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Rescooped by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks from Geography Education

The Two Koreas


"While the Korean War of the early 1950s never formally ended, its aftermath has created starkly divergent worlds for those living on either side of the north-south divide. What follows is a look at life in the two Koreas; how such a night-and-day difference came to be; and where the crisis could go from here. Both governments claimed to be the legitimate rulers of the peninsula. Tensions between north and south gradually mounted, until finally, in June 1950, hundreds of thousands of North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel. The unsuspecting South Korean defenders were outgunned and outnumbered, and beat a hasty retreat southward."

Via Seth Dixon
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 12, 1:07 PM
It’s hard to see that two groups of people who speak the same language and have the same ethnic backgrounds can live such strikingly different existences.  It seems that the only thing they still have in common is their language and ethnicities.  When I was scrolling through this story, there were a few pieces that really stood out to me.  The first was that the Korean War technically hasn’t been formally concluded, which means that attacks on each other aren’t actually that out of the realm of possibilities.  The next thing was that North Korea’s birth rate is higher than South Korea’s, yet the population of South Korea is two times larger.  This reflects that the life expectancy of South Koreans is significantly longer and that their resources are used more efficiently.  Other statistics that stood out related to GDP.  Up until 1980 both North and South Korea’s GDPs were growing at basically the same rate.  But from that point forward, South Korea’s grew dramatically and North Korea’s actually decreased.  This leads up to today where the GDP of South Korea is $1.934 trillion and North Korea’s is only $40 billion.  Seeing as they are basically working with the same resources, since they share a similar geographic location, in most situations their GDPs would be even a tiny bit similar.  However, the way the economies of both countries are operated have created such a difference in their GDPs.  The infrastructure of the two countries are also wildly different.  The map of the two countries at night show that South Korea uses a lot of electricity, so practically the entire country is lit up.  North Korea is so dark that if I didn’t know that people lived there, I would assume it was uninhabited by any humans.  The statistic regarding the percentages of roads paved vs unpaved in the two countries also shows the stark contrast between their infrastructure.  Only 3% of roads in North Korea are paved!  Whereas 92% of South Korea’s roads are paved.  The most unfortunate part of this whole situation is that there are millions of people who live in North Korea and must suffer with little hope of escaping while their South Korean neighbors generally enjoy a modernized life.  This story map shows that sharing a location does not really mean that two groups of people will live similar lives.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 12:34 PM
This expertly created set of data points and maps clearly lay out the stark differences between North and South Korea. Also, it shows how both countries have resources the other needs and how cooperation or reunification can benefit everyone. However, this article shows how the dramatic differences between these two countries politically, economically, and socially make that highly unlikely. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 26, 7:53 PM
(East Asia) This article explains the relationship between the Korean War and modern tensions. After WWII, the USSR occupied territory to the north of the 38th parallel and the US occupied the south. The governments of each half both claimed to be the true government of the whole peninsula until North Korea invaded the South, starting the Korean War. Communist China's entry forced UN and US troops into a stalemate at the parallel, eventually leading to an armistice establishing the DMZ, the most defended border in the world. In subsequent decades, North Koreans have dug tunnels under the DMZ to start a new invasion.

With Soviet help, Kim Il-sung created a military communist dictatorship in the north while the UN created a democracy in South Korea.

Despite common cultural heritage, there is a stark contrast between the two countries. The north has half the population, a higher birth rate, and a life expectancy 12 years lower, displaying the country's mismanagement. While the South has free press, free travel, and is the strongest economy in Asia, North Korea subjugates through punishment and is almost completely isolated. North Koreans have little access to food, electricity, and roads.

North Korea has developed a more aggressive policy in the last decade. Many successful missile tests have been made, including one fired over Japan into the Pacific Ocean last year. Even China, North Korea's one ally, has imposed sanctions on the country. Some think a peaceful solution is still available, while others watch the USA-NK Twitter war in anticipation.
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Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Born in Japan, Gursewak Singh considers himself Japanese. The government doesn't. But it offers children like him a chance to stay - if their parents leave.


Gursewak’s parents, who are Sikhs, fled to Japan from India in the 1990s. For several years, they lived without visas under the radar of the authorities until they were put on a status known as “provisional release” in 2001. It means they can stay in Japan as long as their asylum application is under review.  While there were almost 14,000 asylum cases under review at the end of 2015, Japan accepted only 27 refugees last year. The year before that, the number was 11.

The low acceptance rate stands in stark contrast to Europe, which has seen hundreds of thousands of refugees arrive from countries such as Iraq, Syria and Eritrea. In the first half of the year, European countries ruled on 495,000 asylum applications, approving more than 293,000.


Tags: culture, Sikh, declining population, population, migration, refugees, Japan, East Asia,             .

Via Seth Dixon
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Rescooped by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks from Geography Education

Getting Japanese Citizenship

Getting Japanese Citizenship | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"To become a Japanese citizen, a foreigner must display 'good conduct', among other things. The rules do not specify what that means, and make no mention of living wafu (Japanese-style). But for one candidate, at least, it involved officials looking in his fridge and inspecting his children’s toys to see if he was Japanese enough (he was). Bureaucratic discretion is the main reason why it is hard to get Japanese nationality. The ministry of justice, which handles the process, says officials may visit applicants’ homes and talk to their neighbors."

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 13, 2016 3:04 PM

Japan has a remarkably homogeneous population, in large part because they have very tight immigration laws (here is a more extended list of the requirements to obtain a Japanese citizenship).


Questions to Ponder: How is the notion of Japanese citizenship different from American citizenship?  As Japan's population continues to decline, how might that change Japan's migration/citizenship policies?   


Tags: JapanEast Asia, place, perspective, cultural norms, culture.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 8:51 AM
Interesting to see how the Japanese handle citizenship differently than most of world and America. Japan is mostly a homogeneous culture and from seeing there citizenship laws one can tell why. A foreigner must live there for 10 years  and display "good conduct" which no one really knows what it is and also prove to be Japanese enough in culture. It will be interesting to see how this continues today in a world that keeps becoming more and more global. All over the news we see constant backlash about countries that do not want to accept more immigrants or give certain rights to citizens, however you never really hear of the Japanese. The Japanese have many cultures that they can keep alive with mostly a homogeneous population and most likely helps cause less violence and less arguments among its politics. Imagine if here in America they searched your house to see if you were American enough? I think that might be headline news by the night. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 10:35 PM
If you want to move and live in Japan and attain a citizenship be ready to give up your current citizenship and go on one heck of a rollercoaster.  Japan is one of the toughest places to get a citizenship.  For one you have to live there for at least 10 years.  Then the government can and will come to your home to inspect it from the types of pens you have there to the kid of pictures you hang on your wall.  The main thing is the Japanese government wants you to really adapt to their culture.  Very few are naturalized, out of 12446 that applied only 9400 were accepted.  But the good news is, is it is free compared to 550 in the US and 1200 in the U.k.
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Disputed Isles


Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.


This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   


Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 

Via Seth Dixon, English Gallery
Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 2014 2:40 PM

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:05 PM

considering that half of the nations involved are island nations, this is hardly surprising. every nation has issues with their neighbors. even the us and Canada dispute some territory. but these disputes can hardly end as well, when half of these nations have fought wars with each other for most of their histories.

Rescooped by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks from Geography Education

Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation

Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"A Chinese military newspaper gives graphic details of a raid in Xinjiang province against suspected militants." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y ;

Via Seth Dixon
Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 12:11 PM

As a student who someday wants to teach social studies at the high school level, this article brought to light one of the hardest concepts to teach. There are always two sides to every story. While the victors get to write history, the victims are often silenced over time. One man's violent rebellion is another man's treasonous operations. Honestly, the Chinese have done an excellent job of keeping this out of the western media. The only real struggle we ever hear about in China that of Tibet and Taiwan.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:37 PM

This is really disturbing to know that China is attacking their ethnic minority who is just protesting for what they believing in. To make things worst, the Chinese government controls the media and they basically can say whatever they want. For example, referring to these ethnic minority as foreign terrorist. That changes the perspective on how people view and perceive the situation happening in Xinjiang.

tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 5:13 PM
The Chinese government is on an all out mission to eradicate terrorizism from the Uighur and anyone else for that matter.  Thou news reports are controlled by China its tough to get accurate reports.  But their use of force shows they are not playing.  Uighurs are suspected Turkish militant Muslims that have been forced out over the years.  China has said they have been terrorizing and attacking the people of Xinjiang. 
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China to end one-child policy

China to end one-child policy | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"All couples will now be allowed to have two children, the state-run news agency said, citing a statement from the Communist Party. The controversial policy was introduced nationally in 1979, to reduce the country's birth rate and slow the population growth rate. However, concerns at China's aging population led to pressure for change."

Via Seth Dixon
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 24, 2015 6:58 AM

Chinas change in policy can be directly attributed to the need of unskilled labor. China has become an economic superpower, by exploiting its vast resources of labor. For decades, China has had a vast reservoir of cheap labor to rely on. In recent years, that vast reservoir has begun to run dry. This new phenomenon can be traced to the governments one child policy.  The lack of multiple new births has lead to an older population. An older population can provide the type of manual labor, that China needs to compete in the global market. The government  hopes to revesre the aging trend by ending this policy. If successful, China would likely see another era of great growth within its economy.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:37 PM

Lets not forget the expansion of china also with its economic strength and its military strength which is a threat to other countries in the area because china can take control and with Chinese moving into Africa and United states as residents china is going to need to populate its own country.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:55 PM

First implemented in 1979 and diminished in 2013 It is good to hear something like this has finally come to an end. Although it deemed successful by stopping the birth of an estimated 400 million babies, there were some places that allowed two children in rural areas if the first was a girl. It is assumed though that even though this is no longer a required policy, many couples may only have one child since it is accepted as a social norm. 

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The Dramatic Landscape of China's Gansu Province

The Dramatic Landscape of China's Gansu Province | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Gansu Province, in northwestern China, is about the same size as California, with a population of about 26 million people. Gansu’s diverse landscapes include parts of the Gobi Desert, the Yellow River, numerous mountain formations, and remnants of the Silk Road and the Great Wall of China.

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 22, 2015 8:43 AM

This photo gallery is filled with dozens of great teaching images, displaying the dramatic human and physical landscapes of the Gansu Province of China. 

Tagsimageslandscape, China.

Jane Ellingson's curator insight, October 22, 2015 9:03 AM

Cultural Landscape

Tony Hall's curator insight, October 30, 2015 2:34 AM

Some truly amazing images in this collection from The Atlantic.

Rescooped by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks from Today's Issues

What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea

What China Has Been Building in the South China Sea | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
China has been feverishly piling sand onto reefs in the South China Sea for the past year, creating seven new islets in the region. It is straining geopolitical tensions that were already taut.

Via Seth Dixon, Mary Rack
Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's insight:

Last year this was an intriguing story but now the geopolitical drama is growing as more countries are literally building islands out of reef outcroppings to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea.  This is the most comprehensive article that I've seen on the escalating situation.   


Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, China, East Asia.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:01 PM

this strategy makes sense, even if it ignores international laws and angers every other nation on earth. china needs resources, and the south china sea has resources.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:02 PM

The fact that China is doing this in the first place is a profound geopolitical statement. They are in effect disregarding international law and acting as though they own the region. This also fly's in the face of countries in the Area such as Vietnam and the Philippines who have territorial water claims in that area of the region itself has been a matter of dispute for decades. This is partially due to the fact there is key oil and gas resources and china intends to use the islands they have made to claim and seize those deposits. trade also goes through the area making it possible for China to shut down regional trade if it gains these waters. This is a clear power display and shows China wants to supersede the U.S. not work with it. Hopefully the issue is resolved peacefully given that it has been causing heightened tensions with the Chinese Navy patrolling the area. The international community should have acted earlier to stop this because now it will be far more difficult and makes nations like the U.S. look weaker. Not to mention the vast environmental consequences for destroying reefs filled with unique wildlife thus disrupting the ecosystem.

Gouraud's curator insight, January 6, 2016 3:16 PM

En une année pour construire un port et un terrain d’atterrissage à partir d'un atoll submergé....


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One Place, Two Names

The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.

Via Seth Dixon
Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 1:11 AM

It is important to recognize that in a country so big, not everywhere is going to be the same. There is the city, the colder region, the dryer region, the warmer region, rural area etc. It is important to know that cultures are different as well. Some people refer to the red highlighted area s Xinjiang, but others call it Eastern Turkistan. Clearly, there are some cultural and political issues that reside in this area. The big concern is that the area is bordered to Central Asia and Eastern Asia as it has more Central and Eastern Asia characteristics as the people speak Turkic language and are predominantly Muslim. This goes to show that the Uygurs in this area are struggling to gain political power from China. Could there be a possible autonomy fight for this region? would it be politically and economically stable to stand on its own? 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:45 PM

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 9:52 AM
Very interesting. I am curious to know where this will lead to. There is something also unnerving about how most of us are never taught this in public schools even though it is a very big and very important topic. I can not image there being a split eventually over time, though there is no way that this area will stay as they are with the treatment of their government. This is surely a region to keep an eye on.
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Japan's Disappearing Villages

Japan's Disappearing Villages | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
In the small town of Nagoro, population 35, one woman is trying to save her village from extinction by creating life-sized dolls for every inhabitant who either dies or moves away.

Via Seth Dixon
Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:43 PM

Due to urban migration, this village of Nagoro is said to be one of 10,000 small towns that will disappear in Japan.  I've been to some small towns in Japan and can say there is so much more culture in these villages than there is in the big cities.  I got a totally different feeling in my sole than when I ended my trip in Tokyo.  While both parts of the country have its pros and cons, it is terrible to think that these villages will be defeated to the rise of urbanism.   

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:01 PM

It has been estimated that in the coming years 80% of people will live within mega cities. This is that statistic unraveling before our eyes. It is really sad to me because these within these small villages is a culture that is almost like an art in its own right. It is clear to see the impacts it has on the remaining villagers.


Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 4:38 PM

A depressing but also fascinating situation in Japan. Their Urban migration coupled by an aging population is wiping out their villages around the country. One women has even apparently been filling the village with dolls to make it seem more populated. How she got her neighbors to approve and where all the resources and money came from to pull that off who knows. However what is being witness now is a change in demographic but also one in geography since the village in 30 or so years could be reclaimed by the wilderness while the cities expand and have to cope with the influx taking away more wild land. Hopefully Japan gets this straightened out for they currently seem to be having the exact opposite demographic problem of China and India.

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China’s Pearl River Delta overtakes Tokyo as world’s largest megacity

China’s Pearl River Delta overtakes Tokyo as world’s largest megacity | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Several hundred million more people are expected to move to cities in East Asia over the next 20 years as economies shift from agriculture to manufacturing and services, according to a World Bank report

Via Seth Dixon
Dawn Haas Tache's curator insight, April 8, 2015 12:39 PM

APHG- HW Option 7

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, September 30, 2015 7:28 AM

Pearl river delta

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:13 AM

Cities in this region have experienced spectacular growth; they are at the heart of China's manufacturing and exporting boom.  For example, Shenzen was a small city with about 10,000 residents in 1980 but is now a megacity with over 10 million people.  China's SEZs (Special Economic Zones).  Cities that were once separate entities have coalesced into a large conurbation and if they are counted as one, it's now the largest metropolitan area.  Cities like London and New York become global cities over hundreds of years--this happened in one generation.  Click here for 5 infographics showing East Asia's massive urban growth.      

Tags: APHG, urban, industry, manufacturing, economic, unit 7 cities, megacities, China, East Asia.

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Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The story behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests

Via Seth Dixon
Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 8, 2014 2:52 PM

What caught my attention was the name that this protest has ("umbrella revolution”). After investigating I could find why this protest has that name, the reason is  because the people who are protesting  used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas.The Occupy Central movement ( which is  a civil disobedience campaign initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong , and advocated by Occupy Central with Love and Peace) threatens to block financial and commercial center of Hong Kong if their demands are neglected: the resignation of the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying and the possibility of holding truly democratic elections in 2017. If none of the parties can agree I think there will be any solution for both parties and this will continue.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:56 PM

The umbrella revolution in Hong Kong is simply that Protestants are using all kind of tools to block the tear gas that the police are pulling them. Protests in Hong Kong are to change some of the rules that Beijing has also want Leung Chun-ying resign his position. The vast majority of the protesters are young and who began the protests were also young people who are fighting for the good of their city.

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China publishes new map

China publishes new map | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
China has published a new map of the entire country including the islands in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) in order to "better show" its territorial claim over the region.

Via Seth Dixon
Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 2015 9:44 PM

Not only does China have a strong economic system and the high population in the world, but they also claim South China Sea. Also since they are wealthy, then they hire maritime security to make sure other areas such as the Philippines and Malaysia don't attempt to take over China's seas. Also, the Philippines attempts to battle China over oil and natural gases but they fail against China because China's more populated than the Philippines. The main point of this map is to show how much of the ocean and sea China claims and they claim about 18% of water out of their land population.

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 23, 2015 1:09 PM

This map exemplifies how different countries have differing impressions of land/territory that they own. China views itself as this image depicted above. They honestly believe it. As ridiculous as it sounds I do understand why. China owns this region of the world and will continue to do so. They are claiming land and even forming new land throughout the South China Sea. What is important about the creating of land mass is that China then controls 200 nautical miles around whatever they construct. There is nothing the neighboring countries in the region can do about it. China knows it is a dominant military power and intimidates other countries.

For example, the island of Taiwan is claimed by China as a province. China does not recognize the "Republic of China" (ROC) which governs Taiwan and used to govern mainland China prior to the Chinese Civil War. China has even threatened the island with military use if the people openly declare a massive independent movement. There is a lot more to this history, more than a scoop can provide for, however in a nutshell, Taiwan is China's and will continue to be so. 

In another region of China bordering India and Pakistan, which conveys the expansive territory China covers as a country and its various neighboring countries, China is yet claiming another piece of land. As if the dispute between India and Pakistan was not great enough the two countries also differ over territory just north of the Kashmir border region. China also believes this territory is theirs, now making the land up for grabs between the three nations. China may or may not have historical ties that link it to this piece of land. But in either case it certainly views this territory as an area of land that is open for taking, in that it could eventually claim the territory as a whole. What would Pakistan and India do? These two countries have enough going on. 

Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:55 AM

At first when looking at this map, it seems just about right knowing that China is a huge territorial country, but we also see that this map, when compared to an older map, is different. In this map, we can see that the islands on the West, China has claimer part of there territory. This is simply an analysis of how China seeks geopolitical power over these islands. The map shows China’s claim over the South China Sea by marking ten dash lines around the region just off the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines’ islands of Palawan and Luzon. These are all individual countries, that have there own culture, language, separate of that of China. The difference between this issue and perhaps that of Catalonia seeking independence over Spain, is that these countries like Malaysia and Brunei are already territorial countries. China is simply showing that they have the power to declare this map, even if its not true. 

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Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

"China is building islands in the South China sea and its causing disputes among the other nations in the region; Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China claims they aren't military bases, but their actions say otherwise. The US has many allies in the region and uses its massive Navy to patrol international waters, keeping shipping lanes open for trade."

Via Seth Dixon
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 1:33 PM
China is being very sneaky in their attempt to control the South China Sea and have decided they don’t want to listen to any international laws or court rulings that don’t follow what they want.  In order to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea and increase their land holdings, the Chinese have decided to literally build islands in the body of water.  These islands are then used as naval bases to help them take over other islands that are held by other countries in the South China Sea.  Their strategy for taking over these islands is called the “Cabbage strategy” where they quietly surround and blockade the islands from the countries who hold control over them in order to take them over.  As much as the other countries bordering the South China Sea do not like what China is doing, they are unable to challenge them too much because China’s navy is the most powerful in the region.  This is a situation that shouldn’t be so escalated because international maritime laws have established that countries can control the water 200 miles off their coasts, which would mean China would control part of the sea, other East Asian countries would control part of the sea, and the center of the sea would be international waters.  However, the natural resources in the sea are irresistible to China, so they have started literally building islands and taking over tiny islands that would normally have no one on them.  Other countries in the South China Sea have responded by building and settling on these ridiculously small islands as well.  China has now taken their claims a step farther and claimed airspace above the South China Sea.  The recent breakthroughs in technology have changed the way that governments can claim their borders and made geography more complicated.  The reason that China has been getting away with this is that no country except the U.S. can keep China in check.  However, it would be impossible to threaten China with the American Navy without causing a much bigger military conflict.  So for now, China quietly continues taking over the South China Sea.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 10:23 AM
The vast resources in the South China Sea and the benefits of the Exclusive Economic Zone make it clear why china wants and currently is building islands in the South China Sea. By occupying these newly created islands and claiming them for their own, they can extend their area of economic control by 200 nautical miles. For a nation that is rapidly industrializing and is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, these new areas of control are monumentally important.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 11:49 AM
China is attempting to extend their EEZ by building islands in the South China Sea so they can claim the area 200 miles off the coasts of these man made islands. This is a problem because of the other countries that have EEZ claims in the South China Sea because if China claims more land it takes away the EEZ zones of some of these other countries. 
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The great Korean bat flip mystery

The great Korean bat flip mystery | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
MLB's code is clear: Flip your bat and you'll pay. But in South Korea, flips are an art. How does this alternate world exist? And what does it say about us? Writer Mina Kimes trekked across South Korea with illustrator Mickey Duzyj to unravel the mystery.

Via Seth Dixon, Clairelouise
Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 4, 2016 8:28 PM

There are unwritten rules in Major League Baseball, or in geographic terms, there are are cultural norms that are informally enforced to maintain homogeneity and to prevent  cultural drift.  Jose Bautista's repuation as a villain has much to do with his rejection of a key MLB unwritten rule--Never 'show up' the pitcher by flipping the bat.  In South Korea, typically a country much more associated with cultural traditions of honor and respect than the United States, bat flipping is much more accepted and common (diffusion plays a role in the story--baseball came to South Korea via Japan).  This is an interesting story about South Korean baseball's cultural norms that might intrigue some sports fans. 


Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, South Korea, East Asia.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 8:39 AM
Baseball is America's pastime. It comes with a long history. If you are a baseball fan you have probably been lectured by an older family member about the history of this great game.  An there is no doubt you have heard about baseball's "unwritten" rules. One of these "rules" is to not show up the pitcher as a batter. One way in which we have seen this the past few seasons and especially a couple of years ago in the playoffs is the bat flip. The bat flip is a major no-no when it comes to baseball in America. However, in Korea it is commonplace. It is very strange to see how the Korean's play the game in such a contrast to the Americans. Korea and East Asia is usually known here in the West a quiet place that holds respect has an utter most importance. However, on the field they like to have fun. The Koreans learned the game from the Japanese when Japan's military held Korea. They learned the game and played the game with passion. The bat flip and other traditions became commonplace and have carried over just like baseball traditions here in America.  Baseball here in America has long look to regain its popularity with the youth and there seems to be  a push by younger players to bring more flare to the game. It has caused arguments among many of its older fans or players. So maybe we will see this Korean tradition used more in America soon, but for now it will remain controversial. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 12:11 PM
The unwritten rules of baseball are not static. They change from country to country and are influenced by the values and norm of the society in which the game is played. In South Korea, bat flips are seen as a way to celebrate your success at the plate. Also, it lends a feeling of individuality that rarely presents itself in a culture that values conformity over individuality. This mentality is totally different than in America where a bat flip is seen as disrespectful and showing up the opposing pitcher. In American baseball, the team is valued more than the individual, so if you act out to celebrate individual success, then you will face consequences the next time you come to the plate.
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From megacity to metacity

From megacity to metacity | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

In 1950, there were only two megacities, London and New York, with populations of more than 10m. In 2010, Tokyo was top of the list of the world’s largest cities, New York was only just scraping into the top 10, and London had dropped off the bottom. New York will join it in megacity oblivion in less than a decade and, with the exception of Tokyo, every other megacity will be in what is referred to as the 'global south'. To earn a place in the top 10, cities will soon need to boast a population of 20m or more. This is a new breed of city – the metacity."

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 12, 2016 2:24 PM

The term megacity (a city with a population greater than 10 million) has been around for a while and there wasn't much linguistic need to describe something bigger.  Today, most megacities are more like Lagos and Mumbai, places of extreme wealth asymmetries than the global cities of New York City and London.  Some are now using the term metacity to describe cities with populations of 20 million.  Asian metacities are a good place to start thinking about the largest urban regions that are increasingly dominating economic, political and cultural affairs.      


Tags: urbanmegacities, unit 7 citiesEast Asia.

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Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off

Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The BBC's Celia Hatton finds out why one restaurant in Shanghai is serving up American-style Chinese food

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 24, 2015 2:40 PM

This article covers the same topic as this NPR podcast, the success of an American-style Chinese restaurant in China.  Some joked that it was akin to selling snow to Eskimos, but there is a local appetite among the youth that want to experiment with the 'foreign,' but also with American ex-pats that crave a taste of home. This is just one more delicious example of how globalization impacts cultural products and how globalization flows in many unexpected directions.  For more, see this TED talk on the search for the origins of General Tso's chicken, and this podcast of the historical geographies of the fortune cookie.    


Tags: foodglobalization, culture, China, East Asia, podcast.

brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 9:17 AM
This article shows how cultures can bleed into other countries, blend together, and in this case eventually find its way back to the country in which it came. Chinese food is a lot different than the westernized Chinese food that came to be in America after the first Chinese immigrants. People of China are experiencing the American twist on their food, even if it is almost completely different in some cases. It is cool to think about the fact that the owners of the restaurant have to import American ingredients to China to make authentic American Chinese food. 
Rescooped by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks from AP Micro and Macroeconomics at Mankato West High School

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Explained

"Stratfor Vice President of East Asia Analysis Rodger Baker talks about the economic and political aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement." http://arcg.is/1IeK3dT 

Via Seth Dixon, Jane Ellingson
Marc Meynardi's comment, November 3, 2015 12:37 PM
Thank you for your comments, which insist on the mean that the TPP is not just a way to free business. The treaty negotiated with EU, just arrive when EU politician are very critisized. Population is on a way back to conservatism and populism. Such treaty does'nt appear to be a good solution and for sure, does'nt come at the right time.
Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:35 AM


BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 2016 8:02 AM

This is a very politically contentious partnership and would reshape economic geographies and even regions of the world.  From the 1500's to the 1980's, the Atlantic trade had the greatest volume of world trade, but the Pacific has surged past, and is showing no signs of being supplanted any time soon.  This Stratfor video is a quick introduction to the economics and politics of the TPP. 

Tags: industry, development, economic.

Rescooped by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks from Geography Education

The World’s Largest Urban Area Grew Overnight

The World’s Largest Urban Area Grew Overnight | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Rapid growth in several cities along the Pearl River Delta has made a Chinese megacity larger and more populous than any other urban area in the world.

Via Seth Dixon
Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 8:50 PM

Already this image is showing a clear impact that the massive increase in population is having on the landscape. The delata has narrowed and so has the major rivers. As population grows in mega cities like this so doesnt the increase for resources such as water, also when it increases this quickly sanitation practices decrease. One can only imagine the inpact on water quality this is also having.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:46 AM

It is amazing how fast a modern city can come about when there is no historical city to base the subsequent growth on.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 3:39 PM

It is astounding the amount of growth this one city has had in one decade and reminds me of some of the rapid development within the Middle East since the 70s which transformed cities like Dubai. Ecologically like most of what China does it is a disaster but fascinating from a development  one. Unfortunately the article doesn't offer a population so that it could be compared to Tokyo's since a size comparison was done in terms of land use. Hopefully China will find a sustainable method of growth because if city continue to grow like this it will be surprising if they could maintain stability. I personally thing this rapid growth is dangerous and like India they likely won't be able to keep up. Additionally since China's economy is very reliant on this type of growth it is concerning to think of what may happen to many of these cities when the growth they rely on stops.

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When China Rules the Sea

The United States is no longer the world’s only global naval power.


Why would China go to the trouble and expense of mounting an expedition to the northern climes in the Western Hemisphere? Because it sees value in staging a presence in distant waters. And because it can: Beijing no longer depends completely on its oceangoing battle fleet to ward off threats in China’s seas. It can now rain long-range precision firepower on enemy fleets from land. Ergo, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet can cruise the far reaches of the Pacific and Indian oceans or even beyond, without forfeiting China’s interests in waters close to home.  For China, the upsides of far-ranging maritime strategy are many and compelling, the downsides fewer and fewer.


Tags: geopolitics, political, water, China, East Asia.

Via Seth Dixon, Clairelouise
Greg Hill's curator insight, September 28, 2015 12:05 PM
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 24, 2015 7:07 AM

The nation that controls the seas, controls the world. Throughout history the leading Naval powers have always been the worlds most dominate nations. The greatest land forces, are no match for the supremacy of the seas. Not even Napoleon could beet back the power of a supreme navy( The British Royal Navy). Since the end of the Second World War, The United States navy has dominated the seas. That domination has made the U.S the worlds greatest nation over the course of the past 75 years. For China to displace the U.S atop the nations hierarchy, they most out due us on the seas. China is ware of this history, and that is why they are heavily investing in their naval technology. The key to the future, as it has been in the past, will be what nation can dominate the worlds seas.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 8:23 AM

the growing strength of the Chinese navy is worrying from a military perspective, as during the cold war one of the main reasons they were not considered as big a threat as the Russians was because of their inability to project force beyond mainland china. with their navel improvements this is no longer the case. what this will hold for the future, we can only wait and see.

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Urbanization in China

China's citizens are moving from the countryside into cities in record numbers, boosting the economy but making party leaders uneasy


Tags: economic, planning, urban, China, East Asia.

Via Seth Dixon
Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, July 18, 2015 9:02 AM

Une courte vidéo de la revue The Economist

Lindley Amarantos's curator insight, August 6, 2015 3:54 PM

A big portion of China's economic boom the last few decades has been linked to the transformation of what used to be a predominantly agrarian civilization to an economic engine fueled by rapid urbanization.  This 2011 video from the Economist is still highly relevant today.   

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 12:11 PM
This video talks about how the dispersion of the population of China is changing, and becoming more urban. Many young rural citizens are choosing to go to the cities and find work there instead of staying and working on farms, but this poses the problem of who is tending to the crops in the rural areas, and because the young population is leaving it is often older members of the families. These younger citizens still often have land in the rural areas and many will return as they get older and continue to work on the fields, the country wants to find a way to keep these younger citizens in the urban areas as to continue to urbanize the country. 
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New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea

New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
Satellite photos show the speed, scale and ambition China has exerted to assert ownership over South China Sea islands, far from the mainland.

Via Seth Dixon
Marc Meynardi's curator insight, April 13, 2015 2:40 AM

Suprisingly, the other countries dont show a lot of concerns.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:06 PM

China is a powerful country with a population of 1.357 billion people. China as a regional hegemony, the more land means expansion of territorial control on the region and projecting sea power on international waters. However the main reason why China, the Philippines, and other countries are trying to claim these islands is due to the oil and natural gas exploitation in the South China Sea. Even when geopolitical conflicts between Philippines and other countries arise, any of these countries will have to form powerful armies in order to fight against China. The U.S. would be the only country that could pursue different strategies and mediate agreements between China’s neighbors. However, through military intimidation, China would overpower any country that tried to claim these islands as part of their territory. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:37 PM

China has its hopes on securing the land that is rich in oil to bring prosperity to the country.  China is building a great wall of sand and seems as though they are not fearful of others stopping it even though China has been warned that these actions create tension from Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  

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China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea

China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The scale of China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is leading to "serious questions" on its intentions, a top US official says.

China is building artificial land by pumping sand on to live coral reefs - some of them submerged - and paving over them with concrete. China has now created over 4sq/km (1.5 sq miles) of artificial landmass.  China is creating a great wall of sand with dredges and bulldozers over the course of months.

Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, China, East Asia.

Via Seth Dixon
PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 3, 2015 10:45 AM

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 6, 2015 9:16 PM

Pumping in sand to cover coral reef and create more land is a very inventive way to make new territory, using concrete and placing bulldozers and other machinery is helping China gain more land and gain more access in the South China Sea yet this who pumping is making people question and causing places such as the Philippines to  file complaints saying they will not be associated with the whole plan that China has. Why is China exactly pumping sand and spreading concrete over the live coral reefs? Does China know they are killing live animals and plants underneath the sea? 

While looking into the matter I found that China believed the whole act of reclaiming land to be "entirely within China's sovereignty and are totally justifiable". Now people all over the world are focused on land and power, not about other social matters. This land pumping is not only causing conflict but it is creating more opportunity to better work and living conditions.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 16, 2015 2:41 PM

China is a large and powerful nation that is not afraid of flexing military muscle to its smaller neighbors.  The developments of China building artificial land to strengthen its claim in the region shows how determined the country is to have its claims honored.  It also shows that China will stop at nothing to have regions were resources could be to aid in the countries economic growth.  However, China is causing a great deal of controversy through its actions.  Also, China's neighbors are becoming increasingly frustrated with the large nation, yet they are all much smaller nations that really can't prevent the Chinese from doing what they want, especially with China declaring it won't listen to what the UN has to say.  China is a country that is not afraid of strongman politics to get what it wants.

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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.


The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.

The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.

Tags: political, conflict, governance, China, East Asia.

Via Seth Dixon
Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 2017 5:20 PM
This article relates to our class by people protesting and with our projects, people in Syria protested and were punished and this relates to political geography. My opinion is that people should be acknowledged with why they are protesting and where they are doing it, also how it affects everyone else. 
Colby Geiger's curator insight, April 28, 2017 7:25 AM
This article relates to political geography because the protestors of Japan are protesting to shut down the cities main shopping center where the government buildings are. The people of Japan want democracy and I believe that they should have it. To me, democracy is a fair way for the people of a country to choose a ruler and have everybody heard for their opinions.
Kobie Carroll's curator insight, April 28, 2017 11:44 AM
I believe the OCLP (Occupy Central with Love and Peace) campaign had good intentions, wanting to build a truly harmonious society. I, however, believe they made a wrong decision to shut down Hong Kong's Central District. This relates to what we are learning because it shows how individuals with conflicting views can express hate towards each other in one geographical area.
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Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off | AP HUMAN GEOGRAPHY DIGITAL  STUDY: MIKE BUSARELLO | Scoop.it

"Tensions escalated on Sunday when the broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.  China's leaders must be sitting uncomfortably in Beijing.

As long as the protests continue, there is a chance they will spread to the mainland, where many are unhappy with one-party rule.  But if the protesters hold their ground, how far will Beijing allow events to spiral before getting directly involved?"

Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:42 AM

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:36 PM

Seeing all of these protesters laying across the highway caught my interest.  These people are serious about what they want with their elections and it is not have their candidates picked out for them.  People are taking over roads, shopping malls, schools, whereever they can go to prove their point.  They know that the amount of police forces is not enough to stop them.  Although for the most part other countries are staying out of the business of China Britain is supporting the protests as long as they stay within the rules of protesting.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:42 PM

It will definitely be interesting to see how far this political protest goes and how far the Chinese Government will go to stop this. China in some ways is a victim of its own success, in the past China would have been able to simply throw its military might on the political dissidents and silence all opposition but how possible is that today? Now China is a global economic power and the Western World's view on China matters, not wanting to risk trade problems China is showing far more caution this time around. While China is reaping the rewards of its world position without doubt China is also missing some of the benefits of the Bamboo Curtain.