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Daily Current Affairs – 2020

Topic: For Prelims and Mains

China’s One Country Two Systems policy

Why in News?    The Protests in Hong Kong have brought a decades-old policy of the People’s Republic of China back into focus — One Country Two Systems.

The protesters say Beijing is trying to violate this policy by infringing on Hong Kong’s autonomy.

What’s this One Country Two Systems approach?

  • As per the policy, the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions, both former colonies, can have different economic and political systems from that of mainland China, while being part of the People’s Republic of China.
  • It was proposed by Deng Xiaoping with an aim to unify China and Taiwan.
  • On December 19, 1984, China and the U.K. signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration in Beijing, which set the terms for the autonomy and the legal, economic and governmental systems for Hong Kong post 1997.
  • Similarly, on March 26, 1987, China and Portugal signed the Joint Declaration on the Question of Macau in which China made similar promises for the region of Macau after it was handed over to Beijing.

The present status:

  • Hong Kong returned to Chinese control on July 1, 1997, and Macau’s sovereignty was transferred on December 20, 1999.
  • Both regions became Special Administrative Regions of China. The regions would have their own currencies, economic and legal systems, but defence and diplomacy would be decided by Beijing.
  • Their mini-Constitutions would remain valid for 50 years — till 2047 for Hong Kong and 2049 for Macau. It is unclear what will happen after this term.

What triggered the current crisis?

  • In recent years, there has been a growing outcry from Hong Kong’s pro-democracy civil society against China’s alleged attempts to erode the city’s autonomy. This has created tensions between the city’s youth and the local government, which is effectively chosen by Beijing.

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Topic: For Prelims

Star tortoise, otters get higher protection at CITES:

Why in News?  The Indian star tortoise was upgraded to CITES Appendix I (threatened with extinction). It got the highest level of international protection from commercial trade.

About :

  • The Indian star tortoise is an IUCN-listed ‘Vulnerable’ species.
  • It is being illegally trafficked despite restrictions on its trade.
  • To combat the stress (largely from trading), range states like Sri Lanka and India, submitted a proposal to CITES summit.
  • It is to move the star tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I, it was passed with a majority by nations participating in CITES.
  • Now it prohibits international trade of these species except when the purpose of the import is for scientific research.
  • They are native to India and found only in Sri Lanka, some parts of India and adjoining Pakistan.

Sharks’ gets special protection –

  1. 18 species of sharks and rays, threatened by the scale of international trade in their fins and meat, were included in Appendix II of the Convention.
  2. This will limits the trade to sustainable levels.

No more trade in ‘African elephants’ –

  1. Parties vote to restrict trade from Zimbabwe and Botswana.
  2. They can no longer be shipped to zoos and circuses worldwide
  3. This will save an untold number of baby elephants from being torn from their mothers, beaten during capture and conscripted into a lifetime of captivity.
  4. Zimbabwe made $2.7 million by selling 97 live elephants to China and the United Arab Emirates between 2012 and 2018.
  • ‘Giraffes’ accorded protection from trade for the first time –
  1. The giraffe has been placed in Appendix II of CITES.
  2. This places prohibitions on uncontrolled trade.
  3. They have been listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN list.
  4. 40% decline of African giraffe has been recorded over the last 30 years.
About the CITES :

·        CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments.

·        Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. the ideas for CITES were first formed, in the 1960s.

 

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Facts for Prelims:

  • Qingdao port
  • The Port of Qingdao is a seaport on the Yellow Sea in the vicinity of Qingdao, Shandong Province, People’s Republic of China.
  • It is one of the ten busiest ports in the world (7th in 2010 considering total cargo volume according to the Institute of Shipping Economics & Logistics).

 

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