Author: Nick Gao

China Oil Spill Now the Size of Paris

China Oil Spill Now the Size of Paris

On January 6, 2018, a Iranian tanker, the Sanchi, collided with a Hong Kong cargo ship at about 260 km (162 miles) off Shanghai, China’s richest city in terms of GDP, setting the oil tanker on fire. The Sanchi had 30 Iranian and 3 Bangladesh […]

Terrorist Leader Killed by Indian Security Forces

Terrorist Leader Killed by Indian Security Forces

On December 27, 2017, Noor Mohammad Tantray, a leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), was killed by Indian Security Forces during a fierce crossfire in the Pulwama district. The JeM, which stands for the Army of the Prophet Mohammed, is a separatist organization based in Pakistan […]

China and South Korea End Dispute Over Missile Defense System

China and South Korea End Dispute Over Missile Defense System

On October 31, 2017, China and South Korea ended their year-long diplomatic dispute over a missile defense system deployed by the United States in South Korea.

Gone into operation this May, the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) unit can intercept medium-range intermediate ballistic missile by tracking and destroying its target outside Earth’s atmosphere; it is South Korea’s most advanced missile defense system up to date. Its deployment was intended to contain North Korea’s growing nuclear missile program and its aggression towards Western nations. However, the Chinese government viewed it as a threat to Chinese supremacy in Asia and demanded its withdrawal on multiple occasions. In the months following the THAAD’s deployment, China, South Korea’s number one trading partner, unofficially boycotted South Korean products– from its goods to entertainers. As a result, South Korea’s economy suffered gravely.

In conjunction to the recent corruption scandal associated with the previous President, South Korea did not reply to China’s request for withdrawal formally. The issue was not resolved until the newly elected President, Moon Jae-in, took the matter to his hands.

Due to North Korea’s increasing aggression towards the U.S on topics of nuclear weapon recently, China voiced its concern over the potential of building a U.S missile defense (MD) system and deploying another THAAD unit on South Korean soil. “China again,” said in a foreign ministry statement from South Korea, “proclaimed its opposition to the THAAD system deployed in South Korea, for the sake of its national security maintenance”. It was not until when the South Korean Foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha assured the Chinese that “South Korea recognized China’s concerns related to the THAAD issue and made it clear that the deployment is not intended for a third country and does not impair China’s strategic, security interests” that the Chinese government agreed to negotiate and end the dispute.

Though the exact terms have not yet been agreed upon, it is expected that the existing THAAD missile defense system will remain in South Korea while no more U.S based defense system will be added. In a report, both of the government stated that they recognize the “great importance of the relationship between the two neighbors,” and that all previous commerce and exchange will resume. Fulfilling its promise, the Chinese government has re-allowed the distribution of Korean entertainment and TV shows in China this passed weekend.

The Election of South Korea’s New President, Jae-in Moon

The Election of South Korea’s New President, Jae-in Moon

On May 10, 2017, the Republic of Korea elected its 12th President: Jae-in Moon. Moon is elected after his predecessor Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. Moon was the chief of staff to the Republic’s 9th President, Roh Moo-hyun, from 2003 to 2008, and also was a member […]

Runaway Javier Duarte Captured

Runaway Javier Duarte Captured

On April 15, 2017,  Javier Duarte, the former Mexican governor of Veracruz, was captured at a Guatemalan hotel lobby. Using an assumed identity, Javier Duarte hoped to pass inspections as a typical Mexican tourist. After 5 months of escaping from prosecution for corruption and embezzlement […]

Protesters in South Africa Take the Streets

Protesters in South Africa Take the Streets

On April 12, 2017, more than thirty thousand people marched outside the Union Building in the capital city of South Africa, Pretoria, to force South African President Jacob Zuma to resign from office. Zuma has faced multiple charges that have severely damaged his reputation since taking office in 2009. The protest further demonstrated his dwindling public support.

The march was a response to Zuma’s dismissal of renowned cabinet members, namely the finance minister and his deputy, Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas, respectively. Gordhan and Jonas, highly-regarded economists in South Africa, are credited with terminating one of Zuma’s military plans that would have severely undermined the economy. Zuma proposed an estimated 73 billion USD construction of nuclear power plants that that would have been futile and too expensive for South Africa to maintain. Under Zuma, the South African economy has staggered, and the country’s unemployment rate has risen to twenty-six percent.

Zuma’s presidency has also been soiled by multiple legal charges and scandals. In 2004, Zuma and his financial advisor were charged with embezzlement, and in 2016 he faced over 783 corruption charges. He has also been accused of rape. Although he was not found guilty, his public criticism heightened.

Zuma is not rattled by the demonstrations, however. He commented in an interview, “I’m not worried when people call me names. I’ve been called names for years. The opposition are doing their job, which is to oppose, don’t be worried.” Nonetheless, news media indicates that the Zuma has a 20% chance of resigning, considering the damage that has been done to his reputation.