Daily Current Affairs for 03rd August 2022

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India’s One-China Stand and Relations with Taiwan

GS Paper 2: India and its Neighbourhood- Relations.
Important For:
Mains exam: India-China Relations

Why in News

Recently, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has upset China as China considers Taiwan as its integral part. The visit to Taiwan is a dent on China’s One China policy.

China-Taiwan: History

• Historical sources suggest that the island first came under full Chinese control in the 17th Century when the Qing dynasty began administering it.
• Then, in 1895, they gave up the island to Japan after losing the first Sino Japanese war.
• China took the island again in 1945 after Japan lost World War II.
• But a civil war erupted in mainland China between nationalist government forces led by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong’s Communist Party.
• The communists won in 1949 and took control in Beijing.
• Chiang Kai-shek and what was left of the nationalist party – known as the Kuomintang – fled to Taiwan, where they ruled for the next several decades.
• China points to this history to say that Taiwan was originally a Chinese province.
• But the Taiwanese point to the same history to argue that they were never part of the modern Chinese state that was first formed after the revolution in 1911 – or the People’s Republic of China that was established under Mao in 1949.

‘One China’ policy

• The One-China policy recognises only the People’s Republic of China, which came into existence after the civil war. It does not recognise the existence of Taiwan (the Republic of China), where the nationalists retreated to and based the seat of the government after losing the mainland to the communists.
• However, China’s ‘One China’ principle is different from the United States’ ‘One China’ policy whereby China insists Taiwan is an inalienable part of one China to be reunified one day.

How did it come about?

• The policy can be traced back to 1949 and the end of the Chinese civil war.
• The defeated Nationalists, also known as the Kuomintang, retreated to Taiwan and made it their seat of government while the victorious Communists began ruling the mainland as the People’s Republic of China.
• Both sides said they represented all of China.
• Since then, China’s ruling Communist Party has threatened to use force if Taiwan ever formally declares independence, but it has also pursued a softer diplomatic track with the island in recent years.
• Taiwan’s government was set up by the Kuomintang, whose party logo is reflected in Taiwan’s flag
• Initially, many governments including the US recognised Taiwan as they shied away from Communist China.
• But the diplomatic winds shifted as China and the United States saw a mutual need to develop relations beginning in the 1970s, with the US and other countries cutting ties with Taipei in favour of Beijing.

Why does China want Taiwan under One China?

• Taiwan is the largest producer of electronic chips, which are supplied to almost all the industries, from phones to laptops, watches to game consoles, industrial equipment to automotive, and aircraft and fighter jets.
• TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is the largest foundry in the world and holds around 65 percent of the global production of chips.
• Any potential conflict with China would completely disrupt the entire supply chain of TSMC and labour availability, and could cause major shortage of electronic chips.
• Additionally, China controls five percent of the global production of chips, which could also be affected.
India’s stand on Taiwan
• India does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan yet, as it follows the One-China policy.
• However, during then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in December 2010, India did not mention support for the One-China policy in the joint communique.
• In 2014, when PM Modi came to power, he invited Taiwan’s Ambassador Chung-Kwang Tien, along with Lobsang Sangay, president of the Central Tibetan Administration to his swearing-in.
Diplomatic ties
• While following the One-China policy, India has an office in Taipei for diplomatic functions — India-Taipei Association (ITA) is headed by a senior diplomat.
• Taiwan has the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in New Delhi. Both were established in 1995.
• Their ties focus on commerce, culture and education.
• Now in their third decade, these have been deliberately kept low-profile, owing to China’s sensitivities.
• For example, parliamentary delegation visits and legislature-level dialogues have stopped since 2017, around the time the India-China border standoff happened in Doklam.
The new push
• Any significant development in India-Taiwan relations runs the risk of meeting with a likely stern reaction from Beijing.
• This explains India’s steady, albeit slow, outreach to Taiwan.
• Given that India-China relations are not likely to witness a return to normalcy in the near future, India should consider adopting a bold, comprehensive and long-term approach to engage Taiwan.

ISRO to launch maiden flight of SSLV

GS Paper 3: Awareness in The Fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology, Pharma Sector & Health Science
Important For:
Prelims exam: SSLV, EOS-02 mission
Why in News
The Indian Space Agency is all set to undertake the maiden flight of its newly developed and much-awaited new rocket, Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) on 7th August 2022, ahead of Independence Day. The rocket will carry Earth Observation Satellite (EOS-02) Mission to Space.
The Mission
• As stated by ISRO, the three-stage all-solid stage vehicle is the smallest in the space agency’s arsenal of launchers.
• It is fascinating to note that the rocket can be assembled and integrated in just 72 hours against other launch vehicles, which takes close to two months to reach the launch pad from the assembly building.
• In March this year, ISRO conducted the ground testing of the solid booster stage (SS1) that will be responsible for giving power to the launch vehicle.
• The agency has said that the successful testing has given it sufficient confidence to proceed with the first developmental flight of SSLV (SSLV-D1).

SSLV – India’s smallest launch vehicle

• The SSLV (Small Satellite Launch Vehicle) developed by ISRO will be responsible for putting satellites weighing less than 500 kg in low earth orbit, which are popular in the market for applications such as earth observation and providing internet connectivity in remote areas.
• In order to compete with the commercial satellite market, ISRO stated that an SSLV rocket can be manufactured within a week to meet the demands of the burgeoning space sector.
• The main purpose of SSLV is to attract the emerging small satellite market and provide launch-on-demand services to domestic and foreign players.
• Through SSLV, ISRO’s workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will be at ease and would be used extensively for bigger missions.
Comparison with PSLV
• Comparing SSLV with PSLV, one has to know that PSLV can take up to a 1,750kilogram payload into the Sun Synchronous Orbit at 600 km altitude, whereas the SSLV has been designed to launch a payload weighing 500 kg to a 500-kilometre planar orbit.
• Apart from this, the SSLV will also extend the option of multiple satellite mounting options for nano, micro, and small satellites.

Hellfire R9X missile
GS Paper 3: Awareness in The Fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology, Pharma Sector & Health Science
Important For:
Prelims exam: Hellfire R9X missile
Why in News
The US military used its ‘secret weapon’ — the Hellfire R9X missile – to kill Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

What is the Hellfire R9X missile?

• Hellfire is actually an acronym for Heliborne, Laser, Fire and Forget Missile and it was developed in the US initially to target tanks from the Apache AH-64 attack helicopters.
• Better known in military circles as the AGM-114 R9X, the Hellfire R9X is a US-origin missile known to cause minimum collateral damage while engaging individual targets.
• It is also known as the ‘Ninja Missile’.
Attacking pattern of the missile
• This weapon does not carry a warhead and instead deploys razor-sharp blades at the terminal stage of its attack trajectory.
o This helps it to break through even thick steel sheets and cut down the target using the kinetic energy of its propulsion without causing any damage to the persons in the general vicinity or to the structure of the building.
• The blades pop out of the missile and cut down the intended target without causing the massive damage to the surroundings which would be the case with a missile carrying an explosive warhead.
What is known about the other Hellfire missile variants?
• The Hellfire missile has other variants such as ‘Longbow’ and ‘Romeo’ apart from the ‘Ninja’.

Lok Sabha passes Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill

GS Paper 3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.
Important For:
Prelims exam: Wildlife (protection) Act: Provisions, Schedules and amendments, CITES
Mains exam: Role of Wildlife (protection) Act in conservation of species
Why in News
The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021 was passed by Lok Sabha. The bill, first introduced in Lok Sabha by the minister of environment, forest and climate change on December 17, 2021, amends the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

• WPA provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
• It provides for the protection of a listed species of animals, birds and plants, and also for the establishment of a network of ecologically-important protected areas in the country.
• It provides for various types of protected areas such as Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks etc.
• The act is also against Taxidermy, which is the preservation of a dead wild animal as a trophy, or in the form of rugs, preserved skins, antlers, horns, eggs, teeth, and nails.
• In the case of wild birds and reptiles, the act also forbids disturbing or damaging their eggs.
• The act was amended in the year 2006 and its purpose is to strengthen the conservation of tigers and other endangered species by combating crimes against them through the special Crime Control Bureau.

Different Schedules of the WLP Act, 1972

Schedule I: These species need rigorous protection and therefore, the harshest penalties for violation of the law are for species under this Schedule.
Schedule II: Animals under this list are accorded high protection. They cannot be hunted except under threat to human life.
Schedule III & IV: This list is for species that are not endangered. This includes protected species but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the first two schedules.
Schedule V: This schedule contains animals which can be hunted.
Schedule VI: This list contains plants that are forbidden from cultivation.

The Wildlife (protection) amendment Bill

• Implementing CITES:
o The bill aims to implement the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and expand the number of species protected by the convention.
 CITES is a convention that requires countries to regulate the trade of all listed specimens through permits and regulate the possession of live animal specimens so it does not threaten the survival of the species.
• Rationalizing the schedules:
o The previous Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 had six schedules.
o The amended bill reduces the total number of schedules to four by:
 Eliminating the schedule for vermin species (small animals that carry disease and destroy food)
 Reducing the number of schedules for specially protected animals to two.
o It also inserts a new schedule for specimens listed under CITES.
• Trading in Specimen species:
o The Bill provides for the central government to designate an authority which grants export or import licences for the trading in specimens.
o Anyone who trades in a scheduled specimen must inform the appropriate authority of the transaction’s specifics.
o The authority may use an identification mark for a specimen which, the bill, prohibits any person from removing or modifying.
o Additionally, people possessing live specimens of scheduled animals must obtain a registration certificate from the Management Authority.

Specimen(holotype): An individual plant or animal chosen by taxonomists to serve as the basis for naming and describing a new species or variety.

• Invasive Alien species:
o The Bill gives the government the authority to control or outlaw the import, trade, and possession of invasive alien species, or those that are not indigenous to India.
• Controlling & regulating wildlife sanctuaries:
o The bill also ensures greater control and regulation of wildlife sanctuaries
o It empowers the government to notify a conservation reserve, an area located next to sanctuaries or national parks to protect the flora and fauna.
• Voluntarily surrender any captive animals:
o The bill provides for any person to voluntarily surrender any captive animals or animal products for which no compensation will be awarded and the items will become the property of the state government.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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