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China is renaming disputed locations in Asia to bolster its territorial claims and build evidence to support those claims in case any sovereignty disagreements land in court, experts say. Beijing has used new names and other map coding to back its claims in the South China Sea, East China Sea and, most recently, parts of the mountains that it contests with India.
The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on Dec. 29 that it had used Chinese characters to “standardize” 15 place names in the Indian-controlled state of Arunachal Pradesh in the country’s northeast, the Chinese state-operated Global Times news website reported. India uses its own place names for those locations.
Lian Xiangmin, a Chinese expert with the China Tibetology Research Center in Beijing told the Global Times that the 15 names fit into a “national effort to standardize the management of place names” including spots that “have existed for hundreds of years,” the report says. Analysts told VOA they believe the Chinese leaders renamed the 15 places to remind their own citizens of their claims while keeping up pressure on their opponents in disputes around Asia, especially in preparation for any International Court of Justice or world arbitration court hearings.
China uses military buildups and economic ties to advance its disputed sovereignty claims. | Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash
“I think the Chinese view is that part of narrative warfare, part of shaping a narrative about what a conflict is about, is wrong-footing or putting your adversary or rival claimant or disputant in a position where they are disadvantaged, and China holds an advantage,” said Scott Harold, Washington-based senior political scientist with RAND Corporation research group.
China also uses military buildups and economic ties to advance its disputed sovereignty claims. Over the past decade, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and India have pushed back. China and India got into two military standoffs including one in 2020. In 2016, Manila won a world court case against Beijing over South China Sea claims. Other Asian countries have renamed disputed features as well, including Manila calling the South China Sea the “West Philippine Sea.” China stands out for its efforts since 2010 to expand its maritime reach, often using military superiority to gain an edge in territorial disputes and alarming its neighbors as well as their Western allies. Sino-Indian border tension shot up in 2017.
Old places, new names
Before borders became widely enforced around the world after the 17th century, people moved around more fluidly and named landmarks in passing. China seeks to “draw on that history” now, Harold said. Alan Chong, associate professor at the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies agrees. Chinese mapmakers pick names that are consistent with China’s historic role in a region it is targeting, he said. Beijing has said, for example, that its fishing boats sailed the South China Sea some 2000 years ago, and thus has named the sea’s tiny islets to reflect that history.
Among the 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh that China renamed, eight are residential areas, four mountains, two rivers and a mountain pass, the Global Times report says. China renamed six other places in the same region five years ago. Among China’s names is Zangnan, which means “South of Tibet” in Mandarin. Lian called the new names “a legitimate move and China's sovereign right.”
Among the 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh that China renamed, eight are residential areas, four mountains, two rivers and a mountain pass. | Photo by Ezreal Zhang on Unsplash
Beijing has renamed the two major archipelagos of the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands in the South China Sea despite rival claims by several Southeast Asian countries. Officials in Beijing say their nine-dash line follows Chinese fishing patterns over the centuries. The dashes encompass about 90% of the 3.5 million-square-kilometer sea from Hong Kong to Borneo. China has also long used uniform map colors to amplify its claim to self-ruled Taiwan, said ruling party lawmaker Lo Chih-cheng. “They have been doing that all the time,” Lo said. “They paint the color of Taiwan the same as China. That’s the way to show that Taiwan is a part of China.” In the East China Sea, Beijing renamed the uninhabited, Japanese-held Senkaku Islands as “Diaoyu” after the mid-1950s, Harold said. Beijing disputes the islands with Tokyo and Taipei.
The Chinese public and its supporters abroad are a primary target audience of the renamed landmarks, Chong said. New names will remind those audiences of China’s claims to disputed territories, he said. Map names may even be “inadvertently forced” on other countries, Chong added.
New names and other map coding eventually make it onto Chinese passports, into international media reports. In one case, 14 Chinese tourists angered Vietnamese immigration police when they arrived in Vietnam in 2018 in T-shirts depicting a line that Beijing uses to mark its maritime claims that overlap Hanoi’s boundary. Eventually China can use the names to seek advantage in territorial disputes, said Alexander Vuving, professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, in Hawaii.
In October, China Daily news website accused India of "illegal occupation" of three disputed regions, including Arunachal Pradesh. | Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash
“In the legal argument, you have to substantiate that you administer a place and part of that is, you name it,” he said. China would wait for the right timing, Chong said. “They may agree to freeze the status quo right now, but 50 years from now they might suddenly decide, ‘all right, let’s go to a court and win it peacefully,’ and then they’ll start pointing to the fact that they’ve got maps and other documents revealing that a Chinese name was given to this territory 50 years ago,” he said.
Hinting at a legal showdown, Beijing's state-run China Daily news website blamed India in October for "illegal occupation" of three disputed regions including Arunachal Pradesh. (VOA/ MBI)
(Keywords: China, name, asia, sovereignty, international, islands, arunachal pradesh, disputed, india, rename, beijing)
Now we're into 2022, the anticipation for a new racing season is hotting up even more.
By the time the world focuses its gaze on Ascot in mid-June, records will have been broken, and new winners will have been celebrated in the other meetings such as the Grand National. However, there's nothing quite like the Royal Ascot meeting and the historic Ascot Gold Cup race, which has been running since 1807. The race is the first leg of the triple crown of thoroughbred racing in the UK, making it one of the most important on the racing calendar.
The meeting is held at the course, which is just 28 miles west of London and only a few miles from the residence of the British Royal Family, Windsor Castle. It's also been an event that the monarchy of Britain has often visited and had a personal interest in. Not only has the Queen of England long been a visitor to the racing at Ascot but she's also had the honour of having a winner of her own at the meeting as noted by Town & Country. Will there be another Royal victory this year? Let's look at some of the favourites for the headline race, the Gold Cup.
The six-year-old gelding's pedigree means he's a real threat to all his other riders at Ascot this year. Trueshan has previous experience of winning the course; he won in 2020 at the British Champions Long Distance Cup, with his jockey Hollie Doyle commenting, 'he went through the ground like a tractor, he loved it.' Going into 2021, he was much fancied after looking strong in the lead up to the meeting but was pulled when his trainer Alan King deemed the ground to be too firm. He had a successful season, winning the Goodwood Cup and the Prix Du Cadran in France in October. So he's in fine fettle going into 2022, does that mean it's finally his year to taste Gold Cup success?
The Irish thoroughbred has become a name synonymous with Royal Ascot over the past few years with a record that's the envy of many a trainer, and this year, the target is to equal a record set by one of the greats of racing. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Stradivarius has won three of the last four Gold Cups and is already second favourite in the Coral Gold Cup markets for a fourth. Four wins at the Gold Cup is a feat that has only been achieved once before by Yeats, a fellow Irish thoroughbred. Although last year wasn't to end with the record-equalling run he was aiming for; he's keen to be back this year as his owner, Bjorn Nielsen, says he can't wait: "He's as enthusiastic as ever, which is quite amazing."
Last year's winner of the Ascot Gold Cup is again in the frame for a win; last year, with veteran jockey Joe Fanning in charge, Subjectivist ran the perfect race, by first maintaining pace with the leading pack going into the final corner before striding majestically to a win, leaving the likes of Stradivarius in his wake, and adding to his win in the Dubai Gold Cup earlier in the year. Fanning wasn't surprised by the success as the four-year-old got on with the job at hand. "I just find he's a horse you don't complicate things with; if there's something in front, let him go," he said.
(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article and includes some commercial links.)
Good Earth, released its first-ever limited-edition art prints in 2020, depicting flora and wildlife recovering their due place in nature.
Van Vaibhav is Good Earth's guiding concept. The brand has a profound passion for nature in all of its forms, and preserving the beauty of the forest is at the centre of everything. In keeping with this ethos, there is no better way to commemorate our 26th anniversary than by giving back to the environment.
The Dreamscape art print series celebrates the brand's birthday. Endangered and fragile creatures of wild paradise come alive with attention to their condition in India.
The artwork, titled 'Living on the Edge,' underlines the importance of getting a closer look at these wonderful creatures. While everything appears to be lovely and unconstrained, these endangered species are truly living on the verge of extinction.
The Dreamscape will be printed in 500 limited edition Poster prints, which will be available for purchase the brand's web store. All sales revenues - matched with an equal amount by Good Earth - will go towards the Wildlife Trust of India's aim to conserve and protect vulnerable and endangered species, as part of our ongoing relationship.
Google Earth's Founder Anita Lal spoke about the initiative, "Animals are so vulnerable, and their habitats are ever receding due to the pressure on land." |WikipediaWikipedia
Speaking about the initiative, Good Earth's Founder and Creative Director, Anita Lal, says, "Birthdays are milestones when we count our blessings and look ahead with hope for a better future for all. Animals are so vulnerable, and their habitats are ever receding due to the pressure on land and the many hazards that humankind creates on this planet. The Wildlife Trust of India, among many others, is working tirelessly to stem the decline in the numbers of our vulnerable animals. We want to contribute to this valiant effort in any way we can. Our hope is that the posters help create awareness and sensitise us and the younger generation to think more about ways to live sustainably.
Collaboration with English artist Rebecca Campbell
Rebecca Campbell's special illustrations are featured in the birthday dreamscape, a fitting collaboration given her enthusiasm for nature. The British artist created gorgeous drawings/illustrations of fragile, endangered, and critically endangered species for this exclusive print, which then travelled to our in-house design team's digital paradise.
The Indian one-horned rhinoceros, Asian elephant, Common Leopard, Markhor, Hangul, Himalayan Brown Bear, Whale Shark, Gharial, Indian Cheetah, Indian Pangolin, Asiatic Black Bear, Asian Wild Water Buffalo, Sarus Crane, and Anaimalai Flying Frog are among the species shown in the artwork.
(Keywords: Rebecca Campbell, Good Earth's Founder and Creative Director, Anita Lal, Good Earth)
To meet our dietary needs, nutritionists throughout the country have begun looking at substances accessible in India. They're looking at ancient wisdom and seasonal local possibilities, which is unsurprising. These solutions are not only environmentally friendly, but they also help the local economy!
"Each season offers an array of gorgeous fresh vegetables, each rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in their own way," explains Dr. Rajyalakshmi Devi of Lovlife Hospital. Furthermore, the climate provided by each season makes seasonal produce easily edible and absorbable by our bodies."
Seasonal food offers high nutritional value. | Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash
It's crucial to note, however, that these indigenous fruits and vegetables are sprayed with pesticides to prevent insects and pests from spoiling them. "Always choose seasonal fruits and vegetables as they are filled with the nutrients needed to aid you during that time," says Chef Kunal Kapur, who promotes eating seasonal cuisine. However, keep in mind that these pass through numerous hands, potentially transferring germs. So wash your food with a natural action fruit and vegetable wash like Nimwash, which removes chemicals and pathogens while ensuring that it is safe to eat."
Further, he also shares his expertise on the various benefits of consuming seasonal food:
- Seasonal food offers high nutritional value - Fruits and vegetables that naturally ripen taste better, are fresh and offer the highest amount of nutrients as compared to those that are preserved.
- Seasonal food is cheaper - Crops produced seasonally are cost effective since farmers invest and harvest them in bulk. Sourcing of local stock also reduces the cost of logistics drastically.
When fruits and vegetables are harvested at the right time, it will be more flavourful. | Photo by Ratul Ghosh on Unsplash
- Seasonal food is ecological - Eating seasonal food decreases the demand of out-of-season produce, increases the consumption of local farming and more importantly lessens the time for refrigeration, decreases the cost involved in transportation and irrigation of the crops.
- Seasonal food tastes better - Since the food produced in a particular season is fresh, it tastes better, sweeter and is perfectly ripened. When fruits and vegetables are harvested at the right time, it will be more flavourful. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: taste, crops, fresh, nutrients, local, fruits, season, vegetables, seasonal)