South China Sea Current Affairs - 2019

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Taiwan: First Asian country to Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

On May 17, 2019 in a landmark decision, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage thus giving gay couples the ‘Right to Marry’.

Key Highlights

  • About: The Taiwanese parliament took the historic step by passing a law in favour of same-sex couples and allowing them to form ‘exclusive permanent unions’.
  • Features:
  • The bill was passed on 17 May which is celebrated annually as the ‘International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia’.
  • The law contains a clause that allows couples to apply for a ‘marriage registration’ with the government agencies.
  • It also offer few adoption rights to same-sex couples like allowing spouses to adopt biological children of their partner. But does not allows same-sex couples to co-adopt.
  • LGBTQ Rights: Taiwan has long been a hub for LGBT activism. Even its annual gay pride parade is the largest in the region. The Taiwanese LGBTQ community has now been campaigning for years to have similar and equal marriage rights as heterosexual couples. The move marks a huge victory for the community’s struggle and rights.
  • Significance: With even president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen campaigning for a platform of marriage equality, and the historic judgement that followed, this places Taiwan at the vanguard of Asia’s rapidly growing gay rights movement.
  • Importance: It is a good start and major step towards true equality and ending discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Geographical Facts: Taiwan

  • It is officially called as Republic of China (ROC) and is a self-governing island nation in East Asia.
  • States Neighbouring Taiwan: The Philippines in south, People’s Republic of China (PRC) in West, Japan in northeast.
  • It is in western Pacific Ocean and lies about 160 km off the coast of southeastern China (SCS).

Month: Categories: International

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US Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations visits India

Chief of Naval Operations of US Navy, Admiral John Michael Richardson is on a three day official tour to India. The tour is scheduled from 12 to 14 May 2019 and during his visit he will meet Indian Navy’s Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba in New Delhi.

Key Highlights

  • Purpose: Admiral John Richardson visit to India is amid rising Chinese influence in Indo-Pacific region. This is part of US strategy of grouping together with like-minded countries like India, South Korea, Australia and Japan to make sure that each Indo-Pacific nation can protect its sovereignty from coercion. It refers to coercive activities undertaken by China in South China Sea (SCS) which have become a flashpoint for US-China relations in Asia.
  • Aim: The visit by US Navy Chief is intended to consolidate bilateral naval relations between India and USA and as well as explore new avenues for naval cooperation between two nations.
  • Discussions: Major issues to be discussed during visit include information exchange, capacity building, operations and exercises, capability enhancement and training interactions.
  • Significance: The visit emphasizes the importance of information sharing and exchange between two defence partners. This will further strengthen strategic partnership between the Indian Navy and US Navy.

India-US Defence Relation

  • India-US ties has seen a significant growth in recent years.
  • In 2016, USA accorded India a Major Defence Partner status.
  • In September 2018 the inaugural Ministerial 2+2 Dialogue conducted between two nations (India and US), facilitated new avenues for defence cooperation among them.
  • Indian Navy and US Navy interact regularly at various bilateral and multilateral forums. They also participate in several maritime exercises like MALABAR and RIMPAC.
  • Other than Defence Exercise many Regular Subject Matter Expert exchange also takes place between both navies to establish interoperability in various fields.

Month: Categories: Defence

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