China Current Affairs

US lifts embargo on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam

United States has fully lifted its embargo on sales of lethal weapons to Vietnam, its one-time enemy. This move of US removed a lingering vestige of the Cold War that was seen in South East Asia in 1970’s.

It was announced by US President Barack Obama during his official state visit to Vietnam and after talks with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang.

He is the third US President to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. Other two Presidents were Bill Clinton (visited in 2000) and George W. Bush (2006).

US Arms embargo on Vietnam has been in place since 1984 over the human rights issue. In recent times Vietnam had been arguing for an end to this embargo, which was partially lifted in 2014.

Comment

Experts believe that US is trying to bolster its relationship with its Pacific allies, as China asserts territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea. Vietnam is one of several South east Asian countries in the region involved in maritime disputes with China.

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Tsai Ing-wen sworn-in as first women President of Taiwan

Tsai Ing-wen (59) has sworn-in as the first female and 14th President of Taiwan on 20 May 2016 in front of national flag.

She succeeds outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou. She is the leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which favours independence from China.

Background

  • Earlier in January 2016, Tsai led the DPP had won the Parliamentary and Presidential elections.
  • Ms Tsai’s victory was the biggest mandate ever won by a DPP President and is only the second-ever victory for the DPP since Taiwan split with China in 1949.
  • The first was Chen Shui-bian who also was pro-independence (from China) advocate. During his time as President between 2000 and 2008 tensions had escalated with China.

China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province (island) which will one day be reunited with the mainland. China also has threatened to take back by force, if necessary.

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First World Conference on Tourism for Development held in Beijing

The first World Conference on Tourism for Development (WCTD) was held in Beijing, China from May 18 to 21, 2016.

It was held under the theme ‘Tourism for Peace and Development’ to advance the contribution of tourism to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Key facts

  • The event will be jointly organized by the Government of China and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
  • Its focus was on discussion to align national development strategies of countries with the SDGs and the role of public and private partnerships (PPP) in the 2030 SDGs.
  • It also analyzed how to advance the contribution of tourism to the 17 SDGs including the sector’s ability to promote local culture, create jobs and be an agent of change towards more sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices.
  • The conference complemented two high level sessions focusing on (i) Tourism for Poverty Reduction (ii) Tourism for Peace.

Beside China as chair of the G20 also hosted the 7th G20 Tourism Ministers’ Meeting under the theme “Sustainable Tourism – An Effective Tool for Inclusive Development”.

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