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The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse

The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This study explores Chinese language policy and language use in Inner Asia, as well as the relation of language policy to the politics of Uyghur identity. Language is central to ethnic identity, and official language policies are often overlooked as critical factors in conflict over ethnic nationalism.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A while back I wrote this blogpost for the National Geographic Education Blog about the Uyghur people of Eastern Turkestan.  The cultural policies of assimilation that are working to erase Eastern Turkestan and more fully make it Xinjiang are politically powerful, but the situation is more pressing that most people today realize. This academic article, The Xinjiang Conflict: Uyghur Identity, Language Policy, and Political Discourse, is an excellent primer to the cultural and political complexities of this place with two names where East Asia and Central Asia meet. 

 

GeoEd Tags: political, conflict, governance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

Scoop.it Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

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Why China Ended its One-Child Policy

"China has huge ambitions for the 21st century. But it’s demographic problems will be a significant challenge on the way there."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I know that YOU know that China ended the One-Child Policy, but many incoming college freshman have a world view about population that is a generation behind on many of the current population trends.  This video discusses most of the APHG population topics using China as the world's most important population case study--that makes this video excellent to show in a regional or human geography course.

 

GeoEd Tags: China, population, industry, development, statistics, economic, video, APHG.

Scoop.it TagsChina, population, industry, development, statistics, economic, video, APHG.  

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Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map

Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Philippines’ oldest newspaper recently made what could be considered a provocative gesture towards China regarding its notorious nine-dash-line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've shared some more substantial resources about maritime claims in the South China Sea than this flippant political cartoon.  Still, this cartoon beautifully illustrates a geopolitical perspective quite powerfully.  As always, use your own discretion when sharing resources in your own classroom (my college students love this). 

 

GeoEd Tags: borders, Political, conflict, water, Philippines, China.

Scoop.it Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, PhilippinesChina.

  

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China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions

China is trying to turn itself into a country of 19 super-regions | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China's urbanization is a marvel. The population of its cities has quintupled over the past 40 years, reaching 813m. By 2030 roughly one in five of the world’s city-dwellers will be Chinese. But this mushrooming is not without its flaws. Restraining pell-mell urbanization may sound like a good thing, but it worries the government’s economists, since bigger cities are associated with higher productivity and faster economic growth. Hence a new plan to remake the country’s map.

The idea is to foster the rise of mammoth urban clusters, anchored around giant hubs and containing dozens of smaller, but by no means small, nearby cities. The plan calls for 19 clusters in all, which would account for nine-tenths of economic activity (see map). China would, in effect, condense into a country of super-regions."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This type of plan would have been politically and economically unthinkable in years past, but the time-space compression (convergence) has made the distances between cities less of a barrier.  High-speed transit in the form of bullet trains link cities to other cities within the cluster more tightly together and the threshold of the functional region expands.  While some of these clusters are more aspirational, the top three (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing) are already powerful global forces. 

Scoop.it Tags: urbanregions, transportation, megacities, economic, planning, China, East Asia.

WordPress TAGS: urban, regions, transportation, megacities, economic, planning, China, East Asia.

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Too Many Men

Too Many Men | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nothing like this has happened in human history. A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are far-reaching consequences to the gender imbalances in India and China.  The fantastically rich article covers four major impacts: 

Village life and mental health. Among men, loneliness and depression are widespread. Villages are emptying out. Men are learning to cook and perform other chores long relegated to women.

Housing prices and savings rates. Bachelors are furiously building houses in China to attract wives, and prices are soaring. But otherwise they are not spending, and that in turn fuels China’s huge trade surplus. In India, there is the opposite effect: Because brides are scarce, families are under less pressure to save for expensive dowries. 

Human trafficking. Trafficking of brides is on the rise. Foreign women are being recruited and lured to China, effectively creating similar imbalances in China’s neighbors.

Public safety. With the increase in men has come a surge in sexual crime in India and concerns about a rise in other crimes in both countries. Harassment of schoolgirls in India has in some towns sparked an effort to push back — but at a cost of restricting them to more protected lives.

 

Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

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Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 1:19 PM
population

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 2, 2018 5:20 AM
Population
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 2:59 PM
This is interesting, and brings up an issue that is new to many countries. In past it would be rare for a nation to have to many men (though it did happen more often the problem was lack of men due to death in war or death at grueling careers). Today in India and especially China the men are drastically outnumber the women. This has with modern medicine and better access to resources enabling a higher birthrate, and cultural reasons. In the case of China especially this also has to do with government policy and control over the population during the one child time period, making people have only one child led to mostly males being born for cultural reasons.   
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Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis

Hong Kong's 'coffin homes' reveal a housing crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A shortage of developable land have pushed Hong Kong's housing prices skyward, leading some to live in spaces the size of closets.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Overpopulation doesn't feel like a serious issue when you live in a land characterized by wide open spaces, but in some densely settled urban centers, the issues become quite personal.  Hong Kong is currently facing a housing shortage. This article nicely explains the difficulties that living in the so-called coffin homes makes for the residents.  This photo gallery humanizes this difficult living condition.

 

Tags: housingurban, place, neighborhoodspatialdensity, planning, density, urbanism.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, February 16, 2018 8:35 PM
The photo gallery in this article helps to give an accurate depiction of the housing crisis in Hong Kong with many people living in units that are 4 by 6 feet. Many families have to live in separate units because they are so small and can't usually fit more than one person. The bright side of the housing crisis in Hong Kong is that these "coffin homes" allow people to live in the major city at a cheaper cost, although it definitely comes with a hefty price with such tiny living quarters. The future looks positive though, as Hong Kong promises to build over 400,000 new homes over the next decade. This will help improve the housing crisis and hopefully phase these "coffin homes" out of existence once and for all.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 9:31 AM
Now this is a major housing crisis. I thought apartments in NYC were small, but nothing like this. In Hong Kong they have what is called "coffin homes" they are stacked on top of each other to try to fit as many in as possible. With increasing population and just 7% of the land properly zoned for housing it caused a major crunch in the housing market. Currently prices are going for $1,350 per square foot. Obviously this is a major problem and causes living conditions to be brutal especially for the elderly or for families that have to split up due to space. So what to do to fix this problem? Well one would say just make more land available for housing, well that comes with problems as well. There probably is a reason that there is limited land for housing due to geographical issues. So yes we can build more homes, but would we run into new problems such as natural disasters that cause more debt for the people in the country. There definitely needs to be a solution for these people, but it might not be so simple. I will never go back to NYC now and say how small the apartments are, because well you could be in Hong Kong.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:17 PM
(East Asia) Unlike Singapore's regimented government housing, Hong Kong faces a severe housing crisis, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to live in tiny 4 by 6 foot homes. Hong Kong has a population of 7.3 million but only 7% of the city is cleared for housing. Therefore, landlords have to get creative. Stacking these "coffin homes" one on top of another is a great way to save space while providing the bare minimum housing. The coffin homes, little more than closets, have no windows or room to move around. Skyrocketing housing prices have caused extremely dense buildings as the elderly, disabled, young, and poor are forced to move in.
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Sprawling Shanghai

Sprawling Shanghai | Geography Education | Scoop.it
If you could go back in time to the 1980s, you would find a city that is drastically different than today’s Shanghai.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This series of seven satellite images shows how quickly the economic development of China has impacted the urban sprawl of China's biggest cities.  Pictures of the downtown area's growth are impressive, but these aerial images show the full magnitude of the change. 

 

Tags: urbanremote sensing, megacities, China, urban ecology.

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Mr Mac's curator insight, June 13, 2017 10:17 AM
Unit 7 - Urban Sprawl 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:12 PM
Shanghai os growing at an incredibly rapid rate. As more and more people begin to inhabit the city, the neighboring towns have morphed into one large city. However, the city's amazing population increase has taken a toll on its ecosystem. With the rapid growth, Shanghai's temperature has increased dramatically. Similarly, the wild and plant life has declined in the region as well.
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China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands

China installs weapons on contested South China Sea islands | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New satellite imagery indicates that China has installed weapon systems on all seven artificial islands it has built in the contested waters of the South China Sea, a move that's likely alarm the country's neighbors.

 

Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, remote sensing, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: After this news, the Pentagon says a Chinese warship has seized a US Navy underwater drone collecting unclassified data in international waters in the South China Sea.

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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, January 4, 2017 3:41 PM
With a new president on our horizon, how will this affect our relationship with China?
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The Tidal Waves of the Qiantang River

The Tidal Waves of the Qiantang River | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For hundreds of years, on the eighth month of the lunar calendar, people have gathered along the shores of China’s Qiantang River at the head of Hangzhou Bay to witness the waves of its famous bore tide. Higher-than-normal high tides push into the harbor, funneling into the river, causing a broad wave that can reach up to 30 feet high. If the waves surge over the banks, spectators can be swept up, pushed along walkways or down embankments. Below, I’ve gathered images from the past few years of the Qiantang bore tides.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an amazing set of images, where a cultural phenomenon is wrapped up in observing the pulsating physical geography of the river.  Usually the tidal bore is impressive (but not dangerous--see video here), but occasionally it can be incredibly violent (see this 2015 video).   

 

Tags: physical, geomorphologywaterChina.

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Kiran's comment, September 24, 2016 8:33 AM
http://onlinemoviesvideos.com/
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 28, 2016 8:56 PM

Tital bores - the values of water 

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Why China and India face a marriage crisis

"What has lead to this marriage squeeze?  First, millions women have gone 'missing'. A generation ago, a preference for sons and the greater availability of prenatal screening meant first Chinese couples, then Indian ones, started aborting female fetuses and only giving birth to boys. At its extreme, in parts of Asia, more than 120 boys were being born for every 100 girls. Now, the generation with distorted sex ratios at birth is reaching marriageable age. The result is that single men far outnumber women."

 

Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

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Dustin Fowler's curator insight, September 17, 2016 7:23 PM
Great food for thought!
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 11:58 AM
This video talks about the marriage crisis India and China will be facing over the next few decades. The one child rule that was enforced in the region caused many couples to selectively abort their daughters so they could have sons instead, doing this caused a major population gap between men and women. Now as this group of the population where men so drastically outnumber women come of age the countries face a marriage crisis. With men so drastically outnumbering women and marriage being such an important part of the culture in India and China the countries could undergo severe cultural changes. 
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Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China

Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"When officials forced an informal school run by monks near here to stop offering language classes for laypeople, Tashi Wangchuk looked for a place where his two teenage nieces could continue studying Tibetan.  To his surprise, he could not find one, even though nearly everyone living in this market town on the Tibetan plateau here is Tibetan. Officials had also ordered other monasteries and a private school in the area not to teach the language to laypeople. And public schools had dropped true bilingual education in Chinese and Tibetan, teaching Tibetan only in a single class, like a foreign language, if they taught it at all."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video and article from the NY Times show how many Tibetans are upset by the cultural status of Tibetans within the People's Republic of China. 

 

TagsCentral Asia, culture, China, East Asia.

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Jerry Li's curator insight, March 20, 2016 9:23 AM

 Yes, Tibatan will be very upset.

I think we should preserve every culture, not only chinese culture.

Tibetan is their mother tongue.  As every culture has its own special characteristic.

"And public schools had dropped true bilingual education in Chinese and Tibetan" this quote shows Tibetan cannot learn both language.

  The officials cannot forced them to learn chinese, and should give Tibetan a bilingual education just like Singapore.

This will result that Tibatan's children do not know their mother tongue and lost that culture gradually.

Although this can assimilate Tibetan to become Chinese in future but I think the offcials can give TIbetan some choices to choose.

othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 3:50 AM
This article talks about Tibetan culture fading in China. The language has been removed from schools and are only taught as a foreign language if they are even taught at all. China has reduced and restricted the teaching of languages spoken by other ethnic groups in many regions more recently. In 2012, officials created a new teaching curriculum that removed Tibetan as a language. Schools were forced to use Chinese as the main language.  
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 3:43 PM
The people of Tibet are watching their culture fade away and have no power to stop it. The Chinese officials that run the province have been restricting the teaching of the language and culture in Tibet and other western provinces of China. This is part of a massive plan to force the assimilation of the Tibetan and Uyger peoples to East China's Han Chinese norms. While some welcome the change thinking it will bring their children into the competitive economy, others have begun protesting the suppression. China has begun demonizing western forces and the Dalai Lama for tricking the protestors into defying the law and government.  As even monasteries are begin banned from teaching courses it will be a long battle for Tibetans who are fighting for their cultural freedom. 
 
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Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off

Why Shanghai's first American Chinese restaurant is taking off | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The BBC's Celia Hatton finds out why one restaurant in Shanghai is serving up American-style Chinese food
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.

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brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 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. 
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Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation

Chinese forces 'used flamethrowers' in Xinjiang operation | Geography Education | Scoop.it

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

This BBC article gives an update on China's crackdown on Uighur nationalism under the guise of cracking down of 'foreign terrorists.'  Earlier this year I wrote this article for the National Geographic Education Blog on this topic, the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province of Xinjiang.  


TagsCentral Asia, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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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, 2018 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's hidden camps

China's hidden camps | Geography Education | Scoop.it
What's happened to the vanished Uighurs of Xinjiang?
Seth Dixon's insight:

A few years ago, I wrote an article for National Geographic's education blog about Eastern Turkestan, and the policies of cultural assimilation that the China is using to more fully make this place become Xinjiang.  This BBC interactive (as well as this NY Times article) is the update to understand how extensive the human rights violations are as re-education camps/detention centers have been used in the last few years to hide away political dissidents and those practicing tradition Uyghur (Uighur) customs.  This video from the Economist highlights how the Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have not been able to participate in China's recent economic growth as fully because of governmental policies.  According to U.S. State Department, the number of people forced into these camps is at least 800,000, but potentially over 2 million.     

GeoEd Tags: Central Asia, culture, China, East Asia.

Scoop.it TagsCentral Asia, culture, China, East Asia.

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Worker Safety?

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is old video is still shocking because of the blatant disregard for worker safety during the huge rush to get Beijing ready for the 2012 Olympics. This can been seen as large cities host global events such as the World Cup or the Olympics.  As was seen in Rio de Janeiro, leaders will try to sweep some problems under the rug before the global spotlight shines on them. This video can also be used to lead to a discussion concerning China's continued economic growth. What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?" How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?

 

GeoEd Tags: industry, labor, China.

Scoop.it Tags: industry, labor, China

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Inside Hong Kong’s cage homes

Hong Kong is the most expensive housing market in the world. It has been ranked as the least affordable housing market on Earth for eight years in a row, and the price per square foot seems to be only going up. The inflated prices are forcing Hongkongers to squeeze into unconventionally small spaces that can affect their quality of life.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Land scarcity is usually the main culprit behind extremely high real estate markets in the world’s most expensive housing markets.  Silicon Valley, New York City, and other urban areas that are magnets for a young, well-educated workforce have very high costs of living.  The rising property values and rents make living in a city on the rise difficult for many of the residents that aren’t a part of the economic rising tide (gentrification is just particular example).   

Hong Kong is a very peculiar example were land scarcity is only a part of the situation.  Bad land use (3.7% zoned for high density housing) policy and land management are bigger culprits.  The government essentially owns all the land in Hong Kong and leases it to developers, so developers are incentivized to drive up that rates, given that the government doesn’t want to tax the corporations for the land that they occupy.

Season 2 of Vox borders has 5 episodes about Hong Kong:

  1. How British rule shaped Hong Kong
  2. China is erasing its border with Hong Kong
  3. Feng shui shaped Hong Kong’s skyline
  4. Decline of Hong Kong’s neon glow
  5. Hong Kong’s cage homes (profiled above)

Scoop.it Tags: housingurban, spatialdensity, planning, urbanism, China.

WordPress TAGS: housing, urban, spatial, density, planning, urbanism, China.

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Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:35 PM
I thought high property values were bad in areas of California or in New York city, but Hong Kong seems far worse. The city is extremely overcrowded and people are desperate enough to work in the city for a better income, even if it means sleeping in a tiny cage apartment at night. 
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Five ways China's past has shaped its present

Five ways China's past has shaped its present | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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"The country is perhaps more aware of its own history than any other major society on earth. That remembering is certainly partial - events like Mao's Cultural Revolution are still very difficult to discuss within China itself. But it is striking how many echoes of the past can be found in its present."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very interesting article...one can make too much of a country's history as a casual factors, and yet make too little of historical patterns at your own peril.  "To understand China's approach today to trade, foreign policy or censorship, consider its history."  This article considers a few of  China's current policies that may seem peculiar today but that make much more sense with a longer and deeper history.  Some of the topics considered include:

  • trade
  • trouble with neighbors
  • Information flow
  • Religious freedoms
  • Technology

 

Tags: China, East Asia, historical.

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Kami Romeike's curator insight, July 4, 2018 3:20 AM

This is a very interesting article...one can make too much of a country's history as a casual factors, and yet make too little of historical patterns at your own peril.  "To understand China's approach today to trade, foreign policy or censorship, consider its history."  This article considers a few of  China's current policies that may seem peculiar today but that make much more sense with a longer and deeper history.  Some of the topics considered include:

  • trade
  • trouble with neighbors
  • Information flow
  • Religious freedoms
  • Technology

 

Tags: China, East Asia, historical.

Olivia Campanella's curator insight, December 14, 2018 10:02 PM
In this interesting article you can learn a lot about the Chinese history. The country is more aware of its own history than any other. major society on earth. some of the ways include: 

Trade
Trouble with Neighbors
Information flow
Freedom of Religion
and Technology
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China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up

China will soon have air power rivaling the West’s - No longer just catch-up | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“China’s president, Xi Jinping, wants to be able to challenge America’s military might in the western Pacific. He is making big progress. China’s once bloated armed forces are becoming leaner and a lot more capable. They are also benefiting from a defense budget that is growing at a steady 6-7% a year, in line with GDP. The IISS declares that China has become an innovator in military technology and is not merely ‘catching up’ with the West. For some of the most advanced science, Mr. Xi is tapping the private sector. The Pentagon has to woo skeptical Silicon Valley companies; firms in China do what the government tells them to do. In two years’ time, if not before, America is likely to lose its monopoly of radar-beating stealth combat aircraft with the introduction into service of China’s Chengdu J-20.”

 

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

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Matt Manish's curator insight, March 8, 2018 10:56 AM
From reading this article, it is clear for one to see that China is not just "catching up" to America with their military technology, but are becoming a true rival. The President of China is clearly putting a larger emphasis on restructuring the Chinese military. The Chinese government is also trimming the fat their military has had before in the past and creating a larger, more organized budget for their military branch. One major advantage China has over America, is that its private sector non-state tech firms have to do what their government tells them to do. Unlike the American government where they have to create deals and contracts with non-state tech firms for new military technology. This allows China to demand whatever they want from their tech firms in order to advance their military technology. Although, as long as American tech firms continue improve in their technology at an advanced rate and maintain a good relationship with the American government, the U.S. military will continue to be a strong rival in the present day arms race. It remains clear though, that America will indeed have to break a sweat in order to supersede China in regards to advancement in military technology. 
dustin colprit's curator insight, September 29, 2018 11:21 PM
While it is always possible for a country to increase it's strength. It is still a slightly unsettling reality knowing this increases their influence on the globe, while opening the possibility of future confrontation from an equal military force.
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Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tea, the world's most popular beverage, doesn't just magically appear on kitchen tables--it's production and consumption is shaped by geographic forces, cultural preferences, and regional variations.  These 21 images show the cultural, region, and environmental, economic, and agricultural context of tea.  

 

Tagsimages, foodChina, East Asia, economic, labor, food production, agriculture.

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brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:45 AM
This shows the importance of a product to a countries economy, culture, and use of physical geography. China is the worlds biggest producer of tea. This stimulates the economy greatly, and gives 80 millions people jobs as farmers, pickets and in sales. Exporting the tea to other countries also helps the economy. The workers are seasonal, and travel to the tea come harvest season. This also boost the economy in the travel sector. Tea is also hugely part of the cultural geography of China as it is believed to bring wisdom and lift the spirit to a higher level. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:49 PM
(East Asia) China, the founder of tea, is the largest producer of the most consumed drink in the world. With such an enormous country, regional differences between tea cultivation and culture naturally developed. There are approximately 80 million people involved in tea cultivation, which is non-mechanized in many parts. Linking tea with sanctity, farmers work long hours and come from across China seasonally.

A series of images follows the article. Most remarkable are the depictions of old and young Chinese farmers handpicking tea leaves, the vast plantations and agricultural architecture, and the tea tourism industry
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 2018 10:04 PM
This article looks into how the popular beverage, tea, is produced. China is not only the world's largest producer, but also creates many different types of tea including green, black and dragons well. The drink was discovered in 2737 by a Chinese emperor, and the industry employs approximately 80 million people and it produced 2.43 million tons in 2016
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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."

Seth Dixon'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.  For some without geographic expertise, this might some baffling.  For those that understand Exclusive Economic Zones, maritime claims, and expanding geopolitical aspirations, this makes perfect sense. 

 

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 2018 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, 2018 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, 2018 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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India watches anxiously as Chinese influence grows

India watches anxiously as Chinese influence grows | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A $46bn economic corridor through disputed territories in Kashmir is causing most concern
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Indian government doesn't want to seem threatened by the fact that China is paying for better transportation infrastructure that is essentially in their backyard.  India's neighbors are excited for the potential economic growth that this can bring, but weary of China's added clout and power throughout Asia.  As Parag Khanna argues is his new book Connectography, infrastructure and economic linkages will become increasingly more important to geopolitics and global economics; within that lens, China is certainly making a power move here. 

 

Tags: regions, transportationeconomic.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 24, 2016 7:47 AM
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brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 2:41 PM
Adding infrastructure to improve trade with other countries is a strong step taken by China. This new silk road showcases how important trade is to geopolitics. Other countries are watching as this unfolds, learning and wondering what will come of it, as China continues to make economic power moves for not only it's own country but the global economy as well. 
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'Leftover Women' in China

"Chinese women face immense pressure to get married before they turn 27. In many Chinese cities, so called marriage markets are a common sight, where parents go to post and match personal ads. A number of brave Chinese women have finally stood up to speak their mind against society’s labels and their parents' pressures."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This emotional ad about 'leftover women' in China has received a lot of traffic and is now invigorating a national conversation about marriage customs, gendered norms, and cultural expectations.  What isn't as explicit in the video is how demographic policies and cultural preferences for boys has created the situation that puts added pressure on single women

 

Questions to Ponder: How is this (at least partially) a lingering impact of the One Child Policy?  What traits of traditional Chinese culture led to this current situation?   

 

Tags: gender, folk culture, China, culture, population.

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Bad Earth: the human cost of pollution in China – in pictures

Bad Earth: the human cost of pollution in China – in pictures | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This series of images shows the extent of China’s pollution problems and the human toll of exponential growth on local communities in China’s vast and severely damaged northern region

 

Ghazlan Mandukai, 52, left, looks out over the vast, toxic tailings lake beyond the industrial city of Baotou, Inner Mongolia. He farmed in this area for 40 years until the influx of steel and rare earth metal factories rendered local lands infertile. Poisonous waste that results from refining rare earths is continually dumped into the Weikuang Dam, as seen here.

 

Tags: pollutionChina, East Asia, industry, sustainability, images, art, landscape.

 

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Keone Sinnott-Suardana's curator insight, June 22, 2016 10:21 PM
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 10:30 PM
China has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world: but at what cost? They make themselves competitive in global markets by delivering goods and services at low prices, which they achieve through under-paying workers, not using resources to ensure workers' safety, and polluting the environment by ignoring protocols for safely disposing of waste products, which costs time and money.  The result is air that is unsafe to breathe, millions of people and animals with poisoned water supplies, and land that cannot be farmed.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:39 PM
CHina's pollution issues are pretty bad, possibly the worst polluter in the world. The air quality can be so terrible it reminds me of Industrial revolution London, except Chinese cities are even worse. Not just air pollution from smoke stacks but land pollution from dirty mining and water pollution in rivers from factories all play key roles in China's pollution problem. Some estimates put the number as high as a million Chinese deaths per a year attributed to pollution. This article does a good job of breaking down the pollution issue into simple terms.   
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Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown

Xinjiang Seethes Under Chinese Crackdown | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Chinese government has introduced unprecedented measures aimed at shaping the behavior and beliefs of China’s 10 million Uighurs." http://wp.me/p2Ij6x-60y

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NY Times article is a good update on the situation of Xianjiang.  I wish this was available when I wrote this article (with links for more teaching resources) for the National Geographic Education Blog on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  

 

TagsCentral Asia, culturepoliticalconflictgovernance,ChinaEast AsiareligionIslamlandscape.

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China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing

China pollution: First ever red alert in effect in Beijing | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Schools in Beijing are closed and outdoor construction halted as the Chinese capital's first ever pollution "red alert" comes into effect over smog levels."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A large part of China's rapid economic growth has been dependent on cutting corners in labor and environmental standards.  This is one reason why I don't think that the Chinese economy can continue this growth indefinitely.

 

Tags: pollutionChina, development, economic, megacities, East Asia, industry, sustainability, urban ecology.

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Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 16, 2015 6:39 PM

It's horrible to see China come to this. Soon, air pollution will be just as bad everywhere else if it is not stopped. We, everyone, has to do something to stop air pollution. This world is polluted enough. Stop air pollution so future generations can have a chance to have a good life and not have to worry about PM levels are in the air on a daily basis.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 11:35 PM
Another example of the impacts of China's disregard for environmentally sustainable practices. The city's industry and thousands of cars produce massive amounts of pollutants, making the air difficult to breathe on most days.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 10:00 AM
This article shows the harm one country can cause when prioritizing their economic growth over protecting the environment and maintaining public safety. The geography of China is that it is surrounded in the South and East by industrialized cities. This has increased air pollution such as smog and forces the people to wear masks and even drive cars on an alternating schedule. This calls for a new global deal on climate change to fix the air quality and way of life for people in China and around the world.