China Current Affairs

Harika Dronavalli wins Fide Women’s Grand Prix trophy of Chess

India’s Chess Grand Master Harika Dronavalli has won the Fide Women’s Grand Prix trophy in Chendu, China. It was her maiden career GP title.

She won this title by defeating Russia’s Olga Girya. She finished on 7 points in the round robin tournament which had featured world’s top 12 players.

On the other hadnd India Grand Master Koneru Humpy too rounded off her campaign with a victory to also finish on 7 points. But Harika was declared winner for finishing with a better tie-break record in the tournament.

About Harika Dronavalli

  • Harika had earned the Grandmaster title in July 2011. She is became the second Indian woman chess player (after Koneru Humpy) to achieve the title of Grandmaster.
  • She has won the Commonwealth Women’s Championship three times in 2006, 2007 and 2010. She has also won Bronze medal in 2010 Asian Games in Woman’s individual rapid event.
  • She has won bronze at the Women’s World Chess Championship 2015 (knock-out). She has won also won the individual silver at Women’s World Team Chess Championship 2015.
  • Union Government has bestowed upon her Arjuna Award in 2007.

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China has no historic rights over South China Sea: Hague Tribunal

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in Hague, the Netherlands has rejected China’s claims to economic rights across large swathes of South China Sea.

Ruling in this regard was given by a five-member tribunal appointed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague in a case brought by the Philippines.

The ruling came from an arbitration tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which both China and Philippines have signed. The ruling is binding but the tribunal has no powers for enforcement.

Ruling

  • There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the South China Sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line.
  • China has violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights and also caused severe harm to the coral reef environment by building artificial islands in South China Sea.
  • China’s rights are incompatible with the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) provided in the UNCLOS.

Background

  • The current round of tension between Philippines and China began in 2009 after a tense stand-off over Scarborough Shoal, which led to China to gain de facto control of it in 2012.
  • Philippines had lodged its suit against China at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seain 2013, saying China has violated the UNCLOS to which both countries are signatories.
  • China has boycotted the tribunal ever since Philippines had filed the petition in The Hague international court.
  • Earlier in 2013, China also had set up an ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) over similarly disputed territory in the East China Sea.

Disputes in South China Sea

  • Disputes in South China Sea are fight mainly between China, Philippines, Vietnam over the territorial sovereignty in South China Sea along with other atolls, reefs and rocky outcrops.
  • China’s claim: It is saying that major portion of these islands belong to them as part of the historical events and area defined by Nine Dash Line.
  • Under its claim, China already has started and even completed building artificial islands and even strategic runways for mobilising its airforce from these islands.
  • China’s claim overlap the South Chia Sea areas of different claimants countries, that involve  Brunei,   Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia.
  • Importance of South China Sea: It is strategically located and major international shipping route as world’s half merchant ships passes through it.
  • The sea rich in energy (reserves of natural resources around them including petroleum), mineral and fishing resources.
  • India’s position: Supports freedom of navigation and flight and unimpeded commerce based on the principals of international law in South China Sea.
  • Believes that states should resolve deputes through peaceful means and exercise self – restraint.

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China inducts largest homegrown Y-20 military transport plane

China inducted its largest indigenously-built transport aircraft named as Y-20, marking a crucial step in its Air Force history for improving its strategic power projection capability.

It is also considered as a breakthrough for Chinese defence sector especially in military aviation technology which will allow the world’s largest force to transport cargo and troops over long distances in diverse weather conditions.

Key Facts

  • The indigenously designed and developed Y-20 officially joined the PLA Air Force in Chengdu.
  • It is ideal for transporting cargo and personnel over long distances in diverse weather conditions. It has a maximum take-off weight of 200 tonnes.
  • The plane is comparable to the Russian-made IL-76 and US made C-17. It is more advance than the IL-476.
  • Its induction will make easier for Chinese PLA to deploy troops, enable military to act more promptly and respond to emergencies in a better manner
  • The Y-20 had undergone its maiden flight in January 2013 and since then it had undergone trials runs, including in the rugged Tibetan terrain,
  • It had made its debut at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in November 2014.

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