Finland on 10 December 2019. She graduated from the Pirkkala High School in 2004 at the age of 19. She graduated from the University of Tampere with a Master of Administrative Sciences in 2017. She joined the Social Democratic Youth in 2006 and served as its first Vice President from 2010 to 2012. She was the Minister of Transport and Communications between 6 June 2019 and 10 December 2019. She is also the third female head of government of her country, after Anneli Jäätteenmäki and Mari Kiviniemi – both of whom were members of the Centre Party. More Info

Royal Couple of Sweden On a 5-Day Visit to India

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden arrived in New Delhi on a 5-Day visit to India where they were accorded ceremonial reception by the President Of India.

Crux of the Matter
  • PM Narendra Modi met King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia at Hyderabad House and had extensive discussions aiming to closer economic and cultural ties and boosting cooperation between the 2 nations.
  • The 2 leaders jointly inaugurated the India Sweden High-Level Dialogue on Innovation Policy.
  • A bilateral project to convert agriculture waste (paddy straw) to bio-coal was announced in partnership with Bioendev, Sweden.
  • They are also leading a high-level business delegation for engagements with the Indian business community.
  • The royal couple is scheduled to visit Mumbai and Uttarakhand during their visit.
  • External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar also reaffirmed India’s commitment to deepening and expanding India-Sweden cooperation across sectors of sustainable energy and artificial intelligence.
  • The ties between India and Sweden have been constantly growing in the last few years and the bilateral trade volume stands at USD 3.37 billion as of 2018.

Carl XVI Gustaf is the King of Sweden. He ascended the throne on the death of his grandfather, King Gustaf VI Adolf, on 15 September 1973. A short while after he became king in 1973, the new 1974 Instrument of Government took effect, formally stripping Carl XVI Gustaf of any role in the legislative process, and several other duties normally accorded to a head of state, such as the formal appointment of the prime minister, signing off legislation, and being commander-in-chief of the nation’s military. The new instrument explicitly limits the king to ceremonial functions and, among other things, to be regularly informed of affairs of state. Carl XVI Gustaf is the longest-reigning monarch in Swedish history, having surpassed King Magnus IV’s reign of 44 years and 222 days on 26 April 2018. More Info