Geo Discussion

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  1. China: explain how China has transformed since World War II. What are China's greatest assets and challenges? What is China's future? How does the Chinese economy work, and why are there "two Chinas?"
    >For a large period of time, China was technologically and economically the most advanced nation on Earth, even surpassing that of ancient Rome, and during the European Middle Ages no nation in Europe came close to matching China's size and strength. In 1911 the last dynasty (Manchu) came to an end after a series of uprisings. China disintegrated into a chaotic period of civil war and instability. Following WWII, Japan invaded and occupied parts. Millions of Chinese died. After further civil war, a Communist government under Zedong emerged. Began to seek and develop modern economy and infrastructure in 1980's. Assets include vast resources and modernizing economy; has the ability to become a superpower, comparable to the US. Challenges are its tremendous population. The Chinese economy is Communist in that industry is state owned and operated. However, the Communist economy system is changing as many cities are booming centers of free enterprise and private wealth. The focus is changing to bringing in private industry, investment, and capitalist institutions. The government maintains strict control over political systems and is not a democracy, thus the idea of "two Chinas". The future for China is bright and may become a world "superpower".
  2. Subsaharan Africa: What are the greatest challenges facing this realm? Why has this realm not seen more progress since decolonization? What are the different regions of this realm? Be able to discuss as least 2 nations in detail. What can be done to help Africa?
    Africa faces many challenges: political instability, endemic corruption, widespread disease (HIV/AIDS), poverty, civil war, environmental destruction, and infrastructure deterioration. There are no easy solutions; they have significant resources, and with right measures could become stable and prosperous. Hard work from people of Africa and assistance from other nations is a must. Has not seen progress because the economies are in first-tier status and democratic institutions have not been adopted. Political boundaries have remained and as a rule, the nations remain underdeveloped. Governed by corrupt leaders that are not concerned with the needs of the people. Suffer from civil war and lawlessness. Different regions are southern (mineral wealth), east, equatorial, and west. Two nations are: Somalia and Rwanda. Somalia very tragic, failed state. Consists of rural subsistence farmers. Arid environment, droughts are common. One drought in 1990 prompted civil war that led to collapse of government and American deaths. Is ruled by a variety of regional warlords. Rwanda is a small nation between Tanzania and the Congo. Always been poor and politically unstable. In 1994 rival tribes of Tutsi and Hutu began to fight, Rwanda descended into chaos. Hundreds of thousands died. Ethnic violence widespread, still politically unstable.
  3. The Israeli/Palestinian issue: What are the origins of this dispute? What are the main issues? What are the primary events that have defined this conflict over the years? How does this issue affect the United States? What can be done to resolve this conflict?
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