Discussion Questions Evaluation Essay

Subject: Political
Type: Evaluation Essay
Pages: 10
Word count: 2646
Topics: Foreign Policy, Agriculture

Korea is an example of a nation that was divided by political ideology. North and South Korea each have advantages and disadvantages in terms of their geography (location, climate, size, shape, landforms, etc.) and various socioeconomic factors (economic health, population growth, income sources, etc.). Discuss these issues as they relate to the two Koreas. There must be an in-text citation in each answer.

North Korea’s is relatively small in size in comparison to neighbors.  The land forms like plateaus (Kaema and the Hamgyong mountains) present the geographical barrier advantage (Lee, 2014). The land forms of the Taebeck Mountains running along the East Coast prevent prospects of any potential invasion from the sea.  Climate favors the country with cool continental climate, with annual rainfall of around 40 inches but limited rain to the inland while inlands are equally cultivatable. Economist aspects favor the country especially the fast response to disasters and emergence, government regulation on production and price control. However, the country has the effective tax system, government dictates economy, foreign investment is discouraged, low G.D. P (3.3%), large military spending among others (Lee, 2015). The country has a small population of around 24 Million. 

South Korea is relatively large, consisting mainly of mountains and valleys; the geography prevents potential external attacks (Lee, 2015). The climate is not influenced by the continental factors unlike in North Korea. However, the country is subject to the Asian peninsula climate, experiencing very cold and relatively dry but hot humid winter. For South Korea, the flagging economy is compromising its growth in social services like health and infrastructure. The country’s economy is currently at cross-roads, but has the advantage of being open to the global commerce.  The lack of decisive policy reforms for improving the overall efficiency as well as flexibility in economic growth is a disadvantage (Lee, 2015). Hence, South Korea experiences challenges with political instability that has compromised growth in all fronts.

It appears that China is on course to become a true global superpower. It has numerous advantages, but also, some adverse circumstances as well.

Discuss the GEOGRAPHIC advantages and disadvantages that China has as it moves into the 21st century.

What OTHER FACTORS are likely to make it possible for China to become a world leader?

Achieving that status will come at a price, however. WHAT CHANGES must be made within China in order to reach superpower status? There must be an in-text citation in each answer.

Moving into 21st Century, China is currently enjoying the geographical advantage of being at the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean, and as such, covering a majority of the country (Liu, Song & Liu, 2016). However, the country has moved into the century of economic expansion without having varying natural boundaries including mountains and this has cut off the country from other strategically located like North and South Korea.  However, the main rivers in China are useful for providing transportation to the inland but also present the disadvantage of frequent floods thus loss to property. The country is bordered by the Himalaya Mountains to the Southwest that has prevented invasion but also a disadvantage due to isolation. The geography provides China with natural resources, and as such, business opportunities. However, location to the Pacific Ocean shoreline poses the potential dangers from natural disasters.   

Other factors possibly likely to led to China becoming a superpower is that the country strategically sits in the middle of the major trade routes within the Asian regions (Liu et al., 2016). The country will continue to gain from the natural economy and as such, leading to economic growth. China also attracts a high level of foreign direct investment with policies focused on influencing and attracting foreign investment. 

To become a superpower, China has to focus on securing its borders and ensure policy changes on pushing the US out of the region (Liu et al., 2016). Overcoming the geographical disadvantages is necessary, especially focusing on developing the mainland and distributed development to Mainland China. Population control is necessary since with burst in population, the natural resources will not be sustained. 

Like many nations, China is concerned about the rise of Islam within its borders. Here’s an article on steps being taken to control Islam’s growth. What are your thoughts? There must be an in-text citation in each answer. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/world/asia/19xinjiang.html

For China’s case, the issue of controlling religious activity is about the stability of Xinjiang. In this case, the measures should be evaluated based on the overall benefits it brings to China (Fei & Yu, 2014). If, for instance, the government has hard evidence confirming that the presence of the Islamic factions is a threat to the peace and stability of the country (which is important for economic growth), then the restrictions and measures are justifiable. However, the government should have a long-lasting plan for controlling the spread of Islam. For instance, banning of involvement in major religious activities like Ramadan is equally getting the Muslims sympathizers and this could mean more harm to the country. Instead, there are certain elements that should be controlled, and not length of prayers. However, to approach is seemingly going to work in the favor of the Chinese in controlling the spread of Islam owing to the fact that for a better part of the rules, all are focused on promoting teachings based on the official versions of Koran (Fei & Yu, 2014). The restrictions on Imams on teaching the Koran in private is useful while the control of the Arabic language is equally imperative in ensuring that elements of the religion are not promoted. 

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Taiwan has been trying to become truly independent, but not getting much global support, and China has threatened war if any serious attempts are made to break away. Why is this tiny island so important to China, and why don’t other nations support its bid for independence? There must be an in-text citation in each answer.

Taiwan is a major strategic point for Mainland China for regaining its historical status, because Taiwan is absolutely the largest natural entrance that China has to the Pacific Ocean. On the other hand, China considers that Taiwan is a family because 90% of the Taiwanese are Chinese by origin (Hickey, 2014). However, a major reason as to why China is hanging on to Taiwan is because the country is providing a strategic advantage in terms of defense to China. From the historical perspective, Taiwan is also a symbol to the Chinese when the Nationalist and the Communist governments formed a unified China. The move towards considering or regarding Taiwan as a part of the unified China also explain the reason as to why a larger part of the International body has not recognized its quest for breaking away from China (Hickey, 2014). To a greater extent, the country is also important to China because it presents a strategic symbol of culture, and losing the territory would mean China loosing part of her culture. 

Japan has a lot of variety, from the most populous city in the world (Tokyo) to uninhabited islands; from active volcanoes with Siberian-like winters in the north to subtropical islands in the south. Watch a Discovery Atlas HD video about Japan, then tell us what you learned [Note: if any of these links no longer work, move on to the next and/or find an equivalent video]:

The Snow Monkeys highlights the vast wilderness in Northern Japan. The Snow Monkeys represent the variety of wilderness and life forms that characterize Japan and as such portrays the variability of physical features in the country (Enari, 2014).  As such, the Snow Monkeys shows how Japan is one of the countries experiencing highest snow falls and this adds to the vastness in the country’s geographical formation. The Snow Monkeys video shows the variety of wildlife in Japan and how the country’s Northern cold climate is inhabited by unique wildlife. In this case, it can be seen that the Northern-winter like climate, from the Siberian-like winters, constitutes the unique geography (climate) of Japan (Enari, 2014).  Of particular interest is the Snow Monkeys, a rare primate species, apart from humans, that have survived the extreme cold climates. The particular species are also unique in that they wash their food before eating. As such, the Snow Monkeys represents how Japan is reaping the benefits of biodiversity as the animals attract a vast majority of tourists on a yearly basis. 

Tibet has been fighting for its independence for years. In 2008, protests attempted to call attention to Tibet’s situation in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. View the video (and there are related ones at the site) and comment on Tibet’s situation and how it might be resolved. Why is China so intent on keeping this tiny nations under its control? There must be an in-text citation in each answer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDpR4RQTyW8

The video shows how China is keen to keep Tibet, because the captions do not show the presence of the government. From the review, it is believed that may be a government official may have been taking the footage and as such, showing the intention of China keeping or containing information flow out of Tibet (Goud & Mookherjee, 2015). The videos are also exclusive and did not appear in the national television, a clear sign of the government keeping quiet on the Tibetan situation. The events, despite evidence of outrage, destruction of property, were marred by the Chinese government blocking out the international media houses, further indication of the situation on ground. For China, the Tibetan situation can be kept under control by having an open and clear plan for negotiation. The protest are clear indication of discontent  and as such, the government should be committed to ensuring that plans are put in place to foster negotiations and common understanding. 

China holding on to Tibet is a matter of nationalism because the countries were historically merged as part of an empire and as such, considered as China’s subordinate principality (Goud & Mookherjee, 2015). Therefore, Tibet, just like Taiwan, is a symbol of nationalism for China. Economic reasons also explain China’s attachment to Tibet, especially the country being a buffer zone between India, Bangladesh, Nepal and China. Himalaya Mountain provides the added advantage, while Tibet is equally a crucial water resource for China and as such, China has spent a lot of money in Tibet as part of its economic expansion plan.

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We have discussed crowds in much of Asia. There must be an in-text citation in each answer.

The Japanese car shows a problem with overcrowding and overpopulation. To say the least, people being bundled together in a train means that there are limited resources meant for transport. Although the picture in the video shows people purportedly to be having some fun, there is no fun given that the people are almost in danger of suffocating. In my case, it would be impossible to take my family to overcrowded place given the dangers to safety of children. For instance, I would worry about a family member being trampled underneath, contracting a bad disease or even sustaining physical injury (O’Hara, 2016). In short, I would never take my family to an overcrowded place. The US water pools are well organized, with the population of people entering into the parks controlled and the people allowed is determined by the carrying capacity of the park. In comparison, the US water parks are well-organized. 

With 128 million people, limited agricultural land, limited natural resources, and few raw materials for industry, it would not be surprising if Japan were an underdeveloped country. But Japan beat the odds. What factors helped Japan become a world power? There must be an in-text citation in each answer.

One of the major reasons for Japan becoming a superpower is that the US opened its foreign policy focused on Japan. In this sense, Japan’s export potential was boosted (Kovner, 2016). On the other hand, the asymmetrical relationship with the USA proved useful in making Japan a superpower as the country would benefit from the international market characterized by low tariffs, low oil prices as well as easily accessibility to raw materials for industrial growth and development.  The prominence and prevalence of welfare society is also responsible for the rise of Japan as one of the major economic and superpowers. Japan is characterized by welfare society and there is total employment whereby the economy is defined by cartels in both small and medium sized companies (Kawazoe & Abetti, 2014). The situation provides the buffer against bankruptcy and this maintained the economy, and provided total employment. The welfare society implies that most of the money in Japan was spent on industrial development, more so from bank loans. Other contributory factors to Japan’s development include social mobilization; the Japanese always sacrifice for the nation within the international economy (Kawazoe & Abetti, 2014). Also important is that Japan has a long history of strong labor unions.

Describe in your own words what the term overpopulation is and describe something that illustrates that term within east Asia or how it relates to east asia (india, etc).. There must be an in-text citation in each answer.

The term overpopulation is defined with regard to the carrying capacity of a particular ecological system. From this perspective, overpopulation is a term denoting a case scenario whereby the human population has risen to above the carrying capacity (Toth & Szigeti, 2016). Therefore, in a state or a country, overpopulation implies the number of people rising above the carrying capacity and limited their survival on the limited water, social amenities, food, water, shelter, and transport resources. As a result, overpopulation leads to deterioration of the environment and place of living such that the quality of life is compromised and as such, there is apparent disintegration of people (Clark, 2016). On the other hand, high population density is a defining factor or an indicator of overpopulation. Some of the symptoms of overpopulation are the social and economic disparity, especially with people living deteriorated quality of life. India is a perfect example with overpopulation leading or plunging the individuals into scrambling for limited resources whereby the country is faced with sanitation, housing and employment problems. 

Reflect on our study of East Asia. Is the area what you had expected? Why or why not? What new information stands out most? Why? There must be an in-text citation in each answer. 

The study on East Asia reflects much what I had expected out of the lesson. For one, I had expected to learn about the strategic advantage of China and how this helps it become a strong force in the global economy. The lesson has also focused on providing some of the insightful elements about the geography of East Asia as I expected the region is defined by some of the unique physical features (Liu et al., 2016). Also aspect of the lesson was the social and economic challenges especially in India and as such, the concept of overpopulation. Another information I expected was about Japan whose rise to become a global power has been attributed to different factors that I believed the country’s relations with the USA is a major contributory factor.

However, major or new information is on why and how the Chinese government has refused to let go Tibet and Taiwan. Although the country has held on these regions, economic and nationalist ideologies are always cited in the recognition of the fact that the countries play important roles in strengthening China’s position in East Asia (Liu et al., 2016). However, contrary is the case because evidence shows that China has a long history with these states and as such, tries to maintain the countries because they were originally part of the same emperor, a new information that I never had before taking this course. 

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  1. Clark, T. (2016). ‘But the real problem is….’: The Chameleonic Insidiousness of ‘Overpopulation’in the Environmental Humanities. Oxford Literary Review, 38(1), 7-26. 
  2. Enari, H. (2014). Snow tolerance of Japanese macaques inhabiting high-latitude mountainous forests of Japan. In High Altitude Primates (pp. 133-151). Springer New York.
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  7. Kovner, S. (2016). The Soundproofed Superpower: American Bases and Japanese Communities, 1945–1972. The Journal of Asian Studies, 75(01), 87-109. 
  8. Lee, S. O. (2014). The production of territory in North Korea:‘Security first, economy next’. Geopolitics, 19(1), 206-226. 
  9. Lee, S. O. (2015). A Geo-Economic Object or an Object of Geo-Political Absorption? Competing Visions of North Korea in South Korean Politics. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 45(4), 693-714. 
  10. Liu, W., Song, Z., & Liu, Z. (2016). Progress of economic geography in China’s mainland since 2000. Journal of Geographical Sciences, 26(8), 1019-1040.
  11. O’Hara, G. (2016). ‘Maximum Supervision’: Risk, Danger and Public Water in Post-War Britain. In Governing Risks in Modern Britain (pp. 221-246). Palgrave Macmillan UK. 
  12. Toth, G., & Szigeti, C. (2016). The historical ecological footprint: From over-population to over-consumption. Ecological Indicators, 60, 283-291. 
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